Sunday, May 30, 2010

I met my match

I had to know it was going to happen. I just didn't think it would happen so fast.

I think this happens whenever anyone makes a big decision or discovery in their lives. The fates (whoever they are) or God or whoever gets their kicks off of watching us here on earth, send along someone to test our belief and commitment to our new found 'way of life'.

Seeing as I haven't even had a chance to get past my final long long week of work I can say that I certainly did not expect it occurring so quick. But I am glad it did.

A mere 24 hours after deciding to cut back on my work schedule I am in a kitchen of someone I was supporting with another staff. We found ourselves chatting about our schedules, a certain team we are both on and how crazy things can get doing what we do.

Our conversation meandered through our hours and losing our weekends when we started and then pretty much every day except one out of each week.

I mentioned to Toughy that I had just started take my every other weekends off and guarding them with my life. She looked at me with quizzical eyes and gave me a 'That must be nice' look, in fact she may have even said it. She followed it up by adding that she's been collecting too many hours and had to go in to ask for help from management to get rid of like 8-10 hours a weeks that she'd taken on over the max for the next few weeks.

Toughy talked about how insane life was with her new fiance and her son, and not being able to spend time with them really. As I listened and agreed with the challenge of this lifestyle I could tell she felt more able to share her frustrations with it, knowing she wasn't coming across as weak I think.

I'm not sure why I felt the need to share but I did anyway and mentioned that I had booked a week of unpaid time off in June (her super busy month) because I just needed to stop and take some time. Perhaps in the back of my mind I hoped that I could help her find some reason to see that she deserved a break, that she probably needed one and that by me saying I needed one she'd feel 'permission' to take one too.

Well, not so sure it worked. After I told her this she gave me an even more intense 'Must be nice' look. I flatly said: 'I need time. I need a break from this to live. I want a life.' We chatted a bit more about it but let the conversation go. I only had a slight pang of self condemnation but for the most part was very proud of myself. Not just for sharing what could be seen as my weakness with her, but sharing what I was going to do about, even if she saw it differently.

The more I practice this guarding of my time and my need for it the better I feel about my decision.

Now I am brought to yesterday.

I was chatting with another young staff at work while relaying shift info. She works full time at a day job and work nearly full time (or so she says) at my place of employment. There were some shift changes and since I put in an extra long day yesterday and was scheduled to work an 8 hour day and a full week, and she was going to unexpectedly lose 4 hours I offered her the last half of my shift today. She gladly took it.

I mentioned generally that I was trying to keep my hours to a certain number so that I could participate in my life. What a stupid thing to say to someone who works two full time jobs and isn't in a long term relationship.

She immediately pridefully announced that she works 36 1/2 hours at her day job and often 38 hours at this job. She mentioned that this job could be a challenge but 'Hey, we love our job right?' Of course. But I also like to live my life too, I mentioned that.

I so used to be that person. The person that took so much pride in working every waking hour, even though I was crabby and beat and drained at the end of the day.

Now I am really working on being proud of trying to be a good wife, a passionate Liver of life, a thinker, a writer, a hopefully decent friend, someone who can help out another person without getting a pay check, a growing human being. I think those are good aspirations.

I still struggle with feeling validating for taking the time, but I know that will iron itself out as I obey my limits and just let go and be who I am supposed to be. I know that if I don't I'll miss out on important relationships, incredible revelations and possibly even becoming a mother. I want those things, more than I want people to think I'm the hardest working person around.

Who knew this would be a challenge?

I'm up for it.

(I hope me talking about this issue isn't like beating a dead horse. It's something I struggle with so it's something I'll write about. Feel free to skip the boring ones!)

1 comment:

Zoe said...

You GO, Eva! People are just jealous that they don't see Their way clear to take the steps that you are - you ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING! =0)