"I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."
- Vincent Van Gogh
It has been a very long two days, filled with congestion and progress reports. I'm not sure which was most the cause for my swimmy head.
Over the past 10 years (Oh my god...has it really been that long?!), I have spent so much of my time, my energy, my life, focused on my work. It's good work...meaningful, life-changing work, at times...but is still defined by the word it is: work. It is not (or it should not be) my life. Most of the people I share my days with, though they mean a great deal to me, are not my family. The children I spend my time with are not my offspring. And, although I love many parts of what I do, most importantly, it is not me.
This is a hard realization for me to come to terms with.
For so long I have defined myself by what I do. No hobbies, no extra-curricular activities, no other serious interests. And the parts of my life that really are the most important things--my true values--have suffered. I have suffered...without even knowing.
It is the hour of reckoning, (she says, rather ominously).
With my 47th birthday looming, I find myself trying to discover--or maybe redefine--who I am and what I want. It is not an easy task, and it is frequently an uncomfortable position to be in. But I'm catching glimpses. I am trying to honestly listen to and trust my own instincts. I'm trying to let go of assumptions and decisions that were made so very long ago and to face, instead, the reality of myself that is here at this moment.
I feel hopeful for the future, though I'm not entirely sure what it will look like. I do know, however, that I'd like my mind back...my soul back...my "me" back. And the only way to accomplish this is to move forward one step at a time.