Friday, December 23, 2011

A Holiday Moment for the Routine Workaholic

For a non-workaholic, the holiday season is a time where we're with family. We can reflect on the things we're thankful for and become filled with hope for the coming new year.

The workaholic however, believes in these things and knows they mean something but sadly seem to neglect them. The workaholic always has horse-blinders on.

I am a workaholic.

I walk fast, talk fast, think fast, drive fast and eat fast. Every moment of the day is crucial, and there aren't enough moments in the day. It's all about how many and how much.

Workaholics are always asking questions like: When does this need to go out? When is this coming in? 7 days a week, 24 hours a day; A workaholic's life is lived on a balance sheet.

If it weren't for Facebook I'd forget everyone's birthday including my own. New Year, Thanksgiving and Christmas don't seem to even exist until they arrive, and once they do arrive they're almost painful to deal with.

Why is this?

I beleive it's because of routine.

Routine is my comfort and solace. My Rock of Gibraltar. It's the one thing that allows me to keep going during when times are tough, and the thing that allows me to make deadlines when business is strong. The only problem is when routine becomes addiction.

Like the gambler who finally wins the jackpot and becomes annoyed. All the gambler wants to do is keep the routine. Routine can either be something very good, or something very bad.

I breathe, eat and sleep business. I dream of it, and the only thing I love more than winepine is my wife and family. I just wish my wife and family would believe that! The routine seems to have captured all of my mind, heart and soul.

In a strange set of circumstances, my routine was broken just a few hours ago..

I spoke with a client today about a shipment of crates we're going to deliver to him this Monday (day after Christmas). We had been speaking about the crates for the last two weeks, but he'd been very busy preparing to see his family this Christmas. We worked out the details for the Monday delivery, and in closing he had said: Merry Christmas to you and your family Patrick.

This struck me shortly after we got off the phone. All I had been thinking about was taking care of the shipment. If he'd told me to deliver the crates on Christmas Sunday it would be done. I would've tried to figure out a way to deliver the crates and see my family afterward!

I think I hit rockbottom today.

This month alone i've had an uncle undergoing major surgery, a grandmother undergoing even more major surgery, and the untimely death of a good friend due to cancer. I went to my friend's funeral and was able to forget about business for a few hours. I'm going to see my grandmother today and will again be able to forget about business for a while.

I love my grandmother, uncle and friend, but these "chains of routine" have kept me from truly appreciating the real gifts i've been given. Those priceless gifts that are my family and loved ones.

All of these occurences have made me want to change my relationship to the current routine. At the end of my days i'm willing to bet that I won't be thinking about how much business I did, but rather the moments that actually took my mind off of business. I'm again reminded that those are the only moments that really matter.

Happy Holidays and thank you,


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