• Charity Singleton

The Challenge

Updated: Aug 7

Scheduling and eating lunch everyday

Today I started scheduling my lunch and actually taking lunch and eating something. I have struggled with taking time out of my work day to eat lunch and any other time to get up and leave my desk and the work that I am doing. The reason is that I feel like I am slower than everyone else in completing my work, and I am DRIVEN to get it done. It is like someone has an anchor rope around my waist, and I am being pulled, no, yanked, in the direction of completing my work. I feel so guilty if I stop what I am doing and go to lunch. When I do take a lunch, I watch the clock and get super worried if I go past 30 minutes for my lunch.

I feel so guilty after taking lunch that if I do, I usually stay later than scheduled to complete my tasks.

My therapist challenged me to schedule and eat lunch every day and feel guilty about it; I told her I would. So today was my first day taking lunch at my scheduled time. I was three minutes late in taking my lunch scheduled for 12;45 pm. I decided that if I were going to feel guilty about taking lunch, I would eat what I wanted to eat, so I went to In-n-Out. The line was ridiculously long, and it took 10-12 minutes to get my order. Then I drove back to campus, parked in a parking lot, watched a YouTube Fear Files channel that reviews buzzer murder cases, and ate my lunch. Even though I was not hungry, I ate fries and a double-double animal style. I deliberately did not watch the clock and was surprised when I arrived back at work at 1:33 pm. When I returned, I assessed how I felt and whether my body was hurting. Funny thing, my stomach was hurting before going to lunch, not hunger pains, but stomach aches. I was not feeling or thinking anything attributed to guilt: no negative self-talk or a pit in my stomach.


When I sat down to get more work done, I realized that I had a meeting coming up at two that I was unprepared for and that the day had gotten away from me answering emails and getting things done that were relevant and needed to be done before the weekend. This was when I started to feel major guilt. I was thinking, "I would have been much farther in this project if I had worked through lunch. I am so screwed." I started feeling overwhelmed and like I needed to stay until 7 pm even though I was supposed to get off at 3:30 for a doctor's appointment and since I had worked until midnight on Wednesday to get a mailing list pulled and completed. Damn, I just remembered that I did not add 200 more donors to the Arts and Events mailing list. I will need to do that after I am done writing this.


Then in my meeting, I found out that the project I was working on was not what I was supposed to be working on, and I had to break it to my boss. That sucked. That is when I was really feeling shitty that I had taken lunch and that I should have been here working and should not have left.


I made myself leave at 3:30 pm since I had told my boss that my doctor's appointment was today, which was yesterday, and I had mistaken the day until I received a text reminder that I was making up for the time I worked late on Wednesday. I had conceded that, So I left on the way home, which I have not been doing to keep myself from working out of work hours.


I arrived home and contemplated getting right down to work. Then I saw Cody and remembered that I wanted to spend time with him because he would be heading back to Georgia in a few days. So instead of setting up shop and getting down to business, I turned on my Do Not Disturb on my phone and made a screwdriver. Then to shut my brain off, I started watching a YouTube channel about a man who brutally murdered his wife by yanking out her uterus with his hands because she said her x-husbands name while they were having sex. I did not feel disgusted or disgusted, just curious and fascinated by his body language and mannerisms during the interrogation video. I am pretty tipsy and don't care about work, but I know I will in the morning. I can't stop thinking about getting this project off my hands and getting to the work I was hired to do, event planning, and fundraising. I am pretty sure I will work this weekend.


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