Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What I Hate About Twelve Hour Days

Twelve hour day. Those are some bad words right there. Four hour meeting. Even worse.

It's days like these that the little nagging voice in the back of my mind starts to scream "You are not meant to work in an office forever!" At which point, of course, I scream back "I KNOW!" The thing is, right now I like this work. It's challenging, it pays me well and I work with some fantastic people. The other thing is, I don't know what else I should be doing right this second so I do the best I can right here. That's the kind of thinking that comes of a twelve hour work day. Deep, right?

The length isn't really what I hate about the long days anyway. What I hate about the long days is that when it comes to an end, no one knows it but me. No one is sitting here at home or on the other end of the phone for me to tell that my long, ridiculous day is finally over. Sure, friends and family are often there but it is just not the same. I want to pick up the phone and call the person that is designated to me at the end of my twelve hour day.

It's magnified when you get home, too. Instead of changing your focus to someone else, you're still thinking about you. Your work, your day and your thoughts are the only things that get to occupy your time. Yes, I have plenty of thoughts about running and volunteer work and writing that take my mind off me but again, it's not the same. There are days that so much is on my mind I want to just be able to forget about every bit of it by focusing on someone else. Whether they have good news or bad news or no news, I just want to hear it. I want the perspective you can only get from putting yourself aside and being part of someone else's life.

As someone who tends to bounce around a lot I've finally figured out that what I'm really doing is trying to find that place that is a balance of comfort and freedom. There have been moments that come close but to say that they're ideal would be a lie. I know that traveling and working my butt off and keeping up with an impossible schedule are merely pieces of a place that I hope to someday be. There have been times when I honestly felt like I was almost there. But almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, right?

I know my life is good. I know a twelve hour workday is something for which to be thankful. I know I'm blessed and damn lucky. So when I say that something is missing, I don't say it in spite of all that I have. I say it because of all that I have. I won't shed tears over this feeling and it won't depress me into a pint of cookies-n-cream but I can't deny that it's on my mind.

If there's anything to learn from a twelve hour day it's that there are twelve other hours in the day in which you have to live the rest of your life. I just have to ramble on until I'm okay with the fact that I'm not in control of this... or plan a quick vacation to the beach, which I'm going to do right now.

UPDATE: Trip planned. Thank goodness I can control something.


GirlGoyle said...

We always want what we don't have. Friends in relationships wish they were freer and those who are single are looking for companionship. It's the eternal dance of life.

OK...I've been dreaming beach vacation for a while. Where to this time?

Bre said...

(I'm quite jealous of you and your vacationing ways!)

Sometimes I wonder if I don't mind 12 hour days or 3am phone calls because it's not pulling me away from anyone. If I had someone to come home to, someone to leave in the morning, I'd probably be a heck of a lot less "OK" with it!

justacoolcat said...

One thing about 12 hours days, in our business it takes years of paying dues before they are less frequent. They also make it much harder to meet someone. Don't be timid when it comes to asking for raises, play hard, and vacation as often as possible would be my advice. The rest will work itself out.

Where are you headed?

JustRun said...

Going to spend a little time on A1A.