Once again I have made it to a Tuesday barely realizing that I had a Monday. I did, in all fairness, sleep in quite late yesterday, but then had a big fundraising banquet in the evening. Part of me wishes that I could see something like that banquet as Not Work. I realize that most of the people there are not working. However, this banquet is the sort of event where I see a ton of people from my church and herds of other ministers. I have to be "on." This is not time off. And yet, it walks that fine line on which I feel kind of bad for counting it as work. Although I'm not really sure where this score sheet is on which I tally my working hours.
I have some guilt issues, you see, when it comes to work. No matter how many times I hear about pastoral self-care, I still have this annoying voice in my head that tells me that I'm not being an effective minister if I'm not working. All. The. Time. As a single person, I have only my dog to tell me that's ridiculous and demand my attention, and she's entirely too easy to just take along to the office. All I know is that I hear other ministers complain all the time about how much they work. And then I figure out from other things they say how much time they spend not working, and how much flexibility they have, and then I get really annoyed at them - which compels me to work more so that I can be absolutely sure I am not like them.
You see, I could complain that today is going to be a really long day. In fact, at some point today, I probably will complain. It's a late meeting night. I will be tired and irritable, because by the end of today, I will have worked at least twelve hours, and probably more. But the thing I have to remember is that my congregants who will be at these meetings tonight have been working all day, too. They went to work earlier than I did. They might have gotten to go home for dinner, but then they are back, doing the work of the church, and unlike me, not being paid for it.
I fully realize that I have some rather unbalancing workaholic tendencies. I'm working on it. But it strikes me as I go into this very long day that, even though it will indeed be long, I just don't have a lot of room to whine about it.