It is time to get back to the real world.
I spent the last three and a half days just hanging out in a different city. What does Melanie Wilson do when family shouts her a trip to Melbourne? Shop in factory outlets for glam bargains, watch a musical which feels freakishly relatable, then spend a whole afternoon in an art gallery. It's a good way to spend a few days. But it did something to my brain.
There is a strange feeling being isolated away from those who depend on our work. Let's call them stakeholders. Anyone who has taken a break from work/study/volunteering will understand the difficulty in returning to normal.
There is a habit we get into on holidays. Perhaps extreme quietness was the perfect contrast for a normally busy life. It showed me why I enjoy making the most of every minute of life.
I grew too used to the habits of holiday life. Wake up in the middle of the morning. Reluctantly drag self from hotel apartment, to restaurant downstairs. Drag self back upstairs to catch goss about Kardashians on morning television. Drag self to afternoon entertainment. Indulge in holiday treats such as cocktails or churros. Dawdle back to hotel apartment, nibbling on room service meals whilst blogging. This is all very fun. I loved it, in all seriousness. But I am no longer in the workaholic routine.
So, sitting in the apartment at the end of the holiday, I tried to gather thoughts on the workaholic to do list. There was a bit of a blank. Where was that creative energy? Where was the momentum? Wait, why do I even think I'm losing momentum? Let's look at the facts.
People always tell me to slow down. But if I slow down, I stop. Maybe that's the strangeness of being Melanie. I mean, I actually made calls about voluntary projects every night during the holiday. That's what feels balanced. I still got to do the fun leisurely activities expected of a holiday. Just also published stuff and phoned about planned meetings at the same time.
This reminds me a bit of those long summer school holidays in the suburbs. I would spend two months of my life wondering, what now? Can't I just get back to doing everything and seeing everyone? Now, years later, the iPhone allows me to feed my workaholic addiction on the road. Or on the plane. Any time.
Despite these small tastes of workaholism, I am ready to return to the full swing of business. I love all of it. I love the full time commercial work, the freelancing side projects, the postgrad studies, the voluntary committees... I can't get enough of the graphics, writing, speaking, strategising, all of it. There is always a bit more. More to try, more to experience.
Workaholism, like any addiction, pushes to its limits until it affects everyday functioning of life. It consumes one's whole person. I crave work like candy. It's engaging, meaningful, identifiable, you name it. It's all I have ever been comfortable with.
I, I'm Melanie, and I'm a workaholic.
The first step to recovery is admitting a problem.