Are You a Paranoid Workaholic?

For the first time since I graduated college four years ago, I went three days without doing work of any kind.  From Saturday until Monday of this past week, I avoided all writing, emails and phone calls and while my mini-vacation to Universal Studios, Sea World, Island of Adventures and Halloween Horror Nights was awesome, I realized something about myself when I returned.  I’m a paranoid workaholic.

You might be wondering just what a paranoid workaholic is and I’d be happy to tell you.  First, even though you’re on vacation, a paranoid workaholic would have extreme tendencies to want to work.  For example, even though I didn’t work, I brought my laptop with me, in-case the opportunity presented itself.  At night, when I was extremely exhausted from being on my feet for 14 hours and walking mile after mile through theme parks, I came oh so close of checking emails at 2:00 am instead of resting for another day of theme park fun.  Then, after arriving home, the first thing I did was hit the desktop and start reading emails, ultimately getting right back to work.  I almost forgot to drop my suitcase.

So that’s the workaholic part.  What about the paranoid part?  Well, after coming back to work and only gone three days (two of which were weekend days mind you), there were a few changes in place that I wasn’t prepared for.  Change and I have never seen eye-to-eye and while the reasoning behind these changes hasn’t been divulged, the paranoid workaholic in me can’t stop thinking about it.  And work is only the half of it really.  I’m always planning ahead in my life, my finances for every little disaster that could possibly happen.  Every single minute of our Orlando trip was planned out and I just can’t imagine life any other way.  Hours we’re spent pre-trip on sites like Priceline.com, making sure I had the best price at the nearest hotel.  I saved $4 by booking two months in advance!

Now, the reason I’ve written this post is to ask whether or not this is (1) normal and (2) a problem.  I’ve put myself in a pretty awful situation with $225,000 in debt and have had to work hard in order to get ahead of it but at what cost?  I love what I do most of the time so is being a workaholic really a problem?  And what about planning every little detail of my life and doing my best to leave nothing to chance.  Is there anything wrong with that?  Financially speaking, this attitude has done wonders for me.  My bills are in order each and every month and while I still live paycheck to paycheck, there’s a calm in my life that wasn’t there before.  I can wake up in the mornings not having the phone ring off the hook from creditors and I couldn’t have done it without dedication to work and to planning ahead.

Perhaps the term paranoid is a bit much but sometimes, that’s exactly how I feel about little changes in my life.  I like the path that I’m on, I don’t want to change anything about it so when something small and insignificant happens, it scares my future plan.  Thankfully, after a few days, my rational mind takes over and calms me down.  Do me a favor and calm me down even more by letting me know that sometimes, you feel the same way.

Published or Updated: November 3, 2010

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