Heather asked me if I felt like I had so much more free time now that I have an extra day off from work every week with my new schedule. The answer is actually, no… I don’t. But I feel like I can use my time better and I have more meaningful time, and I think that’s a fair trade.
With the 10-hour day plus a 40-minute commute, I’m basically gone from either 7-7 or 9-9 depending on which of my 2 shifts I have (8:00-6:30 or 9:30-8:00). I don’t really have time to do many of the things I did after work before: cook dinners, run errands, make social dates. I sometimes squeeze a workout in on either side of one of those shifts, but that tends to be about it. But that’s okay: I’ve always believed that doing things in batches in more efficient (thank you, GapKids) and I find that having an extra off day gives me one day to knock out errands, clean house, or visit people I’d have a hard time fitting into a regular week day. For example, last weekend I drove up to DC which I probably wouldn’t have attempted doing after work on a Friday and in two weeks, I’m making a day trip to Raleigh to photograph my sweet wino niece, Claire.
My extra day off feels like a freebie: a life maintenance day. I tend to schedule it to the hilt if I’m in town, but so far the trade off has been that it feels like I’m getting to relax a little bit more on the weekends. My weeks alternate: one week I have a Thursday off, the next a Friday.
This week was a Thursday, and I had my day planned out to the hour. That may sound not fun and a little AR, but it makes me happy to be organized and productive. This was my schedule I wrote out at work the night before. Please don’t judge, I am one of those people who likes to write things down for the sake of crossing them off. So yes, “relax” and “wake up” are on my to do list.
You’re judging aren’t you?
I didn’t quite follow this to a T: namely, I started working on the website copy the night before and was feeling total writer’s block and decided that some wine would help things along. A, ahem, few glasses later I finished it (yes, it requires editing) along with the emails so when I ignored the alarm at 7:00 and didn’t get out of bed til Matt strode in at 7:30 I didn’t feel too bad.
There’s something liberating, though, about being free on a “work day” that even though I’m doing mostly productive things, it still feels fun. Like when your Mom would sign you out of school to go to a doctor’s appointment.
I got to go running in the middle of the day, when the sun was shining and hit up the grocery store when the lines were short, and not feel the least bit annoyed that my doctor was running 45 minutes and I was getting docked at work for it. So there’s that. (By the way, I love my doc and I try never to gripe about his lateness, because as soon as he gets to my appointment, he sits there as if he has all the time in the world for me and answers every question I come in with, before taking a few minutes to ask about Matt and my running and my work. I’ll take some extra waiting room time for that kind of bedside manner, thanks. Unrelated, but I wanted to be clear that I wasn’t really griping about him.) Anywho, I digress…
I haven’t quite mastered my full day of cooking yet like I had intended to, but Matt has been working evenings this last week in the PICU so our eating schedule has been so off anyways. I did do a little bit of cooking ahead this weekend, including this lasagna from friend Kathryn and marinating & grilling a whole mess of chicken breasts to throw on top of salads, pasta or sandwiches. So you know, a few less Lean Cuisines, a few more real cuisine this week.
All in all, despite the trade off of the extra long days… and they do feel long, but I know lots of people work a 10 hour day without the extra day off, I’m pretty pleased with how this new schedule of mine is working out.
And this guy? Doesn’t mind me being home an extra day, either.