When I read that title back to myself I actually thought, oh, but I can do it all, I always have. But look where it has gotten me in the past, I ran myself ragged. Not something to be proud of. I don’t know if it’s how I was raised, or the fast culture in the United States, or what, but I think there’s a universal experience in this country that entails the “I’m so busy” brag. I don’t want to be part of that anymore… and I am trying to make a conscious decision not to engage in it.
When I hear people talk about their 10-12 hour work days, I don’t want to have a pang of guilt if I don’t work that much that day… there are certainly days that I do, but I don’t think that’s a good thing! It’s human and natural to compare yourself to others, but that doesn’t mean that it’s helpful. Workaholism robs you of enjoying yourself in the present moment. I found myself today having to bring myself back to the water surrounding me while swimming laps at the Y. I kept making lists in my head about what I needed to do when I was done swimming, what emails I needed to send, etc. If your brain is constantly thinking about “what I need to do when this is done,” you’re never HERE!
I made a promise to myself that my dissertation process would not be like my thesis process was… even if that means having to forgo a deadline/job offer to keep my mental health. And I’ve been trying to stick to that. I go to the Y a few times a week. I consciously unplug from my work when I’m around others and give them my full attention. I know how good it feels to have someone give you their full attention, it’s what I do in my counseling sessions! So I should do the same for my friends and family. It’s so frustrating to talk to someone who is obviously distracted/wants to be somewhere else… I never want to make people feel that way even if my brain isn’t settled. I’ve had to say no to things… but I’ve also realized my worth more recently… more than ever before. I deserve to have people seek me out and ask to spend time with me, and if someone doesn’t, many other people will. My energy is best spent on people who are positive and are an active part of my life… I know I’m a good friend and even if I can’t “do it all,” people in my life know that I care about them and that’s enough. I refuse to contribute to the competitive nature of the dissertation process… I want everyone to be able to succeed and do a good job if they work hard, while keeping their mental health!