For the longest time, I would decry my schedule and say that I had to find a way to work less.
However, I didn’t have to find a way to work less, I had to reprioritize my time. I was upset because I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. The professional services industry has normalized working around the clock. The expectation is that we are always “on”.
Before, I couldn’t figure out how to stop working so much because I didn’t really want to. If I had wanted to, I would have done it. I’d have canceled calls and meetings. I’d have delegated them to someone else who wouldn’t do them right (and by that I mean they wouldn’t do them the same way as I would, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but I needed to control things). In truth, I already had my answer. If I’d wanted to stop, I would have stopped. By packing my schedule, I avoided having to sit still long enough to recognize just how not well I was feeling.
It took me a year of intense therapy and practicing rigorous honesty with myself to admit that I didn’t have problems. I had solutions I didn’t like.
Now, instead of solutions that make me uncomfortable, I have awareness of how I am feeling, understanding of what’s driving those feelings, and an appreciation of my power to adjust my behavior accordingly.
I like that answer.