It’s important to care for yourself – seems simple, right? It’s not as easy as it sounds, depending on the person.
This is a message that those preparing for ministry hear often – don’t overextend yourself when it comes to pastoral work – and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
What about those not in ministry? What about those working a job in the secular world – even a job they enjoy – who tells them to care for themselves? Normally, it is the supervisor, someone in HR or other person in supervisory position. But for those who don’t have this luxury, those who are self employed, or work for a boss that overworks themselves, who is encouraging them to keep from overworking?
In the case of our household, it has to be me. My husband has been slowly transitioning into a new position at work – one that offers more responsibility and better pay – but while the transition is taking place, Marty has been asked to work a little extra to help things along.
That was almost four months ago.
Since then, Marty has been working 50 or more hours a week, helping his very pregnant and demanding wife around the house more than usual, trying to keep up with a garden and yard work, spending time with friends, and of course, spending time with his son. He gets less than 7 hours of sleep during week nights, and almost no time to relax.
I’ve been nagging him for a few weeks now that he needs to get things adjusted – he’s running ragged. His bosses aren’t the type of fellows to overwork him -but Marty isn’t the type to let them know when it’s gone on for too long, either. That came to fruition today – a hollaring match where I said things weren’t getting done, and he said he has no down time. I thought about it bit – and he’s right. I’m amazed he’s gone on this long.
He’s right when he says he needs to work – we need his job to maintain our house, pay bills, eat (you know, all those silly things:) but I think he knows he can’t keep pushing himself this far. I’ve said it many times – the owners of his company are not unreasonable, they just don’t know what he’s going through unless he tells them. I hope this weekend encourages him to tell them, and not to keep pushing himself too far.
I’m interested to hear if others have had to be that voice for their spouse, significant other, friend, parent, child, etc. – to be the one who says you’re pushing yourself too hard and it’s time to take care of YOU for a change. I know Marty is driven and hardworking, and I want him to stay that way – but I also want him to have time to enjoy life and his family so he doesn’t look back on this time as that time he was barely keeping it together.
God bless those who are hardworking and caretakers – they sacrifice often for the sake of others, please help them realize it’s ok to take time for themselves!