Recently, I've been spending a LOT of my time thinking about work, whether I'm in the office or not. It's super busy and super stressful, but that's not entirely new for my job. Maybe part of it is that I spent the DC Blizzard working from my dining room table, but home just doesn't seem like a safe haven right now. I've also brought a long-term project home to work on when I can, since there's no time for anything that isn't entirely urgent between 9am and 6pm. My roommate was saddened to see me surrounded by spreadsheets at 11pm the other night. "If you could see yourself..." he said, and honestly I'm glad I couldn't.
Still, I'm usually pretty good at shaking off the work day blues and relaxing. Now I'm having trouble sleeping; if I am lying in bed and start thinking about what I'm going to wear the next day, it somehow slips into thoughts of what that day will entail. Then I get stressed and am up til 2am. When people say, "How are you?" my thoughts immediately turn to work and I give a very unconvincing "Good."
Part of me has been thinking that my lack of a relationship is impacting my extreme focus on work. Most nights, I go to the gym, make dinner, do the crossword - all activities that give me plenty of time to think. And that's dangerous for me, it seems. It's difficult to put into words, but a relationship is an important part of one's life, a part that requires effort and thought and also inspires effort and thought. It's a distraction (hopefully a welcome one) from the day-to-day grind. It also reminds you that there is more to life than just work. Work is the biggest thing in my life, so it's getting all my focus. My friends are crazy important to me, but I am lucky enough to have friendships that are not high-maintenance.
I't's also becoming more obvious that I have a really difficult time putting myself first. I'd like a boyfriend (or a puppy), someone to care for and take care of when necessary. Wanting to play hostess, or cook dinner, or organize a night out, or tend to someone not feeling well makes me a good friend to have. Responding quickly to other's requests and pushing my needs off to take care of something someone else considers more important makes me an excellent employee. Unfortunately, it also makes me a doormat. Why am I more concerned about my boss' workload than mine? Why can't I ask a friend - whom I am doing a favor - to work around my schedule instead of being overly-accomodating when it's not necessary?
They say acceptance is half the battle to recovery. But instead of trying to change and figure out how to care more about my needs and desires, it'd be much easier to have a Numero Uno in my life. It'd be an outlet for all these annoying maternal instincts; maybe if I could get them out of my system more consistently than the occasional planned happy hour allows, they wouldn't be so strong at work or even riding the frickin' bus. And maybe if this person considered me their #1, I'd know what it feels like to be important enough to consider first.