Anxiety and I are on first name basis. See, I have trouble sleeping, or I used to until I discovered that working lots of hours helps me sleep. So last year I started working 50+ hours a week every week, often working on Sundays too. The result was that I was earning a lot more money, falling to sleep far easier than I had ever been before, and just being productive. However, the anxiety hasn’t gone away as much as I hoped it would. Instead, I’ve been anxious in new ways. Ways I’m only just wrapping me head around now that I can understand how they’ve been altering my thought process. Another problem with working so many hours is that I often feel run down, and writing is an intense intellectual task. It might not put much pressure on the limbs, but the brain consumes a lot of energy writing and the level and quality of prose I’ve been producing has suffered with my increased working hours. So something in my life needs to change.
Normally, I can’t say no to extra work. I just say yes, yes, yes, and the work hours pile up and gold coins tumble into my savings. So much so that I’ve worked a lot of 12+ hour days in the last 6+ months. Just yesterday I worked 12 hours for example. I’m feeling it today. Feeling crabby and even a little gross because I also was so tired when I got home I was too tired to take a shower and just crawled into bed and fell asleep instantly. Personally, I’m one of those “clean for bed” types and scrub myself down before going near my sheets. Not one of those wake up to shower barbarians (joke). However, yesterday, I did something different. I rejected a job. I said no, thank you, but I was too busy and couldn’t fix their problem for them despite the cash incentive. It sounds silly, but I found this really hard to do because I have this anxiety that if I say no to work then I won’t get anymore work in the future. It was probably very rational for me to think this ten years ago, but now its a bit silly. I have too much work, and leaving a bit more for other people to do and earn is probably a better allocation of resources.
I don’t want to end up working 50+ hours every week. I want to work 30 hours per week and earn twice as much as I am currently. That’s not an unrealistic goal of mine, in fact, it is a very realistic goal that I could achieve by the end of this year even if I take a chance. Take the chance to cut back my working hours to half of what they are so I can spend my time working on my studies and marketing for my main occupation: philosophical therapist. The problem with taking this chance is my anxiety about taking a drop in my income. If I cut back my hours to half, I will have plenty to live off, but if I maintained my current income I could actually afford to buy a house of my own in a couple of years. Cutting back my hours presents a risk and my anxieties are going nuts over this. Even though in the past I have taken much bigger risks. Rather, my anxieties are specific to money and taking financial risks like cutting back my work hours. However, last week I had a break through in understanding why my thought process was so bogged down with anxiety on this. I will write about the details of my revelation on my therapy blog in the next few days but for now I’ve feeling more confident than before in pushing back jobs in order to make time for my career and writing.
For those of you looking forward to the next installment of the Paximani, guess what? In an hour or two I will post part four up here. It’s been finished for over a week I just haven’t had the chance to proof read it so stay tuned for that coming at you soon.