I don't know about you, but today's devotional really applied to me, yesterday - and, it seems, every Thursday.
As a freelance writer and editor, I spend the vast majority of time in front of my computer (I pretty much live here), and part of that time is trying to make sure I have enough projects to provide for my family. I try my best to line them up so I don't end up having to spend all my time on one project and sacrificing other work. But you know what they say about the best laid plans.
Yesterday's battle came because with one particular project. I had underestimated the time I needed to get it done so I ended up going over the deadline I'd set for it. When it was ready to be proofread I had planned to receive it on a certain day and to have another project finished by the time this one came in. That didn't happen so I didn't get started on it for another four days.
This four-day project was another example of how I underestimated how long it would take to finish a project. What was supposed to have taken a couple of hours, took four days. On the fifth day, I realized that the work I had done on the fourth day didn't save. So, I spend another day redoing what I had already done. Which set me another day behind.
My other client got really upset because he had this trip planned (which he didn't tell me about until then) and needed to take his project (finished) with him. That was fine. I told him I could still finish by that date and would work hard to meet it.
I have already made many sacrifices to make sure my work gets done. I tried to explain that to my client -- but I really have to learn to keep my mouth shut -- but my explanation wasn't taken as a "here's what I'm doing to get it done". I think my client took it as a list of excuses why I couldn't get it done.
Then my client commented that "perhaps if you had worked earlier...". I know my client was right, but what they didn't know was that there was a week where I felt like doing absolutely nothing. I still worked, but not as much as I would have normally. And, yes, I could have had a good chunk of the work done. I think that one particular week I just needed a break. But that came back to haunt me. So, I'm certainly not inclined or will be afraid of taking any sort of break in the future.
So, I was riddled with guilt over that, and riddled with guilt that I had taken time to get some basic things done. It has made me not want to take any time off at all - even for such simple things as eating and showering.
I don't believe that what I have on my plate is too much. It's just that things didn't go according to what I had planned despite my best efforts and ended up all landing on me at the same time.
This all culminated on a Thursday. Everything seems to culminate on Thursday. I like Mondays. I hate Thursdays. Doesn't matter what I do, Thursdays I'm always grumpier and things always go as wrong as possible.
So, I'm giving up fighting. I had already determined months ago that I would let the Lord have every minute of my day. I still do and will. I think it has only added to the disappointment of yesterday that I have been doing this and still my one client wasn't happy. Things still landed in a heap all at once.
I don't for a second believe that God has failed me in this. I know I have followed His leading every day and I have gotten the work done that He wants me to. Although I'm a little surprised at the last two weeks because that is not at all how I envisioned things working out. I have always struggled with time management and thought I was finally getting a handle on it.
Perhaps the lesson is now I realize how long these things take so I can plan better. Perhaps the lesson is to keep my mouth shut and not explain myself except to say "I'm working as hard and as fast as I can". Perhaps the lesson (as a couple of people have suggested) is to charge more so I don't have to take on as much - I'm still contemplating that one. Perhaps the lesson is I really don't have any control over my circumstances and there is only one who does. I have already learned this. Certainly yesterday reinforced that.
The only thing I can do is keep working. Once I'm focused on finishing something it gets done. Perhaps when this is all done I can take a big breath and calmly move on to the next thing. Perhaps when this is all done the schedule I had hoped for will be realized and I will appreciate the calmness instead of looking for more work to fill my time. Perhaps I will finally be able to settle down with a schedule that will not require my time virtually 24/7.
Part of my frustration is that in these times where I work so long and hard, my house reminds me of how neglected it is. My dog hasn't had a bath. Dishes don't get washed. Laundry doesn't get done. The baby spends his days in the playpen. The dustbunnies are fruitful and multiply. The warm summer days (what we had of them) are gone and I haven't spent anytime in my garden or outside with the dog or.... This isn't the happy medium I envisioned when I wanted to work from home. I knew it would take a while to establish a clientele and a balance and I'm still praying for that realization.
Anyway...must get back to it. Perhaps this is one break I shouldn't have taken, but when the Lord says, "click on that button" - I can't say, 'no'.
What are you fighting with?
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