May 19, 2008

The Dangers of Overdoing It: Or Why I was an Idiot this Weekend.

Trying to cram two or three day’s worth of work into five or six hours is never very smart. Doing so when just over six months pregnant and over half the work has a physical component to it is down right idiotic. Well then, call me Moron.

I woke up Thursday morning with a clear idea of what my day would entail: the weekly gig, posting the first part of a three part series, and then I’d tackle a few chores around the house before rounding everyone back up from their respective activities. Then a couple of minor road blocks merged to shunt all but the weekly gig to Friday.
I decided to postpone the series, now set to begin on Wednesday of this week instead. Yet, idiot that I am, I decided to try and make up for lost time Friday by doing what I’d planned for the day plus what I hadn’t gotten done Thursday. Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem. Then again, I’m usually not so gravid and weak jointed, and what other time of year does everything have to be completed by 3 p.m., so I can waddle my way to this graduation or that?

You would think I’d learned my lesson last time. Once again, I was blissfully unaware of the damage I was doing, no only to myself but to Sneak as well, until I’d finished and went to try and get out of the car upon arriving at the school to pick Hubby up from work. The moment I felt the old bones start creaking, I knew I’d done it, and sure enough I woke the next morning feeling like I’d been hit by a semi. Worst of all, Sneak was harder hit by this bout of stupidity than Boo was when I did something similar during my eighth month with her, probably due to the fact my hunger and thirst has been more subdued this time around. The poor girl didn’t move at all until about 11 a.m. Saturday morning, and only then because Hubby and Mom talked me into downing one of those Java Chillers from Sonic to see if it’d get her moving.

It took two full days to recover from this round, and it got me thinking about how counterproductive overworking yourself can be, not only for us pregnant ladies, but anyone. Sure, you get more done in the short run, but there’s always a backlash of one sort or another. Either you exhaust yourself, thus reducing your productivity, usually for twice as long as you sustained the increased spurt of activity, or the quality of your work suffers. Sometimes both occur, and if you make a habit of it, burnout becomes a real issue.

How many of these real go getters, workaholics who sometime postpone settling down and having a family until they’ve established their careers, end up stressing themselves into serious health issues in their thirties or forties? How many go back to college searching for a new career after only a few years because they can no longer stand the thought of staying in their current field? How many crash from the adrenaline high over holidays to sink into a crushing depression until work begins anew, and the adrenaline starts pumping again?
It’s tempting to push through the pain to get more done. Sometimes, it’s even needed, but is it worth the risk to make a habit of burning the candle at both ends?

Personally, I think not. Now if only I’d remember the lesson, so I don’t have to take my lumps in the future should I forget.


  1. When I started to see a new dentist a few years back, he asked me an odd question, "Do you have a stressful job?"

    "Well, yes. I suppose so."

    "Oh, I bet you're a real go getter-type, right?"

    "Not so much, but I have to be in my job."

    "Well, see, by looking at your teeth I can tell that you're stressed out. In six years, you'll have ground them to bits."

    That was sort of a wake up call for me...

    Good to hear the Java got Sneak going! Hope the jolt didn't keep you up that night! :)

  2. I bet that would be a wake up call! I hope you've found a way to stop the grinding. It can really do a number on your jaw too.

    Yeah, it got her going, but not as much as the casserole I made that night. ;) The java jolt doesn't do much to an old coffee hound like me. Sneak doing cartwheels after a day of being zoned out when it's my bedtime on the other hand... :)

  3. Yes, I've sat at the computer until I couldn't move or see properly.

    It's nuts really but as pain is the touchstone of my growth, that's how I learn.

    When I finally get sick or achy or both, that's when the light goes on...

    As I don't like pain, the next time, I don't take as long to clue it.

  4. I think the ease of which eye strain crops up reading from a computer screen is why I actually prefer notebooks. I'm almost certain sitting and typing away at a computer for eight straight hours a day for two years before leaving to work for myself is a huge part of the reason I'm in reading glasses.