I’ve mentioned a few times before that I’m a workaholic but basically all I did in 2020 was work and now I’m burnt out and don’t quite know how to fix it.
My company wants us to have work-life balance but we’ve grown so much in the past few years that it just doesn’t feel possible anymore. In order to keep up with the demand we are all working long hours and I don’t see an end in sight. I love the company I work for and the team I’m on but I’m so tired every day and I really just want to be able to take a lunch break or a vacation day without feeling guilty.
In general I’ve been questioning work-life balance. I haven’t been sleeping well because I have anxiety dreams about work and I can’t shut them off. I’m worried about my to-do list, I’m worried I’m missing an e-mail because there are too many, I’m worried about training others while trying to learn new things myself. I’m worried that I will burn out for real before I even turn 30.
2021 has to be the year that I figure this out. I need to take all my vacation days without feeling guilty. I need to have a normal amount of responsibilities. I need to put my mental health first. And most of all, I need to work normal hours because working this much is not healthy.
In 2019 I wrote a post about how my dream job was no longer a specific job. Instead it was a team, my team. I still love my team SO much but I don’t know if it’s enough anymore. 2019 was the best year of work for me. I was in a great place but 2020 changed everything and I don’t know how to go back.
Have you been able to make work-life balance? How do you put your needs first?
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This is my first Five on Friday post since July! I usually try to write these once a week or so but I took a little blogging break at the end of the year. With that said, so much has happened since July so this post might be really random.
In July I was posting about Taylor Swift’s new album, Folkore, which I instantly loved. Since then Taylor has released another new album, Evermore, which is heartbreakingly sad but so easy to love. I have listened to Evermore everyday since it came out. It got me through the long December work days and I’m really grateful. Have you listened to Evermore? What’s your opinion on it?
I’ve been loving watching Curiosity Incorporated on YouTube. Brett and I refer to it as the Canadian version of Antique Archaeology which we have always loved! We were able to visit the shop in Nashville in 2015 and it was really cool. I’ve been binge watching Curiosity Incorporated for a couple of weeks now and really recommend it!
I recently moved my office up from our basement to our main floor guest bedroom. We removed the bed and moved around the rest of the furniture so that I could have a nice office with windows! I was struggling being in the basement all day everyday. I’m hoping that being upstairs will help!
Last year I bought two planners and had big plans of using them. I still laugh at how empty those planners are. I was good for the first couple of months but once I started working from home I no longer filled out anything in my planner. I’m looking forward to being more organized in 2021 with my new planner! I love the monthly view for planning out vacation time with my teammates and blog posts.
I’m currently reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and I really love it! I read and reviewed How to Stop Time by Matt Haig in 2020 and was obsessed with it! I was so excited when he released this new book and have been flying through it so hopefully I will have a review up soon. Have you read any good books lately?
How was your week? Do you have any plans this weekend?
I haven’t done a migraine update since July and SO much has changed since then. I’ve worked really hard the past six months or so on my health. Being in a vicious migraine cycle for the past 7+ years was a nightmare and I knew that something needed to change. I couldn’t continue being in constant pain everyday.
Before I continue, please read my migraine story and know that my journey will be different than yours if you also have headaches or migraine. I should write an updated migraine story since I wrote that one in 2018 but I have done many migraine updates since. It took me years to find a Neurologist that worked with me and understood me. My story would be much different if I hadn’t found my current Neurologist.
In July I wrote about taking muscle relaxers at night to help me sleep and lessen the tension in my neck and jaw. I was very skeptical when my Neurologist suggested muscle relaxers but I’ve been pleasantly surprised! I only take them on the weekends because I do sleep almost too well and have a hard time waking up on workdays. But I do notice a huge difference when I take them and it really has helped me.
How many times have I mentioned rebound headaches now? For years I lived off of ibuprofen because I was in constant pain and it was the only thing that made the pain manageable. Taking all that ibuprofen was not only extremely unhealthy but also put me in an endless rebound headache cycle.
I made it a goal this summer to break my rebound headache cycle which meant weaning off of ibuprofen and any other pain medication that I was relying on. It’s almost like an addiction and I didn’t think that I’d be able to get through it. It’s been about 4 months since this journey began and I’m happy to say that I’ve only taken pain medication a handful of times per month since. I still can’t get through a bad migraine without rescue meds but I don’t take anything daily for pain.
I should mention that weaning off of pain medication was very painful. I had about a month of severe pain and basically withdrawal symptoms. I’m still in awe of myself that I was able to break the cycle. I still have daily headaches and migraine cycles a few times a month that last days but I know my overall health is much better now.
Weaning Off Medication
I’ve always wanted kids but it’s felt impossible because I was in constant pain and relied of medication to keep me going. Over the past few months I’ve finally felt like I might be able to start a family which is a huge deal for me. I’ve watched friends and family members start their families while knowing that I might never be able to have that same experience. Now I feel like it’s a possibility.
Because of that, I made the decision with my Neurologist to wean off of my daily preventative medication. These meds were also controlling my tremor so weaning off them meant that my tremor would come back full force. It took about a month for me to completely wean off of them and I really noticed a difference right away. I have a constant headache, tremor, and an increase in migraine days.
It won’t be easy but I hope that weaning off of this medication will be okay. It’s only been a couple of weeks now so it’s hard for me to say. I hope that one day soon I feel comfortable and confident in deciding to start a family. The thought of being pregnant still terrifies me but I hope it’ll be worth it!
So much has changed in the past several months and I feel like I have a lot to be proud of. My journey with Chronic Migraine hasn’t been easy but I’ve learned a lot.
I started setting quarterly goals in 2017 instead of a “New Years Resolution” and I’ve really loved it! Instead of setting goals for the whole year in January I set goals every quarter. This keeps me motivated to get things done and also feels more realistic for my lifestyle.
2021 is the first year that I don’t have all planned out. We don’t have any travel plans due to Covid and I’m not really sure what else will happen this year. So setting my goals for the first quarter feels a bit strange but I’m hoping that this will be a nice challenge and will be good to look back on for years to come.
Here are my 2021 Q1 goals:
Work-Life Balance: The end of 2020 was killer for me at work. I worked 50+ hours per week and had zero boundaries when it came to phone calls, e-mails, and meetings. I am in the middle of training two new hires and I get a new intern to mentor in a couple of weeks so I know that things won’t slow down but I need to be better about creating a balance and not over-extending myself. Right now my work-life balance isn’t healthy and I can’t continue working this way.
House Projects: Probably the most exciting thing that we have planned for 2021 are some house projects. Our main goal is to see if it’s possible to add a bathroom and walk-in closet to our second story. We live in a Cape Cod style house so the second floor is a converted attic with sloped ceilings. It’s a huge space but right now it’s just a guest room. We’d love to turn the second floor into a master suite so we will see what the contractor quotes us. We’d also like to re-do our kitchen and mud room floors and maybe splurge on new kitchen appliances.
Blogging: I took another blogging break at the end of 2021 because work was killing me and I couldn’t spend anymore time on my computer to write a blog post. I’d love to be able to post 2-3 times per week but we will see how realistic that becomes with my work schedule. I also failed at reading and commenting on posts so I want to be better about that because one of my favorite things about blogging is reading other blogger’s posts and it’s just not the same without that.
Monthly Date Nights: My husband, Brett, works nights Tuesday-Saturday so we don’t see each other that much and it’s been hard to schedule quality time together. One of my favorite things that came from being quarantined was our monthly date nights and I want to keep that up. I genuinely enjoy spending time with Brett and it’s really great for our marriage to have that time scheduled each month.
Health: There are so many things I want to say about this goal but I’ll keep it pretty generic. This is the first year that I can remember where I’m not setting a goal to lose weight or am starting a new diet. I’ve struggled with body image forever it seems and restricting myself to a specific diet has been really unhealthly. This year I want to focus on taking care of myself which means eating healthy most of the time, practicing self-care, and prioritizing the things that make me happy. Hopefully keeping this simple will work better for me and I won’t feel so bad when I “fail”.
2021 feels different for a number of reasons. I want to take the time this year to work on myself and stop putting my job before anything else in my life. I have to start setting some boundaries or I’ll be completely burnt out before I even turn 30.
2020 taught me some valuable lessons and I hope that I learned enough to make this year different.
November 21st, 2020 marked 7 years of Life of Hayley! I’ve told the story of how this blog started many times before but basically I turned 20 and had a life crisis where I didn’t feel like I had accomplished enough in the previous 19 years. I wanted to use this space to document all of the things that I would do in my twenties. I’m an introvert so sharing my story can be difficult for me so this was also a way to push me outside of my comfort zone.
Fast forward 7 years and I’ve accomplished quite a bit. Over 800 people subscribe to this blog and read what I write. I didn’t do this for followers but I have really enjoyed sharing my life and making blogging friends. I’ve taken quite a few breaks from blogging and learned that it was okay to need a break.
I don’t know what this next year of blogging will bring. I can’t tell you how much I’ll post or share. But I do hope to be around for the foreseeable future.
So much has changed in the past 7 years. I’m now 27 and I’m married, with a dog and cat, working a full time job in finance, and I own a cute little house in a cute little neighborhood. My life isn’t perfect but I hope that 20 year old Hayley would be happy with how far I’ve come.
Even though so many things have changed, one thing remains the same. This blog has been my safe space and you’ve been my friends. I’ve shared my health journey and hopefully spread awareness about invisible illnesses. I’ve opened up about struggling with being an introvert. I’ve shared my wedding, anniversaries, funerals, and everything in between.
Thank you for an incredible 7 years! I am looking forward to many, many more to come.
This will be my third year writing this type of post but this time feels so much different. 2020 can be accurately descripted as a dumpster fire and it’s much easier to find the ugly moments instead of the good moments. I’m going to attempt to document a variety of 2020 memories in this post.
As always, this isn’t a post to brag about my life or to show off. This is simply something that I enjoy writing to look back on in future years. I love looking back on 2018 and 2019.
In 2020 I…..
Traveled to New Hampshire to be my sister’s Matron of Honor for her wedding
Switched roles at work in February and cried a lot over it
Packed up all my stuff and started working from home in March
Started a job search and am still undecided about what I want to do
Saved money to start a new house project in 2021
Weaned off of my migraine medication to *hopefully* prepare to have a baby in the future
Broke my rebound headache cycle which I never could have done if I hadn’t been working from home. This is by far my most proud accomplishment of 2020 because I was so sick and I didn’t give up.
Flew to New Hampshire in July to drive back to Michigan with my sister for a few weeks. I enjoyed so much quality sister time.
Celebrated 3 years of marriage and 9 total years with Brett in August.
Found out that my sister was pregnant in September! Looking forward to adding another niece or nephew to the cousin crew in May 2021.
Spent more quality time with Brett than I have in years. Our monthly date nights are a 2020 highlight.
Started training two new hires in August on the role that I really don’t enjoy doing. Training has been slow moving since we are doing it virtually and it has been very hard on me. I’ve been working 50+ hours per week trying to keep up.
Took a break from blogging because I was overwhelmed with life.
Completed year 1 of a 3 year certification course for work.
Spent a lot of social distanced time with at my Grandparent’s lake house
Turned 27 in quarantine
Celebrated 7 years of blogging in November
Finally got promoted in December
Worked from home for 9 months and can’t imagine going back to the office full time ever again.
2020 was challenging in many different ways. My biggest challenge this year in my personal life was going from loving my job to hating it. Because work has been so hard I’ve struggled with everything else since I am so unmotivated. I don’t have an answer or solution for this yet so I will just keep chugging along.
I’m looking forward to the new year. I’m looking forward to a fresh start and hopefully leaving all of these negative feelings behind me.
Happy New Year, friends! I’m sure that we are all hoping that 2021 treats us better than 2020.
It’s time for me to wrap up my 2020 quarterly goals! I loved doing quarterly goals again this year and look forward to setting new ones in January. Setting these shorter term goals helps me stay motivated and get things done! My 2020 goals looked much different than I originally anticipated but I’m still happy with the progress I was able to make.
Be intentional about spending time with family. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years it was important to find ways to spend time with family while social distancing. My sister and her husband were able to come home for Christmas which was amazing and we had a bonfire to celebrate Christmas with my mom’s family.
Create a new holiday tradition with Brett. This was our 10th Christmas together and we decided to open presents with just each other this year. Usually we open presents at my parent’s house Christmas morning or with Brett’s family later that afternoon. This year we opened presents Christmas night with just the two of us and it felt really special.
Schedule my remaining annual and semi-annual health appointments. I wasn’t able to get into the dentist but I went to the Neurologist, eye doctor, and my PCP. I’ll go to the dentist in Q1 of 2021 and have some other appointments scheduled which is always fun.
Save 50% of my holiday bonus for 2021 house projects. I am so grateful that my company was able to pay a bonus this year after all of the uncertainty of 2020. We put aside 50% of my bonus already to use for house projects and I’m really excited! I also made sure to make an additional 401k contribution which is something that I try to do every year.
Stick to my current health/wellness routine. I did pretty good with meal prepping and drinking water. I spent less time outside as it got colder and work got busier. I did get an elliptical so I was able to do some at home workouts.
2020 wasn’t what I was expecting or hoping for but I learned a lot and was really able to grow.
Here’s a look back at my 2020 goals: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4
Were you able to complete any of your 2020 goals/resolutions? Are you setting any for 2021?
I haven’t even thought about blogging in a couple of weeks. Year-end is pretty rough for me at work and I’ve been training two new hires on a job that I do not enjoy at all. It’s hard to find the motivation to do the job I’m being paid to do let alone this side blogging gig that I do just for fun.
I’m sure that every job has a “busy season” where the employees have to work long hours and the work-life balance isn’t so great. The 2020 “busy season” has basically been all year it seems. Work has been nonstop and I haven’t caught up for a second.
I don’t want to complain because I am so thankful for my job but it’s tough. I think I’m not at that stage of adulthood where the holiday season is more stressful than magical because I’m so busy that I can’t really stop to enjoy it anymore.
I guess I just wanted to pop in and say hi. I’m still alive just busy and tired. Hopefully 2021 will be better.
I was recently told that I needed to “toughen up” which is all fine and dandy but that’s just not who I am. I am sensitive, empathetic, and emotional. I care deeply and I want to put my best foot forward each and everyday. I will never be tough and that’s okay.
Instead of trying to cram myself into a box with other people’s expectations I’ve decided to spend some more time exploring who I am as a person. I’ve been feeling really down and unmotivated lately so I want to find something that makes me feel alive again.
My whole life I have felt like something was wrong with me because I’m sensitive. This is who I am and I can’t change it. I’ve tried to toughen up for years by taking anti-depressants and seeing therapists but I can’t change my personality.
I used to wish that I could turn all of my feelings off. I wanted to have no emotions at all. I want to stop feeling this way. I want to just be okay with who I am.
This world will always be too harsh for me but I’m willing to continue to fight for my place in it.
At the beginning of 2020 I was super motivated to make some lifestyle changes. I wanted to use this year to prepare myself for the next chapter of my life which might include motherhood. COVID forced me to slow down and spend some much needed time working on my mental health and my relationship with my husband. This year might not have gone according to plan but it wasn’t a complete waste of time.
To finish the year strong, here are my 4th quarter goals:
Be intentional about spending time with family. We’ve had to be creative in order to spend time with family and friends this year due to social distancing. I’ve still been able to spend quality time with the people that I love and I don’t want that to change because of the colder weather.
Create a new holiday tradition with Brett. We love the Christmas season but this year many of our normal traditions most likely won’t be happening so we will have to create a new tradition together.
Schedule my remaining annual and semi-annual health appointments. Dentist, PCP, and Neurologist. It’s going to be a busy 3 months with all these appointments but I will be glad to have them checked off my list for awhile.
Save 50% of my holiday bonus for 2021 house projects. My company is super generous and always has a year-end bonus for employees. If we have one this year I want to save at least 50% of it for future house projects!
Stick to my current health/wellness routine. This includes past quarterly goals of spending time outside, meal planning/prepping, and monitoring my water intake.
We are almost done with this crazy, unpredicatable year. Who knows what 2021 will be like but let’s finish this year strong!
Do you have any goals you want to complete before the end of the year?