Thursday, February 25, 2010

When All I Want is Sleep

I'm tired. Really tired. I've been pushing hard the past two weeks and I'm feeling it. Feeling it so much that I'm not sure I have anything to say, or write, except that I need to write about working hard. Working too hard.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of helping to promote a wonderful film, "Peaceful Warrior," and an even deeper pleasure of being able to engage with Dan Millman, the author and visionary whose inspiring books, inspired the film. After the film project had finished, I contacted Dan regarding a professional matter, but really one that was based in my quest to continue doing work I find meaningful and with people dedicated to making positive change. I was seeking to change the way I work and how I work, which has always been at a high level of effort and energy and often exhausting.

Dan's message back to me was generous and authentic. He stressed doing work I love and working in a smarter, more efficient and gentler way. Seemed at the time like a pretty simple work methodology to follow, but four or five years later, I'm far from figuring it out.

Let me make something clear. I'm not interested in not working. I love to work, to have a purpose and take pride in the work I've committed myself to. What I'm interested in is finding a way to work better, to work in a way that makes a larger sense.

Did I lose track of the criteria I set for myself this past few weeks? I challenged myself to look at any job or project I would agree to take according to its' impact on my kids, my marriage, my health and my finances. The past two weeks have tested the criteria and I'm not sure of the answer. I know my finances have benefited from this time, which has taken a bit of stress off - a good thing for one' relationship. But my yoga practice is down and I've had much less time with my kids, including a small crisis today with my oldest. Thankfully, we have a wonderful support system and I know that I can't be there for every moment, good and bad, but it capped two weeks of feeling the pangs of separation.

One of the aspects of starting a new job or project is inevitably the period of trying oneself out, of fitting in, of trying on new clothes that may or may not fit. Today, I wasn't sure that the new set of clothes I put on two weeks ago now fit. It may be that I was too quick to buy the clothes without trying them on and making sure the fit was right, as well as not necessarily being my style of clothing.

Another realization that has come to me in my exhaustion is I'm a very adaptable person and while that is a good skill to develop, I need to reign that aspect of myself in because it can cause me to react instead of act.

Work smarter. Adapt less and create more. Get more sleep and spend time with myself and my family. Work is just one part of the picture I'm creating and I can't allow it to take over.

Time to get back to that criteria and really commit to holding up any new project to it. And to be willing to step back or away from anything that doesn't meet all four. Not one, not two, not three. All four.

I guess I needed to be reminded of that. Again, and as many times as it takes.

Good night, all. I'm going to sleep.

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