I have always been a dreamer; always thinking about what I want to do with my life. I know that we start this at about age 3, and based on what I hear from people both younger and much older than me, this never stops. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I love that I’m always growing and changing; looking for things that make me dream. I used to think that it made me flaky; always trying something just to give it up, but I don’t agree with that. There are so many things to do, see, try, experience; and yes, I want to do them all! I’m not giving up. It’s just like eating a new dish and deciding you like it. You aren’t going to eat it every day, forever! It’s ok to move on.
I’m almost 40. I have worked at a career job since I was 20. I know that for those older than me that doesn’t seem long, and probably for those younger, who have already started living their dreams (I know you’re out there), you think, “WTH!? 20 years and you’re still doing it?? Uh…No.” I honestly feel the same way, but the logic, fear, and need for security (i.e., money) keeps me at bay.
I have recently started putting a lot of time and energy into getting very serious about what is going to make me happy. What do I want to do for the next 20 years? I know that I want to travel. I’ve always wanted to travel, but now I mean for a living and to places I choose! Not to Ohio or Pittsburgh for a meeting, and not once a year because that’s all the “time” I have available. I really want to explore the world on my schedule!
I recently upgraded my Fitbit to the Charge HR. It tells you your steps, calorie burn, heart rate, etc. What I noticed…and the reason for the title of this blog…is that when I’m doing something I enjoy; reading, blogging, resting, watching TV…my heart rate sits around 73. However, when I’m working, which generally means a lot of email jockeying, it jumps up somewhere between 85 to 88 almost every time! If I’m getting ready to get on a conference call it can go up to 90 or higher. I don’t feel stressed, frustrated (most of the time), nervous, or angry, but obviously my body disagrees. I started paying attention to the physical signs, and I do notice a tightening in my chest and a feeling that I can only call “urgency” during these times.
I came across an article from 2013, and thought it was worth sharing. It was done by The Telegraph, and is very fact based, but it definitely supports what I’m going through. It says, “Researchers who followed a group of 30 government employees found that 83 percent became more stressed while using email, rising to 92 per cent when speaking on the phone and using email at the same time.” To read it click here. I also found a more recent article from the Huffington Post that agrees. “Email makes many of us feel anxious, overwhelmed and stressed.”
Long story, short…I am not getting any younger. My body is definitely feeling the impact of this, and I’m certain there are many other things happening that are negatively affecting my health when this is occurring. I really want to get to a place where I’m getting joy out of my “job”. I know that unless I win the lottery or a long lost relative suddenly leaves me an inheritance, I’m not going to be able to stop working any time soon. But I do need to find that thing that I love doing so that I can meet my needs for security while also fulfilling my wanderlust.
I don’t want death by email!