Today is a lovely day! I woke up to thunderstorms and rains at 6 and then went to sleep again and woke up at 9 AM. I could afford to do that because it’s a holiday today. Eid Mubarak to my Muslim friends!
It’s May and the temperature is comfy 27 degrees Celsius. I am sitting on the bed next to the window, typing this away. Outside, there’s the pitter-patter of rain on rooftops and treetops. There is a white oleander downstairs brightening up to the rains with its lovely white flowers. Farther away, there are the big jackfruit trees with their dark green leaves and the wood apples with their recent crop of lime-green baby leaves. I love looking out the window and being greeted by this water-washed green. It is beautiful! More importantly, the light that’s filtering in through the window has a translucent quality, the quality of glass or clear water. That and the temperature makes my day!
You won’t believe the thing I’m researching on the internet today.
How to care less about work?
I don’t think this is a very relatable problem. I suppose most of us have very clearly defined boundaries when it comes to paid work. If one is paid for it and based on how much they are paid, they work. If they are not, they couldn’t care less. Many of us have this inherent compass which helps us judge how much work is worth our time and pay and accordingly say no to extra work.
Not me. I should say I am one of those Type A personalities who are too detail-oriented and want everything done right. I strongly feel it’s based in how I was raised. I was taught to do exceptionally well a school. I was promised that the world has amazing things in store for high achievers.
Then I grew up and I realized the world does not always work like that. There’s an upper limit to how much money/success you can earn at whatever stage in life. And I’ve come to realize over time that spending hours extra at work for mere thousands in an annual bonus isn’t the success perhaps my elders had envisioned for me.
But I can’t stop. I can’t stop my ambition to be good enough for my internal standards (which are perhaps always higher than what my bosses have for me). I have always been asking for more work because I wanted to know more. I wanted to be in a position where my voice has value, and I can get things done in the “right” way. I wanted to be someone to reckon with, someone people look up to and respect.
I do realize now what I missed out on in all of these. I forgot how to care about myself. I never learnt how to care beyond work and care for the people in my life. To really understand what is important in life and what isn’t.
And so, on this beautiful day, what I am searching for on Google is how to care a little less about work. It’s not with the intention to cheat at work and work for 3 hours of work when I get paid for 8 but more about saying no to the less important things. I think that can only start if we give enough importance to our personal lives. It comes by putting our whole self first, even before work. You are your investment. If you don’t look after yourself, no one else will. And you’re not just who you are at work. You are someone outside of work too – who is that person? Who does that person support in their life? Is that person present enough for the people in her life?
Have you guys ever faced this in your life? How do you slow down?