Once a workaholic …

… always a workaholic?

Is this true?

Until a little more than three years ago, I worked full-time outside the home. When I wasn’t working full-time, my schedule was a combination of full-time school and part-time work.

To those who work full-time it may seem like a dream to be home for three years. At first, I thought so, too. I allowed myself big blocks of time to get caught up on TV shows and movies, to nap when my baby napped, to go on long walks. We went away on long weekends and enjoyed life to the fullest.

Then, the guilt began creeping in. Most of it self-induced. I realized I didn’t exactly feel comfortable with an unstructured life. I needed deadlines and commitments to get things done. Somehow having every day of the week to go to the zoo or the park made it less special.

Now, I have filled almost every block of time in my week with something, whether it’s time for work (when it comes my way), volunteer commitments, working toward personal goals, and the ever-present house and yard work and child care. It’s like I dread an unplanned expanse of time.

When I worked full-time, I was famous for bringing my work home, taking on projects, staying late, and coming in on weekends. I suppose in the beginning it was designed to get ahead. In the end, it was a curse. It did not lead to promotions. It led to more work because I was known as the go-to person for this stuff.

It’s easy to  blame all this on my upbringing. My mother and father always kept busy. They didn’t allow their children to wile away an afternoon. If you were home, you were upright and holding something with a handle: a broom, a rake or a paintbrush.  If you were caught empty-handed, you were given a broom or a rake or a paintbrush.

In some regards, I’m glad they passed on to me this work ethic. (I wish I could pay it forward to my children. Direct requests are always a battle. teaching by example only seems to work with my preschooler.)

Yet, I wonder sometimes why I deny myself basic pampering and selfish “me” time. I’ve literally been at the salon or in a bookstore and felt the weight of guilt bear down on me so heavily I have the urge to flee.

Is there hope for me?

This post brought to you by the lovely Brenda and Flog YoBLogFriday. Click on over and enjoy:

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