Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just say No -- to work

Not that I'm adopting a slacker lifestyle, or encouraging anyone to do so, but I've recently realized that I have a bit of an addiction (if it's possible to be mildly addicted -- is that a contradiction in terms?). To work.

I've never said no to a story, and this Friday I almost cancelled plans with a friend (not to mention my dog) in order to do a casual catering shift for a person I've never met, for a wage I didn't know, during hours undisclosed.

And I'm not even sure it's the money, though I do love depositing cash into my account. We just made rent, and all signs point to another month of steady work with my usual publications -- and maybe even a few new ones. Plus, we have this back-up account that we can access in case of emergency. It even earned us $23 last quarter.

So what's the deal with my penchant for work? I think it may all go back to my inhibitors -- or lack thereof.

See, back in my college years (and I mean that literally, not as some Americanized version of university), I drank quite a bit. Heck, I even enjoyed imbibing with gusto in during university, and for some years after. But my partner isn't much of a drinker, and my body says no, but during these years I often wrestled with the whole "why do I do this?" (often while wrestling w. a porcelain altar), and a friend in psychology offered some advice on the subject.

He said some people are born with more inhibitors than others, or should I say more "inhibitory neurotransmitters."
We all have both inhibitory neurotransmitters and excitatory neurotransmitters, but some have more than others. The later spark an action; the former tells the brain NOT to do an action.

The idea makes sense to me. It wasn't that I wanted to get shitfaced or really liked the taste of alcohol -- but saying no felt like a lot of work. And now, saying no to work seems like a lot of work. I'd rather take on the task and deal with the consequences than make the mental leap and say No.

But life is changing. My husband curbed my enthusiasm for booze, and now I have to think of him (and my dog) when I make decisions. I already made one big leap this year; maybe next year I'll try scaling back my workload.

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