Overcommitted as F***

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling with the consequences of my tendency to overcommit. I’m not around the house enough to do the simple things, yet somehow it’s all getting done.

It’s been two weeks since therapy. There are notes I took during my session.

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It’s a learning process. My husband and I have had several spats as I work through it. He’s learning how to be empathetic and helpful in the house, while I’m working on not being a yes woman.

I don’t know why I’ve struggled so much with commitment to others. Part of me believes it is related to my need to please everyone. I want to do everything I can, at the sacrifice of what’s important to me. I’m going to work on this more. No. I am fixing this.

I need to first prioritize and actually stick to that. I take my husband for granted. I assume he’ll always be there and the truth is, he may not. He is the most important person in my life, yet I often put him last. It’s frightening. Before you think I’m an arrogant bitch, this behavior is not intentional. I basically commit to things because I think it’s okay and then realize later it’s pushing into our limited time together. Our time is limited because of his job. Like I wrote last time, he’s grounding me and building the hill underneath my feet. It’s amazing, and it causes me great guilt to prioritize our relationship more than I have been.

Ouch:
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Basically, I need to slow down. After establishing with my therapist that I need to ask for help, I.did exactly that. I asked my friend for help organizing myself and managing myself better. I’m trying to get promoted again and if that comes, I’ll be at a high level that I’ll need to know how to manage myself better. She’s going to help reduce the excess noise in my mind.

And on that note, I’m going to go to bed. I need to unplug.

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All steps, big and small, are important in my journey out of the rat race.

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Are we Really MEANT to fly?

I have the best thoughts while showering and today was no exception. I used to think that my husband held me back from flying, but that has changed. He grounds me. There’s a difference.

First, let’s discuss the flying part. Are we really meant to fly? Biology and evolution would say no. We have legs to walk on. And we do not have wings. So I would say that we’re not equipped to actually fly.

Oooohhhh, it’s a METAPHOR. Okay then. My bad.

I get it. I do. But I have become a firm believer that everything is connected for a reason. I met my husband in 1995 for a reason. While I take flight in my career, he’s keeping me grounded. I do not need to be up in the sky with my thoughts. I need to still be grounded and he helps me be smarter, wiser, and humble and understanding of people that struggle with their jobs and life satisfaction overall. Without him, I may be an ass. I already know without him, I would probably be entrapped in a spiritual warfare and a codependent situation with my family that probably would still be going on. I would not be open to therapy like I am and be willing to share it openly with people like I do. There’s a lot about me that would be different without him. So does he hold me back because he’s not as successful as me? No way, Jose! He’s helping build the mountain under my feet! There’s a reason for everything.

So, the next time you hear or say the phrase that someone is holding you back, think about why they might be. It could be for a reason – maybe you’re growing; maybe you are learning a lesson about relationships; maybe you need to learn a lesson how to move on from people that do hold you back, or maybe you need to remain humble and they are there to remind you of that daily. There are so many reasons that could exist. It may have nothing to do with your lessons either.

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Life is one big lesson.

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“Keep the End in Mind”

Some days, I have such an urgency to find my way out of the rat race, and I often feel like a young child ready to grow up because of the inconveniences of being young. I have been on the search of finding a way to counter these feelings and may have just found the key I needed to accomplish just that.

I think that I mentioned before that my blood pressure has gone up 10 points since I acquired this position. I’m in such a hurry to get things done at work and to unnecessarily prove myself to myself. The consequence is that I am stressing myself out. I have to keep reminding myself that it is just groceries. That’s it. This is not life or death. We’re just trying to get groceries on the shelf for customers to buy. In America, we live in excess anyway, so again, why am I so stressed out about this all? I must find a way to stop.

Three months ago, I started therapy about my job. I have needed therapy at various times in my life to discuss relationship issues and codependency. I never imagined I would need it for my job, but it was definitely necessary and I am benefiting from it. So far, I have homework to work through things and it is helping somewhat:

  • Reading an article on relaxing techniques and applying them
  • Counting positives related to work daily
  • Reading an article about unprecedented guilt
  • Removing items from my plate that are unnecessary
  • Doodling in between tasks (which has actually turned into doing pencil drawings at night)
  • Listing things that can be moved from “guilt of obligation” to “freedom of choice”

My latest session, we talked about how I tend to string codependence and perfectionism in my day-to-day behaviors. I have done what I advise people not to do and that is “pile” everything. I worry about minor things, about major things, and I expect myself to get them all accomplished and beat myself up for not getting them done. Minor things are as simple as housework and major things are being there for friends that are facing major life crises. So my therapist suggested that I list out all things that I feel that I have guilt of obligation to see where I can apply freedom of choice. And some of these feelings are applicable to work just the same as other things in my life. While discussing my appointment lessons with my husband, I realized that some coined phrases I have learned in my career are applicable as well. And just like that, my anxiety has started to be at bay.

One coined phrase was from the former Vice President of my department who used to remind us to “Always keep the end in mind.” Thinking outside of work, the end goal for Josh and me is to retire no later than 55 years old. We are speaking it into existence on a daily basis, and it is more and more real to me. We are discussing that goal with many people and talking to financial advisors about it. Personally, I used to over-pressure myself on getting it all done and done correctly. So the lesson that I am learning is to not over-pressure myself to get it done perfectly and to realize that we are making progress regardless. Josh has helped me understand that my career is how we are going to get there, and that is resulting in me steadily easing the urgency to leave the workforce.This is good, because I was starting to feel like I was suffocating in the job and that I needed to “Get out as soon as possible!” So, now that I’m not abandoning my job and running for the beach, I am feeling more relaxed and ready to tackle everything at a reasonable pace. EUREKA!

One other eureka moment that I’ve been having lately is the memory of the words of the former Executive Vice President of Metropolitan Banking for U.S. Bancorp, Kathy Beechman, who retired to take care of her terminally ill husband. I had the pleasure to hear her speak at a Women’s Edge event at Kroger; she talked about choices for women, but her words did not just apply to women and have been resounding in my head over and over lately. She said that when you are faced with the choice of 2 different opportunities in your career, always go the direction that has the most future opportunities. It is such a profound statement and has become a foundation of my advice to mentees and career-oriented friends. Kathy had a lot more advice to give to women regarding the choices we face in the work force and she spent a lot of time telling her story about retiring to take care of her terminally ill husband, which put things more into perspective than anything else. Her story is inspirational and indicative of a woman that is very strong on the inside and out. I consider her a role model and will continue to do my best to apply those teachings in my day-to-day life.

These two EUREKA moments are how I am going to focus on my career going forward: “Keep the end in mind” with retirement and go the direction with the most future opportunities.