If This is the Ladder, I’ll Stay on the Ground

by Ginger on March 10, 2013

in The 9-5

This weekend was so, so, SO what I needed.

I’ve been working like a dog the past couple of weeks, and this last week I put in about 70 hours, which is not something I am used to doing (prompting me to say “Man I wish I got overtime this week!”). It’s been stressful, and frustrating, and hard, and it has beaten me down. I ended the week feeling like someone had put me and my brain through a meat grinder.

As I left work on Friday, I told my boss, “I’m not working this weekend!” and then ran before anyone could say otherwise. And I haven’t. I haven’t even checked my email, even though I’m sure there are a lot of people who would say that I should have. But honestly, I needed a break. Before I broke.

And that’s what I gave myself. On Friday, we went out to dinner. On Saturday, I stayed in my pajamas most of the day hanging out with the kid, and then went out with N.C. for an impromptu date night slash celebrating not owing the government lots of $$ for our taxes. Today we had a late brunch, I did some shopping (rather unsuccessfully, sadly), and now I’m sitting here writing, with actual words in my head for the first time in a long time. I’ve read, I’ve hung with my family, I’ve relaxed. I finally, FINALLY don’t feel like crying at every little thing, and the knot in my chest has loosened up. I feel sorta human again!

I’m not cut out for longtime work that is as crazy as things have been lately. I want to go to work, do my job (well), make my contributions, and then go home. To my family, and my hobbies, and my private life. Working a 70 hour week? Working late and at home and at dinner and through lunch? I’ll do it every once in a while if I must, but I do NOT want this kind of career long term. More power to those out there who can/do have those kinds of high stress jobs. I salute you.

I just don’t want to be you.

Cloud March 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Well, you know how I feel about long hours… I just don’t do them. Not regularly, anyway- I’ll pull extra hours for deadlines, but only for a week or two, tops, and if the deadlines start coming too close together, I stop pulling extra hours to meet them. And I’ve not noticed any impact on my career from that.

I’m glad you had a good weekend!

april March 11, 2013 at 4:40 am

I tried to comment last night but it got eaten.

I’m so glad you took some time for yourself. I was worried about you and all your long hours! I work long hours at the office some times, but I can’t access my work email once I leave, so I can basically leave work at work. People sometimes ask if I would rather be able to get my email so I can keep up when I’m not there … no! I have to step away. I bring work home sometimes, but I never get around to doing it.

Michelle March 11, 2013 at 11:20 am

That’s so hard. I used to think I would be able to work all those hours and did regularly before I had kids but now I realize, it’s not really worth it. Every once in awhile, sure. Every week? No. I just feel stressy and not in a good place no matter what I’m accomplishing at work.

Good for you for taking some time off.

Christa the BabbyMama March 11, 2013 at 11:22 am

Freelancing is kind of like being a 70 hour worker but no one acknowledges it because you’re fitting work into tiny little chunks… I don’t envy you working in office and then at home, too. That’s crazy!

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