So, I almost worked/exhausted myself sick again. My inflammation has gotten really bad, causing joint pain that I haven’t felt in a long time. My daughter has been teething her molars still and is going through a huge cognitive growth (her vocabulary has doubled in like a week and she’s started teaching herself her letters!), and waking up every 1 to 2 hours for over a week now, and I’ve been pushing myself to work past midnight every night for over a week too. Last night, my body said “nope” and I went to bed right after my daughter, which was helpful, and I was able to rearrange the delivery date of one of my projects to make my week better, so I should make it to bed at more reasonable hours for the rest of the week (except for Friday – I’m working til 9:30PM then going to have to finish packing for our trip to my interview, so I’m sure I’ll be up late).
I feel silly for letting myself get in this situation, and I can blame some outside factors for holding me up on my original schedule, but I never want to work myself into being bedridden again. So that’s something for me to bear in mind if I continue trying to freelance while still having such a young child and working a full-time job. I can’t do it all. I have to practice self-care, especially when I’m going on so little sleep. Otherwise I can’t be present for my family or present for the bigger issues facing us a society.
I am wrapping up one insane project at work before having about three days to get another one on it’s feet (I’m determined to do this in a way that gives me Saturday completely off… we’ll see if I manage it). While I managed to not have to pull any complete all-nighters, I’m sore and tired, clocking over 75 hours last week and will have put in between 50 to 60 this week. And while I will do my best to only put in 20-30 hours the next two weeks to rest up and use some of those extra hours I’ve banked, I’m in talks to take on a freelance project with an outside company because it is a lucrative offer with a local-ish company that could provide further opportunities in the future, and hey, I’ve got some spare extra hours now.
It is crazy that I put myself through this, absolutely crazy. Any spare moment that I have not been working, I’ve been spending with my son or sleeping. I haven’t exercised, meditated, done my morning pages, played any of my instruments, or touched any personal creative projects. I’m going to have to shell out for a massage because I’m so physically strained. And I only made one brief Facebook post on my personal page about Baltimore and haven’t really had any time to contemplate the earthquake, which is not like me. The company I’m working for really overextended itself on this one for the size that it is, unaware even til last week of how large the project had actually grown. And I asked a coworker why we put ourselves through this, what kind of sado-masochist tendencies actually allow us to simultaneously love and hate what we do and to repeatedly put ourselves through the blender, and her response was “Well, it’s the challenge, isn’t it?” And that is absolutely true. Someone lays out a project for me, and even if my initial response in my head is “You want me to do what?!” but in the back of my mind, I’m already trying to figure out a solution. I love accomplishing the impossible. But is it stupid that I do this? I don’t know. At least my current employer is willing to listen when I say “If we do this again, we need to do XYZ because this was almost impossible to do.” And they will provide the resources whenever they can.
I do not enjoy doing puzzles or playing a lot of games for entertainment. I would much rather be sitting at the table knitting or sketching and talking with people while they play. I think that life, for me, is the puzzle and the game, and I find strategizing and solving real-life problems in creative ways infinitely more interesting and satisfying. Again, I don’t know what that says about my personality.
Next week, if I don’t dive into the freelance project, I’ll take a couple of days to heal up and get into my own space again. And take steps for the next project to minimize some of the crazy.