We all move through life at our own pace, but sometimes work, people and other factors influence that pace. I got my father’s work ethic and I enjoy the work I do, so my pace is steady and constant. Sometimes it leaves little time and space for other things even myself. More than 45 days ago I experienced some pain in my stomach, and I suffered through because there was business to handle and people were depending on me. At some point the pain became unbearable and I decided to go to my doctor. I was diagnosed with just a little infection. If a diagnosis of any kind can be acceptable, I found this one quite acceptable. I was co-hosting an event for 500 people the next week and friends and family later that weekend, so if anti-biotics could fix me, I was delighted to fill the perscription. I went about work and play and taking a week’s worth of anti-biotics. I am not the first working professional to work through a little pain, and I know I won’t be the last. Besides I thought the anti-biotics were working!!
The event went well and my weekend with dear friends and family went even better, but the pain only subsided, and for another week and a half I worked through the pain. When the pain became almost debilitating I went back to the doctor, who then sent me to a surgeon two days later. You would think that being misdiagnosed would persuade me to self-diagnose, yet the only thing on my mind was “what else needed to get done for work?” The surgeon gave me a surprising diagnosis and shared with me that a surgery was necessary. The only problem was I was supposed to introduce one of my favorite Mayors at her State of the City address, judge a two day state competition with High School Students from across Georgia, and attend a regional conference just days later for my Sorority in Florida. The doctor assured me those plans were out the window. Yet I negotiated pushing back the surgery for a later week, so I could honor my commitments. However, pushing it back a week would only force me to cancel other plans already scheduled on my calendar. As disappointed as I was, my plans got cancelled and surgery ensued; just to be told that I’d need more than a week to recover and going back to work was simply out of the question.
If you have had surgery before, it feels like you might have been hit by a truck and dehydrated right before. Or maybe that is just me! A week or more of recovery, no sitting, no standing, and no walking! What the hell is a workaholic to do? At some point I did self-diagnose, you guessed it…. workaholic. In the days following my surgery I caught up on much needed rest and was the most productive that I had been in months. Not only was I productive I was creative and enterprising, and I never left the couch.
I started one new business, completed work on another and joined my sister as partner in a business she was starting. I updated my resume and my bio and worked on my business proforma. I guess I needed the break. I don’t believe you can ever push yourself too far, I do believe you have to be thoughtful about the time you give yourself and the time you to family, friends, work, social, church and civic responsibilities. While I don’t believe in the traditional sense of balance, I believe everyone lives their own version of balance. Don’t forget to give yourself time and self-care. I challenge everyone to take a week and practice self-care. Leave room to be creative, enjoy that your time is not obligated to anyone or anything.
Finally, my favorite scripture is Matthew 6:25-34 I have to continually read it because I worry so much about tomorrow, that I sometimes forget to live for today. I hope that you will live for today!
Katerina "Kat" Taylor
The Digital Mentor