When I was in high school I viewed each day spent in classes as a necessary evil before basketball or volleyball practice. I did not enjoy spending all day sitting and listening, particularly to things that bored me.
I discovered this way this way of thinking has stayed with me.
When the pandemic hit, my employer sent me to work from home for two and a half months. During that time I realized I was exhausted. The first stage of the pandemic really threw on the brakes to life as I knew it. There was nowhere to go and there was defiantly no one to see unless it was on Zoom or socially distanced outside. Working from home allowed me to rest because I was not longer rushing to fit in my life before or after work. I no longer had to walk my dog, workout, shower, dress and pack a food before leaving my house at 7:30 a.m. for work. Working from home let me sleep later and not have to hit the ground running. It was a gift. I loved this time though I was not a fan of the reason.
When I returned to the office in June 2020, I was able to maintain some of the balance I had established. There was little traffic so my commute was cut in half. I would come home and stay home. There were no concerts, dinners, book clubs or other normal things to do.
Over the past year I see how, much like when I was in school, I view the day as a necessary evil. Before the shutdown, I felt like a captive during the day and over filled my mornings, nights and weekends so that I did not feel like I was missing on life. Constantly being on the go is recipe for exhaustion.
As communities are lifting restrictions, I have reached some decisions related to my work-life conundrum. Working full time in the office is still a necessary evil, but there may be flexibility in the future. I do control my personal time. I used to try to be home one work night a week. Now I max out at one weeknight out doing something that cannot include my dog. In the last year I discovered that I enjoyed carry out dinners on a porch or in a backyard far more than being in a restaurant. Weeknight concerts are out as I cannot come home at midnight and reasonably expect to function for the next day or two.
I have decided a big keeper post-shutdown is spending time with my favorite people while doing my favorite actives: being on the farm, patio/porch sitting, riding horses, paddle boarding, walking and hiking.
I enjoyed taking classes on-line and hope that continues. On place sent a survey exploring when I would be willing to return to in-person classes. The survey focus was COVID safety, but my response were about the desire to no longer rush. I want to keep distance learning. I am willing to bet my responses were something that was not even considered when the survey was created.
I have discovered that I enjoy life far more when I focus on what I really enjoy rather than chasing what might be fun. After all of these years I can finally admit that I like life in the middle lane.
Please share what you will be keeping and/or not keeping moving forward. I really want to know how others are approaching work-life balance after restrictions. Are you in the slow, middle or fast lane?