I haven’t been on here to write in a while, and that’s mainly because I was taking a breather. Do I love writing? Absolutely. Does it help me wind down at the end of a long, hard day? Absolutely. But I had been so overwhelmed with balancing life, work, school, and my own mental health that coming back on here to write another blog post seemed driven by pressure and energy that I just didn’t have. And when one of my biggest passions started to feel like a job, I knew it was time to take a break.
You see, I had become so well conditioned to to-do lists and responsibility that I couldn’t imagine taking time for myself. And I didn’t. I kept ignoring signs that my body needed rest, that my mind needed to take a break, that my heart needed re-connection with friends and family, and that I needed space from the busy hustle of every day life. I knew I needed it, but my mind and body didn’t listen. I kept pushing myself beyond limits because I had become so scared of failure. I had become so bent on success and productivity that I wasn’t able to see that sometimes being both of those things mean being self-aware, taking time to rebuild, and investing in relationships.
I think society gets success all wrong. Push yourself beyond your limits. Work, work, work to achieve success and happiness. But what happens when you realize you’ve spent your entire life working so hard to be successful in all the wrong places? At the end of it all, you’re not going to look back on your life and be proud of the legacy you left at work from all the weekends and late nights spent working. You won’t be counting all your promotions and bonuses. You’ll care about what impact you made on those in your life back home. But if you’re not careful, you’ll end up regretting all the important things in life you neglected in order to achieve what society calls “success.”
I think what it means to be successful is living life to the fullest, pursuing your individual passions with the ones you love, and standing up for what you believe in. I think it’s knowing that healthy, fulfilling relationships are essential. I think it’s knowing your limits both mentally and physically. And I think it’s realizing what’s important in life and shifting your energy there.
Am I saying we should all go quit our jobs and never step foot in an office again? No. But I am saying we should be careful how we are spending the majority of our time. Is work important? Yes. Does God call us to fulfill our purpose in life through our work? Yes. But He also calls us to connect with people and build relationships. If we aren’t careful, our boundaries might blur. And if you’re anything like me, hardwired to give your all to any work you produce, than you, like me, are in very real danger of becoming what we all swore we would never grow up to be – a workaholic. Because it’s really that easy. One thing leads to the next and then to the next, and pretty soon before you even know it, your work life is stomping allll over your personal life, and that’s scary.
I truly believe the big moments in life are made up by the little decisions you make.
Do you choose to work late five days a week or come home to have dinner with your family? Do you choose to check work emails while you’re out to coffee with your friend or give your full attention and engage in conversation with them? Do you spend that extra hour working at the office or helping out that friend going through a tough time?
Where are your priorities? Because if you don’t decide soon, life will for you.