i am a workaholic.

something changed this summer. something inside of me shifted, altered & grew off balance.

this summer, i became a workaholic.

tears well up when i even begin to type that word.


isn't that for the ceo of walmart & the highly successful business suit type? 

no, it actually fits quite nicely into my story... the long days, the numerous cups of coffee, the sleepless nights, the insomnia, the to-do lists & the neglected relationships.

it explains the poor judgement, the grumps & the weight gain. 

i am a blogger & a homemaker & a workaholic.

i lack work boundaries & life balance. i push myself until the wee hours of the morning & set my alarm to pop up before daylight. all for the sake of a to-do list & the approval of others.

friends, does this ring true in your life?

how did we get here?

do you need rest? i need a nap.

& change. 

i wish i could wrap this up with a pretty bow on top & entitle this blog post, "how i conquered workaholism & found balance", but i would be lying.

i continue to struggle & lack rhythm. i still say yes far too often than i should, but i am finally recognizing my need for rest & balance.

so here i am, telling you i need change.
here i am sharing my guts out, sharing my inner most flaws & doubts.  

here i am sharing my mantra for this week:

seek balance & fight workaholism by
+ getting a full seven hours of sleep each night
+ eating well
+ saying no at least once this week


friends, i would love to read your stories & journeys. i would love to read how you find rest & balance each week. 


Sarah Fredette said...

I'm completely there with you. I try to do all the things, all the time. Full time job, quilt, sew, swaps and bees, blog, quilt guilds, dinner, laundry.... It's exhausting and overwhelming. My husband has been the 'sane' one and finally has me convinced that I need to slow down. So I'm working on clearing my commitment plate, so I can start 2015 completely deadline free, at least hobby wise. Also, I'm trying to work on not feeling guilty for serving tuna sandwiches for dinner sometimes. I have to remind myself that its still better than a drive thru. And who cares if I have a stack of laundry to attend to, I'm wearing clean clothes currently. I think its really the approval of others part that drives us. We see these impeccable homes online, and hear all the good stories. I read somewhere that we compare our worst to someone else's best. But its a hard thing to let go of. Good luck on your goals!!! The extra sleep will help immensely, I'm sure. :D

Bella Vita Jewelry said...

beautiful pictures sweet friend!
I always found it hard to separate work from home when I had my studio at my house. Since we have moved back to LR my studio has been outside of the home. I really like it, I like getting up in the morning and "going" somewhere to work. I try to work 8-5 everyday. I shut it all off when I get home. Some days I have to take a tray of work home or do computer work when I get home but it isn't everyday like before when I worked from home.
It is really hard in our field of self employment. We want to succeed but we don't want to exhaust our selves trying. One thing that I have noticed over the last 6 years is that everything always works out! It might not always be to my standards but it ALWAYS works out in the end!! And sometimes I think my standards are ridiculous!
I hope you find some balance with all of it soon! Just remember it might better for your sanity to step away from something before you risk burning your self out! {I am a big fan of power naps, or stepping outside to soak up some vitamin D for a few minutes}
Call me anytime if you need advice or a little cheerleading! xoxo

Vanessa said...

I just read this blog post by one of my favorite bloggers yesterday where she talks about life as a creative and how it is our very limitations that help us to be truly creative. She says " Limitations are underrated. Gurus will tell us to dream as if we don’t have any, but creativity loves limits, lives on the edges (and under them and around them), is born out of constraint. Force the human mind to solve a problem, and it will twist itself inside out – make a new connection, uncover a new insight – in order to do so." You've made a brand out of living within financial and spatial limitations, it only makes sense that the next step would be to learn to work within time limitations. I'm with you all the way as we tackle this tendency together. Here's the rest of the blog post: http://justinemusk.com/2014/07/07/how-to-develop-a-compelling-original-voice/

kj said...

I hear you! I have always been the first one up getting things ready for the day-to-day last to bed cleaning up + readying up for the next. Oh and if something's needed in the night I get up. But I have found that if you keep watch for them moments of rest will appear. The rainy morning perfect for a nap, the mundane chore you can autopilot and let your brain rest. True maybe you need to look at your priorities + cut out a few things but maybe you can't this is a hardworking lifestyle that doesn't always fit into a day planner if you know what I mean. Carla Emery said something to the affect of life is a struggle as least your struggling for something worthwhile. Now go take a nap!:)

Jo Hilton said...

I am the spouse of someone who works a lot... And says yes quite often... I think a shift happened with him this summer too... Recognizing the need to slow down and create balance... And nurture relationships that had almost (truly) gone south past repair. I am so relieved that this "awakening" happened. And I do understand there is no "wrapped up with a bow on it"... It's a process... And the best thing i know is "taking one day at a time". Good luck with your process... I'm happy you are "awakened" too. :)

BF POV Blog said...

Taking a moment to reflect on what's best for you, finding the voice of either yes or no. Feeling into each decision...

Heidi Joe said...

If you're doing a lot of your work from home, you might consider fostering a "commute time" to set yourself up for the day. I work outside the home and my drive to work is my little time to relax, listen to music or talk shows, and gear myself up for a productive day. For those that work inside the home, you open your eyes in the morning and boom, you're already at work! Maybe try "commuting" to work by first going for a walk outside,sitting on the porch and reading/knitting or doing another activity as a warm up for the day.

Marina💗 said...

Good morning Natalie💗 I love your posts and your sweet honesty. This year, through much reflection, I had an AHA moment... and when I read your post I just had to share...
When we start something new in our life, we will naturally go to an extreme. It seems to be part of the process. Like a pendulum that will finally settle in the middle and find it's balance, we will too.
Awareness that there is a problem is the beginning of change.
Setting your intention each day each over that morning cuppa can help too.
We all have different energy levels and you may always be able to do more than others in your circle and yet keep a balance...
Finding your priorities and putting them first is key...
O... and I totally agree with the above comments about sleep. You'll always feel better when you're not burning the candle at both ends. A good nights sleep is crucial to a productive day and a happy wife 😊 Xx

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing! For me, I've struggled with doing too much too! I've come to realize that I have to be intentional about the things I do and don't do. This year, I've been practicing intentional living...check out some of my discoveries at uniquelyhis-blog.com. Thanks for being real!!!

Kellie said...

I think it's refreshing to come and read this from someone as yourself Natalie, someone in my eyes that is very well known. It's nice to know that you are not alone and you are not the only one that says yes far too much, that you push yourself too far. I have started to find more balance in my life by letting go of things, it was hard, and it's almost like having to train your thoughts and body, but I am slowly getting there.

Castle said...

One of the things that I have had to learn (and am still working on) is that if my calendar and To Do lists are too full, I have no flexible room for something or someone that might need or want my attention and time. I don't want to have to choose between my lists and a friend who calls and wants to grab coffee, for example. I am learning to leave blank spaces in my days and allowing the Lord to edit, adjust, or add to my list or calendar as He sees fit.

Holly said...

I just keep telling myself that saying yes to something means I'm saying to something else. And I have to identifying what that something else and decide if saying yes is worth what I am saying no to. Working "from home" in any capacity means it is crazy hard to decide you are "done" like when you leave an office. And that is where I have been trying to focus myself on. Quite a few "things" have fallen through the cracks and I have to learn to be okay with it. Family time starts at 3:30 when my big gets home from school. I have to shut off work regardless of if I am finished or not. And I tell myself sometimes that "finished is better than perfect"...because I can have way too many things going that are unfinished and it causes my soul to not be at rest. Kudos to you for working on this.

erin said...

i recently read a blog post on the top tips for being successful...
the one that stood out to me the most was to make yourself a daily to-do list...and allow yourself to put ONLY 3 items on the list.
it sounds silly...and lazy...and somewhat impossible.
but i've found that when i truly focus on only three main tasks for the day, i achieve that sense of accomplishment i crave {and usually accomplish far more, anyway}.
you're awesome, friend.

Hannah Joy said...

My husband and I are now celebrating our 3rd anniversary. Before we were married I had read something about how during the reign of King David, when a soldier married he was given a year off from the war. The article went on to suggest that we should take a year off when we get married. I took that to heart and avoided getting involved in any church and community stuff that year - so I had an entire year of saying no! That was so good for me, and it helps me today to question if I really want to say yes.

For advice on saying 'no', I'd suggest Elise's podcast (episode 17??) "Saying NO to YES". There is some really good perspective in that episode.

Personally, I do find that it is hard NOT to be a workaholic on the farm. There is always something more to be done.
One thing that has helped me is to pray at the start of my day, asking that God would guide my tasks (and to help me to be okay with what gets done and what gets left undone). It's amazing how much less stressed I am when I pray about it.
I recently heard someone talking about how they evaluate things based on how their 'future self' would wish they had done it. My future self generally appreciates it when I do the dishes before I go to bed at night. But sometimes, I have to remember that a good night of sleep is also something my future self (and my husband) would appreciate.

I definitely don't have it all figured out, but I am enjoying the journey more than I used to.

You are on a good journey, Natalie. I am thankful for your candidness. You are a treasure.

Kim said...

I have a book suggestion:

Margin: Restoring Emotinal, Physical, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives............by Richard Swenson, MD

This is one of the best books ever on this topic. I hope you might read it.

Jen said...

For me, it helps to have a Sabbath. To keep and honor the seventh-day is such a blessing to me. In a world that rewards hard work and accomplishments, it means everything to have one day where you allow yourself to take a break. I got to church with my family, see people who buoy me up, worship and re-connect. Then, I often take a much-needed nap, and I spend time with family or do outreach. By the time sundown rolls around I'm refreshed and rested, both physically and mentally. It is my sanity-saver!

Her said...

I am right there with you! I find that I do all these things to benefit my family and my family ends up getting less of "me" in the process.
Joy Prouty recently posted on IG that she tends to give her family the leftover of herself. That really hit home for me and I know it is true for me as well. So many obligations and responsibilities that I give 150% of myself. Which leave my drained, irritable, tired and used up; and those are the parts my family gets. So sad, but I have been awakened as well and am on the road to remedying that issue. Family comes first. They should get the best versions of you. (this includes how we treat ourselves, as well)
Thank you for your honesty, always. Thank you for sharing.

Alison Franklin said...

On Tuesday, I told my boss that I needed to cut back my work hours. My husband and I have had a stressful year of job interviews, possible moves, and health issues, all while working over 50 hours per week. It all added up. The insomnia, the to-dos...I get it. Totally get it. I ended up going to the doctor for bloodwork because I was forcing myself to get out of bed and dragging myself through the day. I was convinced that it was a medical issue. The bloodwork, thank goodness, came back negative. But I had to face the facts--I was stressing myself to a breaking point. Although we will have to cut back further for me to reduce my hours, we have deemed it essential for my health and relationships with others. Be well!

Jessica Griffith said...

I completely agree! My husband and I each work about 60-70 hours a week. Then come home to do house stuff. Its hard to find time for "life". We talk about moving to the mountains to live, but I think slowing down needs to happen here and now. I love how you make date nights with Luke a priority. One of my goals is to be more intentional in my relationship with my husband. Right now we are like two ships passing in the night and its killing me. Love the blog and how real you are.
PS My aunt and uncle live in Malvern AR and we love visiting up that way (we are in Texas)

Leanne said...

143Thank you for your realness and honesty! The Internet needs more vulnerability like this! :)

Leanne said...

Thank you for your realness and honesty! The Internet needs more vulnerability like this. :)

Danielle said...

Have you ever read the book "Margin?" It is a MUST read. So helpful for me when it comes to saying no and time management, mainly from a physiological standpoint as opposed to practicals.

Kaylin Lydia said...

Oh, this is a hard one for me too. After years and years of being a workaholic, I crashed and burned HARD. It was a wake up call for me big time. All those years I spent focusing solely on my work, I missed out on so much - namely, my own feelings and what was going on within me. I emerged from my workaholic fog feeling angry and resentful - I was angry for all the ways I did not set boundaries for myself and allowed others to drain me. I was completely exhausted. It took some time but now I go so much slower - living in the country versus the city has helped big time. Its a slower pace here and the people get it. Oddly enough, focusing on my hydration helps a lot - if I go all day with only drinking one bottle of water or less, then I know the day has been too fast. I focus on acceptance - accepting that I feel the best in my life that I ever have, and maintaining that is accepting that I never get done as much as I want to. Even though it still wiggles at me that I am not nearly as productive as most others, it has to be okay because I am so much happier. Anyway, I hope you gain some rest and are well. Xoxo.

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