Comprehensive exams and dissertation proposal under way … normally I would be completely out of whack with my chest hurting with so many things looming over my head. But, for whatever reason, I’ve learned to develop the mentality that it’s just work. That is not to say that I don’t care about doing a good job, and I do realize that as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor I do make a difference in people’s lives… but I try to focus on what matters. Through much of my academic career I’ve excelled, but at times to the detriment of myself, and I refuse to do that anymore. That is not to say I don’t put forth great efforts, I do, believe me, but I value myself more now than I did before and if an assignment isn’t what I deem perfect, I don’t care anymore. I can say no to people now without immense guilt.
Workers can be replaced. If you aren’t enjoying your life, then you’re doing it wrong. If you can’t find moments of joy throughout your day, something needs to change. I’ve started exercising regularly again and trying to eat better… and remember, though work is important, it’s your relationship with yourself, others, and a higher power that is what ultimately matters in life. Are you going to remember how perfect your term paper was when you’re on your death bed? Probably not.
I’ve also come to realize that how I was socialized led me to believe that I had to be perfect and never make mistakes. I think that has held me back in so many ways. It kept me from trying new things… taking risks… etc. It is going to take a while for me to undo a lot of that, but I’m on that path now at least.
So, overall, yes… work is important, but it’s not the most important thing. You are the most important thing.