Working out at dawn’s early light in the gym I looked up and saw a sign that said, “Trust Hard Work!!!!” Yes I used to believe that strongly but over the years of lots of hard work and not so smart work, I believe more that it should read; “Trust Intentional Hard Work”
Most of you know that I was once a very proud workaholic and wore that like a martyrs badge!!! Every year I would get books from friends and relatives that read like…. “For the girl that does too much” Or Learning to work to live not living to work, or for the woman who NEVER stops. I finally threw them out!!! All manner of books hinting that I may have an issue. I think those close to me did not see it as an asset but more like an addiction or sickness.
Let me tell you a little about the old workaholic me!!! I hated, I mean I hated holidays of any kind!!!! I did not understand why people would want to take time off when they could be working and getting ahead of the game!!! Did they not understand that if the normal human worked 40 -50 hours then If you put in say at least 75 hours you were way ahead of the curve!!!! Resting could be done when I was dead but not before then!!!
I did not understand lunch breaks where people left the building and sat for an entire hour doing nothing but eating and talking. All of this could be done at your desk so you could stay on top of it. The time of year when it got dark early was the only time my family would see me early because the dark would drive me home.
When people wanted to talk to me and engage in conversation I was a million miles away and my head was wherever the work was or the next project was. And to be sick was not acceptable at all because just how worthy or productive could a sick person be?
I saw a really cool instagram post by Jon Acuff the other day claiming that, We should live by our schedules and not by our emotions. Well I am glad to report that the new and improved and more relaxed me does do exactly that!!! I schedule it all in and not just the work. I schedule golf, yoga, boxing, family time, work out time, meditation time and yes doing absolutely nothing!!!
Some of my favorite new things that I do since I am a recovered more chilled human is NOT filling my life all the way up. I leave margin and space for the unexpected to happen. I leave time for conversation for others. I don’t have to have an agenda for everything!!!!
Don’t get me wrong!!! I freaking LOVE my job and LOVE to be productive and I LOVE to accomplish things and learn and grow!!! I have ZERO desire to quit working and become more of who God created me to be. What I have discovered is that if I make space for life and fun and spontaneity and yes even lunches and holidays I am better at my career.
So for those of you who knew me when, I am sorry!! And for my relatives I am truly sorry. And for my precious and amazing husband Hugh Smith I am sorry you did not get to see this version of me!!!
Loving you so very very much!!!!
Karen Key Smith
PS. I think I justified how I did my work because I loved it and it gave me great joy but just because you love a thing does not mean that is the only thing!!! So much to enjoy in this one life!!! I am sure enjoying all of it now!!!