One of the biggest changes for me, now that I am no longer working out of the home is to allow for time to make myself work-ready and to commute to the office. For me the loss is a couple of hours each day. I am not special in this loss of personal time. It is the personal price that millions of people pay as part of being gainfully employed. It is time the working person can never get back.
I use my commuting time to plan my day or decompress and shut down at the end of a day. When I push the button on the garage door, that is the line of demarcation of work time and personal time. I don’t take home paperwork, my computer or say to anyone at work to call me at home. I have traveled that road before of letting work take over my life and have no desire to do it again. When I am on the clock I am 110% in, but when I am off-the-clock I am guard my private time preciously. It isn’t easy and I like so many others have struggled with this situation.
When I accepted this job, RangerSir and I talked about this. We discussed what the realistic expectations were. We discussed what was most likely to suffer and what each of us might do to limit the impact of my new job on personal time.
I have done several things to ensure that I don’t let work creep occur. I am trying to cultivate new habits to ensure I don’t just go to work and come home and veg, because I found I was falling in that pattern. In January I enrolled in a creative class with weekly assignments because I love to learn and I thrive on creativity. With regular assignments I am forced to carve out time for myself. It seems that once I have found the rhythm of making self-time, it seems I have found time for other things as well. I have queued up several books at the public library, because I am back to reading daily. I had wanted to make a baby quilt when my newest Great Nephew was born, but I had never started the project. I felt I had no time. Now the top is pieced and I am busy machine quilting it so I can go to baby Harrison.
Are you caught in the never ending rat race of letting your work encroach on your personal time? Are you not being yourself, but instead using the exhaustion of work preventing you from finding enjoyment in life? If so, I hope you take a little time and think about how you can find some time for you. You are worth it. Maybe you can’t be as lucky as I am, but even if all you get is a few minutes to yourself, it will be worth it. Once you claim those first few minutes hopefully you can claim a few more and a few more.
It is something we all need not just with work and personal time, but holistically more life balance.