I am completely overwhelmed by work at the moment – and not by the emotional stuff – I think I am handling that. But I just have way too much to do and not enough time to do it. I have been thinking lately that my level of work right now is not sustainable, so much so that I have started for the first time to ask myself, how long can I really do this job realistically? And I am not sure that just lowering my work output works for me because I don’t think I can be ok with doing a half-assed effort.
It has gotten so bad that it has begun to affect my sleep. Regularly (almost every night) I am either waking up in the middle of the night, or waking up before my wakeup time, going over the number of things that I really need to do. Calling someone, making a referral, checking in on someone. My to-do list is haunting me and I don’t know if it will ever be manageable. And it is wreaking havoc on my personal life. I am chronically late to meeting up with the friends I am able to even schedule things with. I am out of touch with the rest. I cannot even imagine having to time to do something like go on a date. And I am too tired to go on some of my cycling team’s rides or go to the gym.
I was talking to my neighbor yesterday who is a teacher and very interested in my job for some reason. He was encouraging telling me that he disliked teaching more than 50% of the time for the first 5 years. But, after he got through that, things got easier and he now very much enjoys teaching. He related some of it to becoming more efficient with the job. My concern is that I can already feel myself getting frustrated by the inherent unpleasantries of the job: being falsely accused of not doing my job by parents, being jerked around by lawyers, wading through unnecessary bureaucracy, and being told I am choosing to traumatize children. But maybe the efficiency factor will help all of this.
Hopefully this is a stage of the job that I have to go through and will fade out soon – like the horrible homesickness freshmen go through after the novelty of starting college fades. I want to do my job and I want to do it well. But I also don’t want to lose myself in the process.