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Re: A question Greg

Posted by shelliR on July 18, 2001, at 23:34:25

In reply to Re: A question shelliR, posted by Greg on July 18, 2001, at 17:07:52

Hi Greg
>
> I have a question, but first I wanted to congratulate you for being able to sustain your own business!

I've had this business for about twelve years. It's fairly creative, but I could not support a family with the profits. Right now, my work falls under the category of fine art. If I really needed to earn a full living, I'd have to add jobs that I really don't want to do. Luckily, for various reasons, I do not have to earn everything that I need to live on. So it is more of a personal and artistic success than a financial one.

> Now the question, being a fellow workaholic, do you find that even while you are taking time for yourself (vacation, a movie, even just a walk in the park), do you find yourself thinking about work? Even to the point of guilt? I'll tell you, since losing my job, all I can think about is going back to work. <

Actually, I think I am not the typical workaholic. I am not even a type A personality. When I worked for other people, I did not put a lot of energy into work, mostly because I was usually really bored, or else totally over my head. I was never a really good employee.

But I have always tended to become totally focused on one major thing in my life. For a while it was dance, then tennis. This is the first focus I've had that has turned into a career. So I think it's about always being consumed by one thing, and for the past decade it's been my business. I was never a great dancer, and only a good, but not great tennis player. So for the first time I am excellent at what I am focused on, so that's why it became a business.

Also, I am very disorganized and spacy, so I spend a lot of time redoing things, and drifting off into my thoughts instead of working. (I am a photographer, and that doesn't happen during the shoots, but during other aspects of my job). So some of me being a workaholic has to do with constantly compensating for wasted time or effort.

I took some time off in January, sort of an at home vacation, but I still spent my time designing a website for my business. But it was really fun, I love design, and I felt relaxed and playful. But yes, even though I had taken the time off, I was still officially working. When I actually go away (just once a year), I don't think I should be working, or dwell on work. But I do feel like at the end of ten days or so, I want to go home and get back to work, and be "me" again. So I AM very identified with my work. And I don't feel guilty at all when I am at the movies or out to dinner, etc. But it feels like a major decision to decide to do those things, because I will not be able to work. I also have one other focus; I am really into my perenntial garden. So even in the middle of work I often feel a need to go outside and check on everything, and deadhead or weed, or plan where I will move things around in the early spring.

And I have to say that always working does "save" me, from focusing on the areas of my life that are not fully satisfying--like relationships! So I am working now to convert some of what I do my hand, to come off the computer. If I get that together, I can take more clients, but also I will have more time, and maybe I will decide to use that time for a relationship. That's just a maybe, though.

I don't know about the guilt thing, Greg. That part seems strange to me, considering that you are working for someone else. It seems like you definitely take on too much at work, and I guess you have to think about why. Do you feel the best about yourself at work?

Shelli


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