As a self-proclaimed woman who does too much, it should come as no surprise that I relate so deeply to today’s meditation. The balance between healthy excitement for one’s work and workaholism is one I routinely struggle with.
On the topic of overextending ourselves in the name of our interests, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
Passion moves to workaholism when it becomes destructive to the self and others. Workaholism isn’t pursuing our interests. Workaholism doesn’t give us time for our interests.
We often may overextend ourselves in the pursuit of our interests and the workaholic doesn’t know when to stop. She just piles on more and more. The woman who has a healthy relationship with her interests is able to give her interest the time they deserve and savor them.
My interests add richness to my life, but not when I go after them compulsively.
It’s easy to become overextended when you are passionate about so many varying interests. You likely will want to throw yourself wholeheartedly into pursuing all of them. It’s important that we take a step back, however, to remind ourselves that while we can do anything, we cannot do everything… No matter how much we might want to.
Some of us, like myself, are foolish enough or perhaps blindly optimistic enough to believe we can do it all. We kill ourselves trying, pouring ourselves into our work and our hobbies only to realize months later than any progress we’ve made has come at the expense of our health, our relationships, and our well-being. The mind and body both need rest, and rest requires space and time from work—even work that you are passionate about. In the words of Brandon Sanderson, “Even a good thing can become destructive if taken to excess.”
Rather than despair over all of the things you cannot do, take joy in the fact that you have so many opportunities you see value in and wish to pursue. How fortunate are we to lead these lives of abundance?