It’s been 18 days, and as a self-confessed workaholic, I can tell you that 18 days of making sure I’m not working at all was a day and a hair longer than an eternity for me.
Rarely did an hour pass in which I didn’t feel an overwhelming need to sneak away to the computer and write something, or build something on my website, or answer emails, or browse through comments, or tackle the ever growing to-do list that governs my usual day to day.
But, as the days ticked on, the nuts and bolts of my mind started to loosen and I started to finally appreciate my rest from work.
Let me tell you what everyday life is like for an awesome, slightly-chubby, beard-dying, workaholic blogger like me.
The vast majority of people think that all I do is sit down for half an hour every day, write something, throw it out there, then sit back and drink mojitos and watch HBO all day while I rake in the Benjamins.
Man. That would be nice.
What really happens in my typical 70-80 hour 7-day workweek is this:
Day one: my alarm goes off six hours after I finally went to bed. I grumble, hit the five-minute snooze, get sucked back into some awesome dream, and get annoyed when that five minutes is somehow over 30 seconds later. After much effort, I finally stumble out of bed hunched over more than Quasimodo (and only half as sexy), take care of my morning “demands”, splash water on my face to unsuccessfully wake myself up, brush my teeth, scrub the gunk off my tongue, and…
Too much information?
I agree. You don’t need to know the intricate details of my daily schedule and how I make this whole gig work. Just know that between writing, and editing, and creating new blog posts, and taking pictures, and finding stock photography, and doing all the background stuff for each post like SEO and HTML, and creating entertaining non-blog posts, and dealing with website hackers, and building pages, and working on my website, and working with developers, and working with business partners, and answering emails, and keeping connected on Facebook, and Twitter, and Pinterest, and Instagram, and reading and replying to comments, and hosting contests, and building Nifty Maps, and writing books, and dealing with server issues, and dealing with trolls, and dealing with threats, and dealing with stalkers, and finding videos to share, and making videos, and finding funny memes to share, and dealing with the media, and doing interviews, and working with ad agencies, and book publishers, and agents, and partnering with good causes and charities, and recording my podcast, and doing meet-and-greets, and holding book signings, and a hundred other little things…
Between all of that, I tend to work 70-80 hours each week on this thing. And because I also get to be a single dad which takes up all sorts of separate time on its own, those 70-80 hours generally span over all seven days of the week and usually late into the night, including (and always) while I’m on vacation.
I’ve been doing that for three and a half years now.
And my brain was wound so tightly between it all, and between friends, and family, and major life events, and the stresses of life, that… I got to the point that I was going to crack. It was to the point where I was just starting to be annoyed by almost everyone, all the time. The smallest things were setting me off or pushing me into bursts of depression. I was doing more damage than good in many of my relationships. And, I was going to crack.
Now, when I say crack, I don’t mean that I was going to explode and have a bad day. I mean that something deep down inside of me told me to put it all down and walk away or I would have a serious and long-lasting mental breakdown. You know which kind I’m talking about. The kind where you end up on the news because you were found walking around downtown naked and mentally unaware…
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