I am a workaholic. I think I inherited this from my father, who is a workaholic, but also it stems from the fact that my mother was on welfare most of my childhood and I was deeply ashamed of it. Though in our area of Washington Heights, just about everyone was getting some kind of public assistance, I was frequently mercilessly teased by other kids about our situation and I remember my mother sending me to go pay for things with food stamps and the cashiers giving me, what I thought, were snide, judgmental looks.
So when I was 18 and finally got mys first job, I worked far and beyond what was asked of me. I continued to do this at every job, sometimes juggling up to three part-time jobs in college and after college, one full-time job and one part-time job until my body started screaming that it couldn’t handle the abuse and finally shut down altogether.
I thought I’d throw in this goodie but oldie that I wrote for Chabad about how Shabbos saved me. I still have my workaholic tendencies. Old habits die hard but Shabbos reminds me weekly to relax and my husband, thank G-d, reminds me that walking around the neighborhood and visiting ALL my friends on Shabbos is NOT relaxing to someone with my condition. Yeah, so I haven’t mastered relaxing or listening to my body when it needs a break but I’m a work-in-progress and I think so many people around me, even my non-Jewish friends and family, could use 25 hours of rest a week.
Do check out: Adventures in Shabbat: How a Workaholic Control Freak Learned to Relax”