Life Without An Off-Switch, And Being a Workaholic

My son stands in front of me in his diaper, a red-and-white striped shirt covering his top half. We’re on the patio, drawing flowers and stars and hopscotch sets with colorful sidewalk chalk. I watch him move around, this small kid with a mischievous innocence. I snap a photo and post it to Facebook, explaining that I’m on a forced vacation from work.

My friends told me to enjoy every second of my time with him. In the back of my mind, though, all I could think about were the emails I was ignoring and the pitches I could be sending — all the work I could be doing instead. I wanted to be present, but I couldn’t.

I’m not one to take time off — at least no more than a day here or there. Financially, I can’t afford to spend a week away for leisure; my last “vacation” was funded by a journalism grant for a work conference, and that was seven years after my prior break. Mentally, I’m not wired to relax; my brain runs 120 mph per second. If I’m on the couch watching television, I’m still checking work emails on my phone. Same goes if I’m at the park. I’m always rearranging my to-do list, even if it’s in my head in the middle of a kickboxing session.
I don’t have an off switch; if I do, I don’t know where it is. To read more from Annamarya Scaccia, click here.