Losing My Balance

This was one of those weeks in which work consumed my life. I completely lost the "life balance" part of "work-life balance."

I was so disoriented by my quantity of work and the immediacy of my deadlines that I completely lost track of everything else. I even forgot about this blog (until the wee hours of Thursday night/Friday morning, at which point I decided against jumping out of my warm, cozy bed and running down to the cold basement to quickly type whatever my semi-coherent brain conjured.)

How did I go off track? Let me count the ways:
  • I started working before my usual 8 a.m.-ish start time and worked past my usual 5 p.m. quitting time.
  • I worked on my novel for a total of 30 minutes and 100 words. (My weekly average is usually 1,000 words in 2-3 hours.)
  • I did not respond to any non-work-related e-mails or letters.
  • I cut my gym time by 30 minutes. (I usually complete the American Heart Association recommended 150 minutes of cardio a week. This week I barely squeezed in 120 minutes.)
  • I forgot to eat mindfully. I just ate. Once or twice, I even forgot that I'd eaten--so I ate again.
  • I spent my usual nightly reading time catatonic in front of the television. (Don't ask me what I watched. My eyes were more like mirrors than windows.)
  • I skipped my morning journal writing.
Please don't mistake this list or this post for self-flagellation. I am not punishing myself for losing my way. I am trying to be retroactively self-aware.

I'd love to say that I have learned my lesson and that this will never, ever happen again. But I have learned on this journey not to speak in absolutes. This could very well happen again. I am very practiced at being a workaholic. That's a hard habit to break. (Heck, all habits are hard to break. That's what makes them habits!) But maybe now I'll be able to spot the signs of derailment before the train goes completely off the tracks, as it did this week.

In the meantime, I'm off to find that missing "life balance."