I know everytime I write something from my heart, it starts out with the inevitiable “it’s been very b*sy.  Today, I’m censoring myself and won’t be talking about w*rk or how b*sy I am.

I’ve come to the realization that my life is about the dreaded ‘W’ word.  No, that’s not ‘welfare’.  (If that’s what you thought the “W’ word was – you must be a redskin.)  And no it’s not ‘women’.  (If that’s what you thought – I’m offended. *wink*). .. No, my life for the past few years has been about ‘w*rk’.  I’m w*rking far to long and hard.  Sometimes going without adequate rest, good food, sometimes no food whatsoever.  On a recent drive from Curve Lake I was given a straightening out!!

Why do I do that?  I don’t consider myself a workaholic – although that’s really what I am.  I’ve given up much in life to do what I’m doing and I am grateful and would never second guess my professional decisions.  I have absolutely no regrets.

April asked that I consider family.  I replied that “I am doing all this w*rk for my family, for my community and for the Spirit.”

It was then that it hit me.  That was my excuse for being a workaholic.

The work we do for our families and for the Spirit should not take away from our immediate needs and the immediate needs of our Loved ones.  Being Ogitchidaa means I put their lives first – and I haven’t been doing that. 

As a result, my health has suffered and I’ve seen my family less now than ever.  I sleep in more hotels, travel through more airports, eat more take out, put in 12 hour days.  Until Monday, I hadn’t had a real home cooked meal in three weeks.  (Miigwetch Momma).  Following that great meal I went a full 24 hours without any food before I was forced to grab a bag of Frito Lays and a real Coca-Cola.  On that same day, I was in the office for a full 11 hours.

I had to ask myself “what am I doing?”.

I’m going to be taking some time for myself, and spending more time with my partner and my children.  That doesn’t mean I’ll be w*rking any less, it means I will better manage my responsibilites both professional and personal, take better care of my health, eat better, rest more often.  In that way, I will be more able to fufill my roles as provider and Ogitchidaa for family, my community and my Nation.

I Love you all.