When Work Steals Your Life Away

Steps for repairing the damage
When Work Steals Your Life Away
Image: Juhan Sonin / Flickr

The day I realized it had gone too far, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to go from dreaming about work to actually doing it. As I slid out of bed I glanced at my sleeping husband and felt a pang of guilt. The night before, I had fallen asleep in the middle of our first real conversation all day.

I’ll make it up to him, I thought, dragging myself into the kitchen for coffee, and then to my office for a half-asleep run on the elliptical while I caught up on work emails. After a few minutes, I gave up on running to give the emails my full attention.

There’s so much to do; I’ll never get caught upat this rate.

I glanced at the devotional sitting on my desk but pushed it aside in order to retrieve the documents my printer was spitting out.

“Maybe I’ll get to it tomorrow.” Even as I muttered those words to myself, I knew they were false. I’d been reaching past the devotional for too many days in a row now.

It was May 2013, and I was working as the part-time chief strategy officer of a large commercial real estate firm, serving on six separate corporate and nonprofit boards, and handling the day-to-day management of a rapidly expanding 4word team. I felt like my mind was moving a million miles a minute. In a constant scramble to stay ahead of the next thing, I was working myself to the bone. Yet the more I threw myself into my work, the further behind I felt.

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Diane Paddison

Diane Paddison is a business professional and founder of 4wordwomen.org, local groups of professional working women committed to faith, family, work, and each other.

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