I think I’m having a spiritual headache

Or maybe it’s a sleep deprivation headache, I’m not sure. Either way, my head hurts, and I’m seriously reconsidering the direction that my life is taking. Case in point: I work too much, and I don’t know why.

I contract my work out on an hourly basis. In May I had 40 hours. In June, 60. July has just ended, and tomorrow I’ll be sending my invoice for 42. I have this chart on the wall that supposed to make me work out and read Qur’an every day, and out of the 9 days it’s been up, I have about a 50% success rate for both goals. Ok, maybe 45%. And I tell myself that I couldn’t work out today because I didn’t have the time. And why didn’t I have the time? Because I was working. And why was I working? I don’t know.

Alhamdulillah, I don’t need to work to feed my family. I’m not working for pocket money, because out of the maybe thousand dirhams I’ve spent in the last three months, none of it has been on myself. (A thousand dirhams is a little less than 300 dollars) I’m not a big shopper.

Work is an intellectual stimulant as well as a challenge, and I enjoy learning new skills and figuring that there is one more thing I can do, and do well enough to get paid for, Alhamdulillah. However, most people don’t turn to photoshop for intellectual stimulation, and I have plenty of other skillsets that are lagging behind. Like my Arabic skills, and my ability to focus on my prayer-

Alhamdulillahi- presentation due tomorrow- rabbil alameen…)

– and the frequency at which I actually get dressed in the morning and pretend to be presentable. I have a slight problem with work- I have a hard time stopping. I don’t know how it happened, but I’ve become a workaholic, and pair this with being a full-time Momma, and you get me now- baby-chaser by day, PR Media designer by night, sleep deprived always.

I shouldn’t complain, because I do this to myself, and as HF reminded me a few nights ago- You always do this, you over do it! You get burnt out and you say you want to quit, you say this every month!

I do actually. Usually around the end of the month too, when I’m pushing to finish everything that’s supposed to be finished by the first of the next month, and then I finish it all, send my invoice, and count up the money I don’t spend.

Money is the means, but I can’t remember what the end is. I’ve lost my focus. I can’t remember what I’m doing here, apart from burning my candle at both ends. With a blowtorch. And I want to quit, but I hate disappointing people. It would be easier if my boss was unhappy, but he’s not- the last meeting he opened with- I like your work, how can I get more of it? (I thought- I can’t sleep any less, I’ll go mad!) so I said- what else can I help you with?

So now I have more projects to make more money to sleep less hours and frazzle more of my braincells for Big Corporate U- an entity that means nothing to me but seems to occupy 80% of my conscious thought. I have no problem working full time, I’ve done it before- and I have no problem with challenges, but being a full time mother is already a full time job, and the fact that work is taking away from my ability to focus on what’s really important to me is bugging me. My priorities in life are my Islam and my family, but they’re both being pushed out of place by work. I’ve let it happen, and I don’t know how to make it stop.

I need to outsource. That’s what the consultant in me sez- it sez: invoice Corporate U for the project at N rate per hour. Hire someone else to do it for you at 80 percent of N. And there are some things I can do that for, but most things I can’t. So that’s not much of a solution, although I’m going to pay Hemmie to take care of the newsletter this month for me, and I’m going to pay her a hundred percent of N, and that should actually save me about five hours of work.

Five hours would be a nice nap. Or a very intensely satisfying workout, followed by a thorough shower, a non-distracted salah and some quiet time with the Qur’an. And then some running around with Khalid without worrying about how many hours have gone by that I haven’t spent on the next project due, or whether he’ll nap long enough for me to mail the boss a status update.

Like I said, I have a headache.


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on Muslimmatters.org.

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