Home Page

Monday, June 02, 2008

Stretched Thin

I feel stretched so thin, you can see through me. Inside me and through me, as though there isn't enough bulk to constitute an entire being. And goodness knows, those of you who know me or have seen me, are well aware that I'm pretty substantial in terms of 'being'.

I'm a strong person. A practical and responsible person. Dependable, reliable, I don't bend or break, but right now, I feel stretched to breaking point. I think with people like me, it takes a lot to make us lose our cool, a lot to be frozen into inactivity, but there are times, I do feel that might happen to me.

It's a strange thing to seemingly never catch up, to never even nose ahead a little now and then. I feel like I'm in a constant maintenance mode and that every time I finish something (and more often than not, before I do), yet another piece of work lands on my desk. Any hope to catch up on business reading, to properly prepare for yet another project meeting, are constantly dashed. It feels like scooting along by the seat of my pants all the time.

It's a little bit scary as my boss is newly pregnant and already complaining of extreme tiredness. What will this mean for me? Not so tired she can't take numerous short vacations over the next three months or so, mind you. Time away means I'm in the hot seat on each of those days she's not here. Which technically means my work plus her work. She's a real "let's do this, let's do that" kind of person, with this and that being extraneous to an already full workload. It's a thin line to walk between being excited about something that is good for us, and trying to put a spanner in the works because it would be more fun to finish something well before starting on the next big idea. A thin line to traverse very carefully lest one appears negative, or even worse, cynical.

Maybe I'm just getting a little too old for this game. Maybe I'm realising there's more to life than this. Maybe I need more balance in my life. Maybe I'm a big fraud who really can't cope with all this and just pretends to. But if I put in less hours here, what happens to the work? I don't want to appear ineffective but I think I've been doing it for so long, people have lost sight of how many sheer hours I put in here.


kimba said...

Maybe you need to see your husband?

No. Seriously. I feel like that too sometimes.. and blogging it helps - acknowledges that overworking to paralysis isn't us being incompetent - it is our bosses being unrealistic.

Darlin' you'll get there - and if you get there in your own time - no-one is going to die from a report a day late or a week late for that matter.

I know that for a fact.

S'mee said...

It's the old living to work or working to live problem. I made the decision years ago that providing there was decent roof with a fire in the grate and food on the table, that would be enough.

Just take it easy Fi. You are more important than the job. SUH.

Trueself said...

I don't want to appear ineffective but I think I've been doing it for so long, people have lost sight of how many sheer hours I put in here.

I can relate well to that sentiment. In a former job of mine nobody really realized the hours I put in both in the office and from home until after we adopted N. At that point, I told my boss that I would have to limit myself to mostly 40 hour weeks with extra hours to be the exception rather than the rule. It quickly became apparent that my job had to be divided into two with a new full time person to take on half. I suppose I should have been more assertive about the burden that I bore except that before N I was perfectly happy and content to pour myself into my work day and night. It was only the change in life circumstance that changed me. Perhaps it is your change of circumstance that has changed you.

Just my thoughts. Your mileage may vary.

Fusion said...

I second what everyone said here already. Time to let others share the load, or you'll end up in overload, burned out. Your company is big enough to hire some more help, make them do it, or you may have to look for other options. And yes, you need your hubby :)

anna said...

Maybe you're realizing that you're not where you belong. Maybe there are other things you want more than excelling at your job.

Also, I know I don't need to tell you this, but you need to put your foot down and decide when enough is enough.

~Tim said...

Sounds like something needs to change. I sure know what it's like to be overwhelmed with work and... stuff. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Work is not worth killing yourself over. Slow down.

What happens if you slow down? Not just in terms of work but in terms of your life. What does work provide you with that you're not getting someplace else? Now I sound like a freakin shrink.

You say you want balance. Do it. Nobody will give it to you. It's something you have to make for yourself.

Veracity said...

Time to cut down on work... definitely.

Loving Annie said...

Sounds like you're doing waaaaay too much and that they are taking you for granted, Fiona...

There so much even Superwoman can only do. Of course you're going to feel stretched too thin.

I've got no solutions, just empathy.

What are the choices you are willing to make right now with regard to your job ?

Fiona said...

Kimba...no maybe about it!! We need to more than 'see' each other, too ;) I'm with you there on the 'unrealistic' but I wonder if I've helped create it - the old nothing is too much for me routine. I've danced a fair dance, I'm just getting tired of the pace. Still love the work, just not the pace. I'm getting old *L*

Hi Ian - well I've got a decent rented roof, and an wonderful air-con instead of the grate. Food in abundance. I know I have 'enough' and that I know what the niceties in life, not just the necessities. I'll get there. Steve and I will get there :) P.S. What? no urging of caution?? *L*

TS - I've left this company twice and returned twice after the person who came after me couldn't cope. I know I create a lot of this myself, by taking on so much. I guess I used to forge my entire identity through my work and now my identity is wife AND employee, with wife definitely coming first :)

Hi John - you're right....I DO need him and I WANT him, too :) Yes, we are big enough, and there is a commitment to another body in the department...she's dragging her feet on initiating anything, though, but I've made it very clear - once I'm living the married life with my husband here, I am NOT going to work these long evenings! Something will transpire at some point, whether they like it or not!

Well, Anna, right now it's a good stable salary that's pushing savings to a good place. I want that for another year or two. After that (and I've told her this too), I want to make some changes in where I am and what I do. My priorities have changed a lot over the past couple of months ;)

Hiya Tim :) Hanging in, oh yes, hanging all right *L*...I like being stretched, just not stretched to the point of breaking. I'm capable of producing a lot, and contributing a lot, but I want respite now and then...yanno? :)

LOL Deb at the 'freakin shrink' bit - I think we all feel like that when we comment, from time to time ;) You're absolutely right that noone will give it to me and I will have to create it for myself. And I'm a gonna. Hell yes I am...come September :) :) :)

Veracity - hiya :) A lot of people say work smarter, not harder but I'm doing the smarter bit already. I want to slow down, I want to do less but do it better. I'm going to get there very soon!!

Loving Annie - well when I told my boss I'm looking at no more than three more years here (some months ago), she about fell off her chair and went into panic mode. She relies on me, maybe a little too much, and I am going to have to wean her off me along the way. That's my plan and long-term, I want more elsewhere, which will mean less here.

Thank you all for your kind words and support :)


free html hit counter