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Work: Can’t Wedding Plan with It, Can’t Live Without It

January 23, 2011

It’s Sunday afternoon, and the all-too-familiar pit in my stomach is slowly growing. Monday morning, the work week and all the chaos and stress that comes with it will soon be here again. And being the (very) slowly recovering perfectionist that I am, work weeks for me can be downright miserable.

I have a love-hate relationship with my work. I get paid to write and be creative and talk to people, which is pretty awesome. But with that comes long work days, a seemingly never-ending list of to-dos and demands, the always colorful variety of office personalities and, quite frankly, more stress than I really want to deal with anymore. The question I struggle with is: Do the circumstances of my work situation really suck that badly, or do I take things too seriously, not speak up when I should and say no once in a while and generally put way too much pressure on myself? I just don’t know, though I suspect it’s a little of both. And compounded with wedding planning, work has become just that much more stressful lately.

So I’ve increased my workouts, am making it a point to see friends and family more, am allowing myself to sleep in more on weekends and trying to take each day at a time, rather than overwhelm myself with a big-picture view. It seems to be working, though my assertiveness does need to improve—one of my goals for 2011.

Being able to speak up for myself and assert my needs have become not only a goal, in fact, but a necessity in my workplace. Our president seems to think I’m an administrative assistant (that was about eight years ago, buddy) and the department’s director (we have one, though work isn’t part of his daily agenda. Incessant YouTube-watching and chatting away on the phone are, however), so you can imagine the requests I get—at all hours of the night, mind you. Last night at 11:04 p.m., I got an e-mail request to “set him up on LinkedIn.” Last Sunday morning at 4:23 a.m., I was asked if I’m “keeping my eye” on a particular medical journal (I couldn’t make this stuff up!). While I try to maintain my sense of humor and remind myself that he is mentally instable and therefore can’t help staying up all night worrying about banners or parking memos, it can be tough at times, particularly during already stressful times that involve wedding planning.

This week, my sanity mantra will be “I am only one person, and I am doing the best I can.” I’ll let you know how that works out for me. In the meantime, please share any assertiveness and work-life balance tips you may have. I promised myself I wouldn’t go bridal (my term for a bride who’s lost her mind) during the wedding planning process, and I need all the help I can get!

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