My coworkers and I finally figured out why we hate our schedule so much….. there’s no work-life balance. When our families and friends are free, we’re working, and vice versa. Those who know me are probably thinking “so what? It’s not like you like to hang out or go partying every week anyway.” That’s true, and a completely justifiable opinion if you only know the NY me. See, in NY 99% of my friends were from work. I saw them 40 hours per week and had no need to see them outside of the office (EK’s one of the few I did, especially when she abandoned us for law school…traitor….). The commuter environment of my school didn’t exactly foster friendships, and my casual acquaintances and I fulfilled our desire for time together a couple times a week in class, and sometimes outside of that when we had to work on projects. On the weekends I had the City and school work to entertain me. I was happy, except for the fact that seeing my family more than twice a year wasn’t an option.
I moved back to STL to remedy that. But because of my schedule I only see them once (maybe twice) a month. While that’s more than once every six months, it’s much, much less than I planned on. And now that I’m back near my high school friends (who I, obviously, don’t see every day at work), I want to hang out with them too. But….I can’t. I see them only slightly more often than I see my family (and Emily even less now that she’s moved away) I hate it. I’m missing apple and pumpkin picking with my family, I’m missing the chance to meet new people via my friends’ social circles, I’m missing family birthday parties, etc. That’s a huge part of the reason why I took the second job at AMC. I needed to get out and be around people and have a justifiable reason for why I wasn’t with my friends or family. Something that extended beyond “Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are my Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday which means I’m too exhausted to/can’t stay out late.” It’s the reason I’m on an online dating site (how else am I possibly going to meet anyone new?). And it’s the reason why I’m feeling burned out after only 5 months of a schedule I wouldn’t have blinked at in high school, when I worked every single Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but lived with my family and saw my friends at school.
I never quite understood before how important balance is to maintaining a happy life. Guess the only way to really know is to find out the hard way. But now that I know, can I be done suffering? Sigh…..13 more months (unless something else just happens to come along between now and then, but that would mean starting over on my health insurance and vacation time and being seen as a “job hopper”….)