I can remember the first time someone said it to me. I can remember where I was and what I was doing. I was a summer intern with a Congressman during law school. I had worked on a project until late in the evening and then brought in a freshly baked chocolate cake the next morning.
“You must have more hours in the day than the rest of us.”
I remember how it made me feel. I felt good. I felt strong. I felt special. It must be how some people feel when they do drugs for the first time.
I wanted to feel that way again. I might not always be the prettiest or the smartest but I could be the most capable. I call it hyper-capable and I define myself by my ability to do more, achieve more, be more.
There are worse things to be addicted to I suppose then your ability to squeeze the maximum amount of accomplishment out of every day. Most of the time, it serves me well. With three kids and a husband and a home and a blog and clients, I don’t really have much of the choice.
It works great…until it doesn’t.
During times of transition or exhaustion or illness, I am forced to slow down. As Bonnie Raitt says, “You can only go as fast as the slowest part of you can go.” The slowing down, the saying no, the resting does not come easy to me.
It doesn’t feel like the ebb and flow of life. It feels like failure.
As the mess stacks up around me, I feel so overwhelmed. As my list of want-to’s and need-to’s and HAVE-to’s gets longer, I lose myself.
If I’m not the girl with more hours in the day, then who am I?
Deep down, my fear of slowing down – of doing less – is about more than my identity. It’s about my worth. I can feel myself striving. I can feel myself desperately trying to prove that I’m worth the time, the energy, the love.
A dear friend recently encouraged me to take the DISC personality assessment and I scored a NINETY-NINE on the I for Influential – aka People Oriented. Not surprisingly, what others think about me is VERY important.
Since acceptance and approval by others is the main desire of I Personality Types, Rejection is their biggest fear.
I strive and I do and I go. I say yes to meetings and “opportunities” and cries for help because the relationships I have with other people – even mere acquaintances – are so important to me.
Meanwhile the relationship with those I’m closest too – and my relationship with myself – suffers.
And 200 more hours in the day won’t fix that.