Balance is a very tricky thing for me right now. I feel like I’m at the cusp of figuring it out but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. August grabbed me by the collar and has been dragging me through these months without too many breaths. Starting a bachelor’s program and a brand new job at the same time has proven to be challenging, along with all the other busyness that comes with Autumn. I’ve slowed down with my photography, which is okay with me. In fact I’m taking a little hiatus after I finish up these couple sessions I already shot. For my own mental health I need to.
I also decided to cut my hours at work by 1 less shift a week. Working evenings can be difficult in terms of your social life. I feel like if I was always scheduled day shifts I wouldn't have such a hard time working so many hours because I would see Tanner in the evenings and operate on the same schedule that so much of the world operates on. Working 3-11:30pm takes up a lot of your day. When I get home around midnight I’m usually pretty wired from my shift and it takes about 2 hours for me to fall asleep. So then I sleep in until 9 or 10am the next day. I then have a few hours to myself which I usually use to get schoolwork done until I have to get ready for work again, and the cycle repeats. I’m often scheduled 4 days in a row (I know you Monday-Friday people are scoffing now), and on those days I rarely see anyone. Tanner’s at work when I wake up and sleeping when I get home. It’s tiring.
The trade off is that this is the job I want. I love my job. Some nights are really hard. Some nights I’m totally drained. But I knew what I was getting into. There are times that it’s so hard for me not to complain about working weekends and holidays; I just wish for a normal schedule. I then remember that there are things that I can do that a lot of people 8am-noon. I can spend a beautiful morning outside (studying usually) and soak up the sunshine that many people don’t get to feel. I can go to yoga during the week before work. I have these options, but often I’m too tired or feel guilty for not working on school stuff to do them.
I know it will come with time, figuring out how to juggle all the aspects. I find myself looking forward to quiet and chilly winter months. This sounds terrible but I won’t feel as guilty for not going outside when it’s -10 degrees. I love being outside but sometimes it’s not a priority in my every day life. I’m reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey right now. It’s a fantastic book full of good advice about handling your life and how you perceive everything and how to successfully prioritize things.
For those of you that have read it, I feel like every day I’m putting out fires and accomplishing things that need to be accomplished every day that are urgent and in ways are important, but I’m often neglecting the things that are not-urgent and very important- such as going outside, or going to yoga. I’m too busy dealing with Quadrant I that I don’t get to focus on Quadrant II nearly enough. I feel like once I catch up I can start better prioritizing my time and focus on those activities that are important and non-urgent, but when will I catch up? Every week is full of work, new assignments for school, family and social events, housework, photography responsibilities and then the hopeful prospect of “me” time that doesn't really seem to ever occur.
I know things will slow down, but in the mean time I’m just trying to figure it all out. All of you evening/weekender/holiday workers- how do you deal with it? Any advice?