balence, career break, travel, work

Working 9-5: Dolly’s song and what this means to me

I feel like Dolly was on to something when she sang Working 9-5

Workin’ 9 to 5
What a way to make livin’
Barely gettin’ by
It’s all takin’ and no givin’…
It’s enough to drive you
Crazy if you let it

Hands up if you sang this in your head!

Anyhow, after a long career break having got married and traveled the world, it’s been a while since I worked. When I first came home I remember thinking how strange it was that I could only see my friends after work or the weekend. And because they have more than one friend, this often took ninja organisation skills to book in advance.

It was like being slapped in the face with a diary. You know, like those Filofax or planners you’d see Samatha with in Sex in the City – the one that showed how important she was because, well, she was busy. And people needed to know this.

In the digital world, the Filofax has been replaced with whatsapp groups or those online things where everyone needs to vote to see when is the best time for the most people to meet. Granted, I don’t have such big friendship groups that I need the latter and quite frankly would loose my will to live if I was an organiser in any group. I quite like spontaneity but realise that between work, family and hobbies, this isn’t always possible.

Fair to say, I am the one who wants to see people, but I also have small networks so usually meeting them isn’t too difficult. Well, that’s what I used to think before I went travelling.

Now I’m back I realise that this thing called work dictates when I’m free. It’s the overbearing five day long appointment that becomes the thing to organise everything around. Between about 6:30am – 7pm, I belong to work. Either getting ready for it, doing it, or getting home after it. That leaves me mornings (I wouldn’t inflict morning me on anyone), evenings (feed me and I’m yours) and of course the precious weekend.

As much as I love what I do, I am suddenly begrudging how much of my life it takes up. How much of my friends’ lives it takes up. How much head space I used to dedicate to it – even out of hours.

Funemployed let me get life admin done when everyone else was at work. Dentist and doctors appointments no longer needed negation with the boss. Banks are open at times outside of luchtime when ques reach the doors. Hair, waxing, eyebrows and all those lady like things that eat into weekends, evenings and lunch breaks were done when everyone else was in meetings, at their desks or dreaming about home time.

And that’s not including all the fun things. Museums, eateries, parks, tourist attractions – all had a low level humm to them during the week, conserving energy for the rush that will ensue at the weekend.

But alas, I realise now, I can’t have it all. I must work and want to for my mental sanity, the challenge and satisfaction it gives me. But I need to stay true to somethings:

  1. Work cannot take over my life. With sooooo much of your life spent at work, I don’t want to be someone who gives it even more. Even if I do work for good causes and this in itself motivates me to give every part of me and then some.
  2. In the long term, I must find a way to make a living that earns me money, makes me happy and has flexibility

I’ve changed since coming back from my travels. I know I have a dedication to the work I do, but I now have a dedication to my life. To growing it, to making it richer – not in money but in experience – and to giving it more variety and fun.

I’m putting this out to the world as my intention. I must stay strong to it, even as I complete my first week at work and am terrified everyday that I could fail.

But hey, isn’t there that old saying: If it scares you, do it. 

Only good can come of this. And I’m determined to give it a go. Dolly’s 9-5 didn’t seem that fun anyway. Not unless you were singing it.

Mojo&Me xx

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