Wired to be Workaholic

by misslampa

When I was in high school, I thought it was because I needed excellent marks to get myself into UP. When I finally made it to the Diliman campus, I thought it was because anyone who ever amounted to anything in UP had to work one’s butt off at some point during one’s university life. While I was in Xavier, I thought it was because my students and co-teachers deserved nothing less than all of me.

But now that I work in a less stressful environment and should get a taste of how it is to have my mornings and weekends off, I’m still every bit the workaholic I’ve always been. I’ve traveled all the way to Greenhills, Malate and QC for some weekday morning and weekend all-day tutorials, I’ve been up and about interviewing people for my occasional business and lifestyle articles, and I’ve been forcing myself [albeit not so successfully] to finish this 6-month online TESOL course in 3 so I can troop to Instituto Cervantes and start learning Spanish by July.

When it gets really, really toxic, I break free by spending all-nighters at fellow workaholic Juay’s place and together, we proofread biographies for the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation while sipping gourmet coffee to keep ourselves from falling asleep. And yes, some nerdy part of me finds this very therapeutic. [Don’t shoot me just yet, though. Juay says it has the same effect on her.]

The only difference this time around, it seems, is that there’s no scapegoat in sight. I’m left with no other option but to admit that I work work work willingly and joyfully because that’s what I am inclined to do. It’s been bothering me somewhat, that I find it hard to find fulfillment in doing nothing and in just being – even if I’m sure that allowing myself that much every now and then will be good for me. So much so that even when it’s a licensed doctor telling me that I need to rest, something in me flinches in protest. I had had throbbing headache the week after we went trekking [like my brain was palpitating or something], and although I just ignored it at first, one week’s too long for headache so I went to the hospital to have myself checked.

“You have vascular headache…you have to rest for two to three days. No strenuous activities, and stay away from the computer.”

“But I need that for work po.”

“Mag-absent ka.”

Of course I get that, dimwit. I just can’t seem to get my mind around what you just said, duh.

So what I did was miss one day of work instead of three. I washed dishes, went to the bank and the supermarket, read around a hundred pages of Wicked, and made three small tubs of homemade truffle ice cream with M&Ms and toasted almond slivers – all of which had me following the doctor’s advice, in my humble opinion.

I came to work the next day and was warmly welcomed by friends and colleagues who were yakking at me for being there, and my learner who’s an HR manager said that if she were my manager, she’d be forced by French labor policies to send me home to actually follow the doctor’s advice. Hmm, there must really be something wrong with me.

And for a while there, I considered the need to unlearn some things so they can make way for habits which would fall under appropriate human behavior. But not for a while longer. There’s something twisted about everyone else anyway; what I need to learn, I guess, is to just live with mine.

24 May 09, 11:59 p.m.

_______________

Postscript: Fast forward to two years after and I think I’m finally getting good at being less of a workaholic.Ü And oh, I now have 100 hours of Spanish under my belt…but don’t ask me to converse in that language just yet!

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3 Comments to “Wired to be Workaholic”

  1. Hey Donna Cielo! Where have you been hiding your writing??? Ayan, now I have more worthwhile things to read on the Internet. I am seriously worrying that there is not enough sites that provide well-written articles!!! Lahat sobrang ikli or lists, feeding the “public’s” need for easy-to-digest information. Writing essays is a dying art. LOL

    • It’s been on Multiply all this time, anuba. And everything else that I’ve been paid to write, I don’t post them since the publications are supposed to have copyright…right? Here’s to all of us who can’t live without immortalizing part of ourselves with words, Teacher Juay!

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