Thursday, July 23, 2009

Can I Get a Life Coach?

I am your typical type A personality. I have been an overachiever all my life. Good grades, lots of extracurricular activities, etc. So why do I find myself slipping into the lazy house wife role when it doesn't suit me?

I attended private school until seventh grade and then entered a very competitive public school system. I was taught from a very early age to have several "balls in the air" at a time. It wasn't enough to be a straight A student. You also had to be on a sports team, play an instrument and be an active member of some sort of social group (Girl Scouts, Youth to Youth, Future Business Leaders of America to name a few). Even through college I was very active in various clubs and sports teams in addition to working on my engineering degree and two minors.

Like most engineers, my first job out of school was tedious. Long, unforgiving hours with other people taking credit for everything you do. The only comfort came in the happy hours and beer softball leagues where we would all bitch about how much we hated our jobs and then try to drink it all away so we could go back to work the next day. After 5 years at this job I had a great resume and was able to move into an ideal engineering position with another company.

No more time sheets. I set my own schedule. I can go to the office or work from home. Days can go by without me having to see another person to get my job done. Sometimes I am not even working 1/4 of the hours that I worked at my previous job but I am making significantly more money. So why aren't I putting this new found time and my additional resources to good use? Why am I overweight with a dog that could use some training and a million house and craft projects that are no where near done? How come when I didn't have any time to do anything I tried to do 100 different things but now that I have all the time in the world I sit on my butt and watch TV all day?

It's almost like I can only function under pressure. If there is no pressure, no structure, no deadline for me to meet, no one depending on me then I am completely lazy. Why workout this morning when I have all day to fit it in? How is it 11 pm and I haven't worked out today?

The only thing I miss about my old job is the social relationships that I formed while I worked there. Because so much of my time was spent working, the people I worked with also became the people I partied with. Now with no buzzing office of people around me I find myself very lonely for human interaction. I am a very social person by nature but I don't know how to seek people out. I have had the privilege of meeting all of my friends through different social and professional groups that I was a member of. I am still close with a lot of the people from my past but we all live in different states now and only see each other a few times a year. It is almost embarrassing for me when people come to visit me and I don't have a comprehensive list of things to do and people for them to meet. I was always the social butterfly/party planner in my group of friends and now I feel like a frumpy hermit.

My husband is very comfortable with the hermit life style because he works in a place much like my old job. He has constant interaction with people all day and his company schedules regular events for the employees to get together outside of work. Once he gets home he just wants to sit on the couch and watch TV or play video games. Usually when he walks in the door I am so starved for human interaction that immediately jump on him talking a mile a minute and encouraging him to do all sorts of activities with me. I don't know when I lost my independence but I definitely lost it.

This is my second home. I bought both houses on my own and was 100% responsible for any maintenance and upgrades that were required. I acquired a garage full of power tools during my single homeowner days that now sit and collect dust. I have gotten very comfortable with letting my husband do everything and not stepping out of my comfort zone for even a second. Not so long ago I was the girl who didn't know what a Saws All was but I still bought one and figured out how to install a doggie door and build a bookshelf. Now I don't even put the blade on myself.

So what is the answer? Do I fill my days with tons of activities so I feel rushed again? Do I make a schedule that I have to follow? I don't want to be the neurotic person that I was before but there has to be some healthy middle ground between where I was and where I am now. Is there a 12-step program for people like me? Overachievers turned lazy homebodies. I sure hope so because as my 33rd birthday creeps up on me I don't want to spend another year reminiscing about the person the I used to be and making excuses for why I can't be her any more.


  1. Well Denise I can somewhat relate because I am also a person that is quite a homebody. I have that same group of friends from WORK that my husband and I do most of our socializing with. I am a person who can pretty much get along with anyone but to make that 1st step of conversation is a problem for me.

    It does sound like you are a bit sad with yourself. You should do something good for you!! Something tha will make you feel good about yourself. I always find that helps me. I actually just stepped out of my comfort zone and started playing on a softball team. I was a basket case at first but now I really enjoy it.

    Hope this helps.

  2. I highly recommend starting the day off with exercise. Since I too have the luxury of staying home all day it is easy for me to be lazy as well, but when I get up in the morning have my breakfast and then workout, the day is much better. Working out will give you energy and it will get you out of the house for a while and that in itself will help in getting you going.
    I can't relate to the TV part, since I don't watch it at all. Eliminating that from my life has also helped with me and my productivity.

    Try walking 30 minutes outside in the morning at the very least.