Mr. and Mrs. Cat took a much-needed vacation. They climbed through tombs and maybe got a little teary-eyed at ancient monuments. They ate a lot of falafel and slathered themselves with sun screen. They met the chief of a Nubian village. They refused to ride on a camel. And then Mrs. Cat slept strange jet-lagged hours for three days, and all was well.
In the six months since I started my 9-6 dual-job work schedule, I fell into an abyss. For better or worse, I fixate on new projects and power through them in a workaholic haze. This creates tension in the form of work/life balance, because I can only devote obsessive amounts of thought to two or three projects at a time before my brain leaks. For the last 6 months I’ve been split between learning a new job, coping with the rising demands of an old job, and then devoting whatever brain power I had left to practical concerns: selling our condo and moving into an apartment, participating in two weddings, planning, planning, planning life.
When I am able to simplify my work life obligations and skew some of that obsessive attention to writing, it is immensely productive! I spend Saturdays knocking out 10,000 words in a go and feverishly outlining till 4 in the morning. But, you know, gots to eat and all that.
All of which brings me back around to a much-needed vacation. Egypt was wonderful. I won’t go on and on about all of the stuff we did (Nile sailboat! getting lost! evading the tourist police!), because my point is our return. By breaking the patterns set by my work schedule I really snapped something loose mentally. I feel great! Even after having been back at work for a week, I’m still finding it much easier to step away from work thoughts on Friday night and put them off again till Monday morning.
It helps that I’ve gotten the hang of my morning job, so I’m not stretching my brain to memorize a load of new things every day. And it CERTAINLY helps that I will be leaving my afternoon job in December (for fambly reasons), so even though it is a bit stressful to contemplate the mass of information I have to impart to my successor before I go (my successor who… hasn’t even been hired yet…), the end is in sight!!
And it just took two weeks to stop and breathe a little for everything to snap into focus.