Today folks are working more hours and getting away from work less and less. They are plugged in and connected in ways we never dreamed of ten or even five years ago. Folks check in at work after hours and when they are on vacation. Either they are checking in or someone is calling them. They are becoming stressed out because they are always on. Always on call. Always at least mentally at work.
I am getting ready for another week on the road. Ramping up for all that I have to be prepared for when working away from the office is intense. My daily pedometer has been logging less than 1,000 steps daily. That tells you how tied to my desk I have been. There is the juggling of my regular workday along with all the extras of preparing for presentations, meetings, collections of fees and more. It always seems like folks know that if they don’t call me now they will be sunk for a week. The interruptions are constant and my stream of concentration be broken over and over. In spite of it all I plugged on working long days, most more than ten hours, to be prepared for this road trip. Yet I did manage to find some way to create balance and limits while work was attempting to take over my life each day, I fought back with quiet nights.
When I worked, I worked, and when I was done I was done. That meant at the end of the night I closed the office door in the lower level of my house where I work. The phone was no longer answered, the cell phone was turned off, and the work pc was turned off. No calls. No text. No email. I might have worked long hours, but when I called it quits there was no going back until the following morning. No one died. No irreparable harm came to my employer. Nothing happened that waiting for 12 hours caused the end of the world.
Each night RangerSir and I ate a real dinner together. It often meant we were eating at 8pm, but it was a meal, not something out of a box nuked. Together RangerSir and I made dinner talking about our workday and catching up with all that brought us to this point in the day. Once our meal was plated everything changed. No work talk, not woe is me, or additional rehash of the trials of work. We ate some nights in companionable silence other nights we talked about projects for the house or trips we wanted to take, news we had heard on the radio, or a new playlist one of us was think of putting on our iPod. Things of trivial nature, but definitely not work.
After dinner RangerSir spent some time with his favorite unwind the TV, and I with a book. It did not make either of us any less tired, nor take away from the stress of our jobs the next day, but it did give us time to refresh our souls and enjoy a quiet night.