Screwing Myself with the Law of Attraction
Photo credit by Horrgakx; creative commons license
From the upcoming book, 23 Ways I Screwed Up My Life with the Law of Attraction—and How I Fixed It
I’ve really been screwing myself at work. The day job, that is. Once I realized what I was doing, I put an immediate stop to it. I’d let it get out of hand, and it was causing me some serious issues here and there—increased blood pressure, lack of daylight, some missed romantic opportunities, and that general feeling of being overworked, overtired, and out of balance.
In my career with the Department of Defense, it’s usually August and especially September—the end of the fiscal year—that are ludicrous with extra work. I’ve been through many years where my supervisor refused to allow me to take a day off during September for a 1-day trip to see a medical specialist, even though I was already working 12 hours a day and weekends. Last August, I decided to just take a deep breath and press forward, assuming that all my projects with a drop-dead date of 30 September would be done by then and life would free up in October when the new fiscal year began.
It didn’t happen that way.
Looking back, I realize how overly focused I was on getting to October not because I’d finally have a sweeter workload and more time for dating and home life, but because of the oppressive feeling of “When is this ever going to let up?” Beyond all expectations, the projects with the 30 September drop-dead dates got extended into October, and at the end of October, I was finally where I’d expected to be a month earlier.
I kept thinking about how busy I was at the office. I kept thinking about how stressful work was becoming again because everyone’s schedules were slipping and coinciding so that a carefully juggled schedule that included one big project per week turning into everything coming due at once. After about 2 weeks of a lighter workload in November—I was at a spiritual retreat for half of that—I suddenly was back in the throes of work and crazy schedules.
I told myself it was only for a little while, an exception, that I wasn’t going back to the days of working late and weekends and not having a home life. I really worried about it, and you know what they say: if what you’re thinking about is what you’re planning, then your worrying about something is the same as planning it. I felt my life starting to spin out of balance as I gave up much of November and December to take care of work matters that only seemed to grow as I put more work into them. I had started doing the unthinkable….taking work home with me every night and ignoring my creative work, family life, exercise, eating right, and—(!)—romance. It’s unthinkable for me because I’ve done that too often in the past and for my own mental health, I can’t put work ahead of everything else in my life because my health immediately suffers. When I found out near Christmas that this new crazy influx of work would be my new norm, I panicked.
Panic didn’t make January go any more smoothly. The first few weeks were the busiest I’ve seen in over 20 years, but then I got my schedule juggled to the point where I could spend quality time on each project. Still, I kept focusing on how busy work was and how crazy my schedules…and within a week, everything lined up again. By “lined up,” I don’t mean that my world became lusciously aligned with positively. I mean that my spread-out schedule of projects suddenly rammed into each other and they were all due at the same time again.
Time travel and cloning, I said, should not be a requirement for me to get my job done.
I was so worried about letting something in my workload slip or not being able to get something to the guys in Iraq or Afghanistan on time because I couldn’t be three places at once. My boss seemed perfectly happy with my performance—more than I would have thought—but I was the one who wasn’t happy with how much I was doing—from the point of view of doing too much and not doing enough.
I walked into work today complaining about how my 2 immoveable objects that are my regular workload just got switched around to coincide with the 3 unstoppable forces that have been assigned to me throughout the rest of this year. When is it going to let up? I kept thinking.
…Just before I got a notice that I’m overdue on 4 mandatory training classes that should have been done yesterday.
Can you feel the downward spiral into more and more work? Hurtling toward rock bottom? Because the last thing to hit me was a notification of a periodic security investigation that I need to make a top priority and get my paperwork together for—this month. What am I supposed to do with this? This is crazy. Crazy! Cr….
Whoa. If I’ve learned anything from studying the Law of Attraction, it’s that being upset, angry, overworked, etc, and getting “more of the same” is a big clue to stop and see where I am. I’ve been focused more than anything else on how busy I am and this insane schedule with my day job. I’ve been putting off romantic liaisons, fun trips, and home projects because I’ve been worried that I’d have to drop something for work. This has been precisely the wrong thing to do.
So I’m backing up and not worrying about schedules. They seem to have a life of their own, with no help from me. I’ll handle whatever’s on my desk and get to it in the order someone sends it. If other people can control their schedules, I’ll keep a window open for their projects and fill it with something else if they miss it…and then let them get in the back of the line for the next open slot.
I’m re-focusing on getting through each day productively and pleasantly, with interesting and pleasant discussions with customers and co-workers, and going home on time to spend an hour or more exercising, eating a healthy dinner, sharing pleasantries with my teen, socializing with someone delightful, and indulging myself in some creative and fulfilling work. I’m re-focusing on upcoming weekend trips, romantic get-togethers, social and spiritual gatherings, and planting flowers in my garden. Walking in the moonlight, walking in the sunshine, painting my toenails.
That’s better. I felt the shift from panicked and busy to being able to breathe again serenely.