Confessions of a work-a-holic

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My name is Rebekah and I’m a work-a-holic.

If one more person tells me I work too hard or really need to learn how to relax, I may very well head-butt them.

You see, I usually work 6 days a week and even on the 7th, still check my blog, email and social media. When I am on holidays, I take the laptop and end up writing a blog or 7.

I don’t know how to take big slabs of time and turn them into anything other than writing. I am OK with that.

If you fall into this category of being accused of being a workaholic, here’s why you should be OK with it, too.

Creating is what we’re here for

In times gone by we had things like major pestilence, Genghis Khan or being munched on by critters to worry about. Our main focus was on creating other humans, and creating food, shelter, technology and a means of survival.

Nowadays we have less pressing things to worry about. Like whether or not it is indeed evil to include caramel in a latte, or whether someone remembered to tape ‘Breaking Bad’.

So we channel all that drive and desire to create a mark on the world into careers, side jobs, family and projects. We’ve still got drive and ambition to create amazing things, and we still want to leave our mark on the world somehow. Even if that mark is creating an identity through fashion or being the class clown, we’re still trying to build something.

Conversely, if we feel like we’re not leaving our mark or doing something worthwhile, our mental health will suffer along with our self worth.

Creating is what we like to do, and we should never be ashamed of it! Why should you? It’s part of who you are, after all!

I stop, my engine stalls

If Usain Bolt doesn’t train every day, does he have a harder time getting back into the swing of things?

I wonder this a lot because I find if I give myself a weekend off, I lose the next week to wobbly attention span and spacey brain syndrome. I only have one switch and it’s happiest ON. If I select OFF, that cold engine of mine needs a hell of a lot of tender loving care to come back to life.

Knowing this, I don’t turn it off. Instead, I scatter work tasks about the place, cover my walls in ideas, don’t follow the whole tracking paid hours versus unpaid hours or stop myself from “working”.

If I want to relax, I doodle out an idea, read an eBook, make notes from the latest shipment of books I’ve bought, clean out my Inbox, schedule my social media, read blog portals or something else semi work related.

Things become unstuck pretty quickly if I don’t have a routine. It makes me anxious and the joy turns to dread. So I do what makes me efficient and happy.

If other people don’t understand that, it’s not really my problem.

Work is one channel, others do multichannel

I write my keyboard thumping little fingers off every day. I read for leisure. Leaving the house without a notebook is simply out of the question. I am cracked out on the written word and to some that looks pretty bad because everything I do revolves around creating for my job.

Conversely, my partner has a 9 to 5 job he can do standing on his head with an iguana squirming in his pocket. He also teaches guitar, plays in 4 bands, has a black belt in karate, a green belt in judo, a white belt in jujitsu and has just started teaching kids martial arts classes.

He used to tell me I worked too much, until I pointed out he works the exact same hours, only he does it across job/music/sport and I write. The only problem he has now is envy – because I don’t have to drive all over town to fulfil my ambitions and he does. Ha!

Other friends juggle kids, startups, networking, sucking up to investors and family.

I look at it this way

Some of us split our goals and aims across a few different categories. Others focus in on only one or two things.

Mr T says: I pity the fool

Isn’t it all just part of the same passion project called “life”?

I’m a work-a-holic who gets my kicks from being the biggest content creating marketing nerd that I can be. And I’m proud of it.

How about you? Can you say the same thing?

A little bit of magic from Rebekah Lambert
Rebekah’s a word weaving ninja who combines 17 years marketing experience with creativity and in-depth knowledge of consumer behaviour to build copy and campaigns customers love. Well, at least that’s what her mum keeps telling her. You can catch up with her rambles at www.unashamedlycreative.com.au.

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  1. Thanks for such a great post Bek. I can definitely relate to being told – and thinking – that I “work too much”. I’ve never thought to reframe it as something I like to spend my time on.

    That said, I’m still working towards having a little more variety in my week!

    • BEKDiscordia says:

      Thank you very much for having me Belinda! Was a treat to air my dirty laundry on your site.

      Variety is great- and I think is key. If it was writing the same old thing, dealing with only one project each week (after week, after week), I’d probably be a lot less enthusiastic.

      I do need to remember to play more though. If you’re ever Sydney side, we should skip the coffee and meet at the dog park.

  2. Trish Arnott says:

    Great post, Bek. On a similar note: I just tell people that I manage a number of activities, all of which I enjoy and for some of which I get paid. Everything I do, read or hear is grist for the writing mill so, in that sense, I’m always ‘working’.

    • BEKDiscordia says:

      That feels the same for me, too. Even when I was on salary, I’d still come home and write for 5 hours a night with work emails in the background. Or when I was younger, would cheerfully do my day job from 5am teleconferences through to 9pm product testing and hosting. I just didn’t know that was the case until people started questioning it so much more as a freelancer.

      Think that’s the odd bit, too. If you’re on someone else’s payroll, chasing a career at a company, it feels as though people are more comfortable with that than seeing a freelancer do it? Do you have the same experience?

  3. charlotte calder says:

    Onya Bek – great to be out and proud :) !

  4. Kathy Cope says:

    Yup, I get it! I live and breathe my current passions, occasionally allowing my family and friends to divert me from my course, lol! Husband spends hours in the yard and doing his thing but it hasn’t yet clicked that we are doing the same thing!

    • BEKDiscordia says:

      It’s funny how many people view it all as separate. Life is one big project and whatever you focus on or put hours into should give you satisfaction. Even if it’s work!

  5. Finally, someone who won’t tell me, “it’s okay, take a week off, you’re kiling yourself with these hours.” I love what I do and there are so many aspects of blogging that I’m always doing a bit of this and a bit of that.

  6. [...] Rebekah’s a word weaving ninja who combines 17 years marketing experience with creativity and in-depth knowledge of consumer behaviour to build copy and campaigns customers love. Well, at least that’s what her mum keeps telling her. You can catch up with her rambles at Unashamedly Creative or read some confessions here. [...]

  7. [...] Rebekah’s a word weaving ninja who combines 17 years marketing experience with creativity and in-depth knowledge of consumer behaviour to build copy and campaigns customers love. Well, at least that’s what her mum keeps telling her. You can catch up with her rambles at Unashamedly Creative or read some confessions here. [...]

  8. [...] Rebekah’s a word weaving ninja who combines 17 years marketing experience with creativity and in-depth knowledge of consumer behaviour to build copy and campaigns customers love. Well, at least that’s what her mum keeps telling her. You can catch up with her rambles at Unashamedly Creative or read some confessions here. [...]

  9. [...] Rebekah’s a word weaving ninja who combines 17 years marketing experience with creativity and in-depth knowledge of consumer behaviour to build copy and campaigns customers love. Well, at least that’s what her mum keeps telling her. You can catch up with her rambles at Unashamedly Creative or read some confessions here. [...]

  10. […] Rebekah’s a word weaving ninja who combines 17 years marketing experience with creativity and in-depth knowledge of consumer behaviour to build copy and campaigns customers love. Well, at least that’s what her mum keeps telling her. You can catch up with her rambles at Unashamedly Creative or read some confessions here. […]

  11. […] weekends, I think I’m probably due. Of course my version of a holiday will still be doing work (it is my personal crack after all!), but just not for other people. It’ll be for […]

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