It turns out, guilt — especially the type born from the rules of traditional office life — dies hard.
When I pound away at a project for a solid five hours and have a gloriously free afternoon stretched out in front of me, guilt rises up to greet me.
Feeling steadily content — whether it’s Monday or Friday — is something I didn’t know I would be so incredibly grateful for. I hated how it would creep at a mind-numbingly slow place between the hours of 1 pm and 4 pm.
I hated how I had to request it, routinely counting how long it would take me to amass X amount of vacation days.
What was once a mindset of, “I better be getting paid to do this” turned into, “I’m so lucky I get paid to do this.” That was an amazing thing.
Feeling as if I was stuck in a never-ending cycle of loathing my day-to-day life was utterly exhausting, both for myself and those who had to endure my mood swings and bad attitude.
Sundays morph into Mondays with nearly as much ease as Fridays into Saturdays.
Work isn’t to be endured in order to reach the weekend, but to be appreciated as something that creates challenges and carries the possibility of feeling really damn good about what I produce.
I don’t mind when down time flies by because work is no longer something I need to muscle through.After all, it was my compensation for turning over precious brainpower and the most substantial chunk of my waking hours.Even when I first thought about starting a business, my mind immediately went to the income potential for such an endeavor.This exhaustion — paired with the monumental task of tackling additional work on the side — led to “busy” being the most commonly used word in my vocabulary.My work was receiving my energy, and those I loved were receiving the short end of the stick.I crunched numbers and visualized cashing checks bigger than the ones I was currently cashing.Then, as I dove deeper into establishing a life based on enjoyment rather than obligation, something strange happened: Money didn’t matter as much.Suddenly, staying put for health insurance and a steady paycheck seemed like an entirely uneven exchange. I frantically texted the most trusted members of my inner circle, divulging my plan before I could grasp what a hugely challenging endeavor I had just committed myself to.I didn’t have another job lined up or even a position I hoped I might be qualified for.An improved demeanor means they are more likely to want me around in the first place. There’s nothing that points out how much you dread your job than how you feel coming back from vacation. Happiness, passion and joy were left in whatever tropical location I was visiting, and obligation, work and an overwhelming feeling would be greeting me at the gate upon arrival.Now, my mind has deconstructed the brick barriers that separated my work life from my personal life.