Monday, July 23, 2012


Saturday I went out shopping with a good friend who used to be my co-worker. She moved on to a new position about six months before I did. Her departure was part of what convinced me to look. I saw how happy she was in her new job, and it encouraged me.

Talking with her again, I was reminded about how frustrated I had been in my old job. I have a serious disease to please - and in the end, it ends up displeasing me. Each time I start a job, I promise myself I am not going to fall into the same trap, but eventually I find myself ending up there anyway. I want so much to do a good job, and get my figurative pat on the head. I end up sacrificing myself in the bargain.

I always try to go above and beyond. I guess that wouldn't be a bad thing except, eventually above and beyond becomes the new normal. It becomes the expectation I have to live up too. So I bring it up another notch... and so on.

Cut to five years later and I am typically exhausted and bitter. Yet it really is my own fault. I am not good at setting boundaries. I am not good at stepping back, and saying it's okay to let some things go. Instead I get a giant case of the "It's Not Fair!" and become a martyr.

When I get to this point of overload, I'm too tired to move on. So afraid wherever I go will be worse than where I am. I hate being in that bad place. So afraid of what could be out there, that I stop imagining what could be out there for me. 

Why do I always assume the grass is browner on the other side?

How do I keep myself true to going above and beyond when it's required, but learning to put myself first when it's not? 


  1. Make a promise to yourself, and write it down! Outline how much is too much, and read it occasionally. I'm the same way--finally in this job I wised up and set boundaries for myself.

  2. I understand where you are coming from. My therapist told me that my career is my calling and that I would not often find people to work with that felt the same about their job. I had a problem 'lowering' myself to their 'productivity' level, made me think I wasn't 'doing my best'...well, I have gotten over that because even on a bad day, I do more than the one staff person who's work ethic annoys me...I could go on and on...

  3. I try to remember that there are many more things that define me than just my job. That has been extremely critical when there has been NO job! That and my sweet husband keep me grounded. I'm very lucky to have a spouse who "gets" me. Despite my silly cat-blogging tendencies.
    ; )

  4. It’s a hard one! I have to set boundaries and pace myself otherwise I would collapse and be no good to anyone. I understand totally the dilemma and the frustration. xx

  5. Oh, I have the same problem. I have no idea how to keep a good balance.