Work nightmares. You know the ones. Those that make you toss and turn at night. You can’t stop your mind from going a million miles an hour. Trying to solve problems all night long.
These dreams have been a curse for me for a long time. A stressful case at work will keep me up all night. So will urgent deadlines. An early morning flight will have me dreaming about sleeping through my alarm clock and waking up to a taxi in the driveway!
Worst of all are those dreams where I’m actually making up the problems – real or not.
And in the morning, I wake up feeling tired and stressed instead of refreshed.
Questioning your Path
There usually comes a point in a person’s career when they start to ask if they are doing what they really want to do, if they are fulfilled and happy, and whether it is all worth it.
I’ve seen so many people in my industry take time off to do other things. Accountants taking a year out to make sandwiches at Subway. Working Mothers walking away from stressful executive management positions to stack shelves in the supermarket.
And I’m at the point of making that decision.
Questioning whether we are living the life we want to live and whether all the stress is worth it. Do I keep going, or do I take a few years off to spend with my children? Noting, in reality, I won’t have a career to go back to.
Work stress and restless nights
Work dreams (or nightmares!) have been a fundamental driver for me in reconsidering my career path. I’m tired.
But I recently had a revelation.
It came at the supermarket checkout. The checkout operators were talking about how they dream of packing groceries all night long. Discussing in detail trying to “pack” boxes and giving instructions in their sleep to their loved ones.
I realised that anyone, in any job, can be kept up at night – repeating their challenging days in their sleep.
It is not a question of giving up a stressful job and settling into a good nights sleep.
I struggle to “shut off” from work. I take my problems home. I’m not myself when I’m stressed.
But I can’t blame my career for keeping me up at night. I need to take ownership of my life.
I need to get back to running, cut back the alcohol, keep up my yoga and eat better. Take time out for myself. And I need to have dates with my husband 🙂
And I can’t wait!