I think I may need a new title for this string because it's less and less about my weight and more and more about who I am and want to be.
I do not want to work so hard any more -- there, I said it. I want to have time to swim longer. I want to be able to go to dinner with friends once in awhile. I am desperate -- desperate -- for a vacation. I do not want this life. It is sucking me dry.
I love the work, most of the time. I hate when people get nasty because I cannot solve their problem, and since I cannot be all things to all people, there are going to be problems I can't solve. I hate fundraising and I don't think I'm very good at it, try as I might. I've worked with a professional grant writer to get some lessons, but the biggest problem seems to be how small we are. How can we get bigger unless someone takes a chance on us? How can someone take a chance on us while we are so small? Circular.
This all kind of became clear to me when I wrote last time that the only time I lost weight without being sick was when I lived in Miami, taught a manageable schedule, swam a lot, and had fun. I know I can't get there today with the job I have. There is no room for health in my life. And that is emphatically not okay.
I don't want to leave Advocacy for Patients -- and let's be real -- if I left right now, there would be no more Advocacy for Patients. I'd hate to blow the strides I've made. I'd hate to leave people without someone to help them. But if I took a vacation right now, it would be tantamount to committing malpractice -- I have too many cases close to deadlines, in which I'm begging doctors for medical records. I'm trying to teach Nicole and Echo to do some of that sort of routine work, but nobody's at the point yet of being able to equal me in knowledge and output. And if I weren't as fast as I am, there's no way I would be able to stay on top of the mountain of work we have.
And since at least some of our Board thinks I could be doing more if I were healthier, I don't know how they are going to react to me telling them I want to do less. I may have to take a pay cut. I may have to hire someone more experienced than Nicole to come on board, and figure out how to pay that person. I don't know. But I do know that I have no life, that I can't get healthy working 15+ hours a day.
And so I am practicing what I have to say: I do not want to work this hard any more. I do not. What the Board will do about that is at least partly out of my hands. But I have made my decision. It's not about working at home. It's not about hiring staff. It's about me and my health and my state of mind. I do not want my life to revolve around work any more. I've given the last 25 years of my life to work. It's time I took some of that life back.
I'm scared to death. Work has defined me for so long. I don't know who I'll be without it. But I know I have to find out. Jennifer