Necessary Evil

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.

Porch sitting

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.

Hiking with friends and family.

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?

21 thoughts on “Necessary Evil

  1. shoreacres says:

    Since I see work as a part of life — in all its forms — the very phrase “work/life balance” doesn’t make much sense to me. Sometimes I’m working (varnishing, writing, processing photos, cleaning house) and sometimes I’m not. Of course, the nature of my work is so different from most that I’m sure it affects my perspective. Weather-related work of any sort requires quite a bit of flexibility, for one thing. And, because the work I do to earn money takes place outdoors and relatively isolated, nothing changed during the pandemic. When the weather allowed, I went down to the docks, and was glad for it. Right now, I’d just be glad for the days of rain to end so I can finish a job and get a paycheck.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Writer McWriterson says:

    Oh, I love this! First, I’m so glad you found my blog so that I could find yours. Second, I love your front porch view. If I had that view, I’m not sure I’d ever want to return to work!

    I’m still in the slow lane, but I’m okay with that. I may try to keep my feet in two lanes from now on. I’m not sure how that will turn out, but I’m excited at the prospect of it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. MariaTeresa says:

    I can relate very much to this post Sarah ❤ When the boutique I managed closed it’s doors, I took the opportunity to completely change my life. I moved back home with my parents and took on learning how to become a shaman, reaching a master level. I wrote 4 books of poetry and dove head first into my soul and what I want to do with my days. Writing, dancing, yoga, painting and cross training exercise is my focus today. How can I allow my heart to soar and my soul to sing? It caused a major shift in my personal relationship with my partner and after this past year we are much stronger for it both individually and as a couple. I’m with you Sarah, the reason was unpleasant yet the rewards have been priceless and life changing. Plus I was able to spend the last 6 months of my Dad’s life with him. The quality of my life is my focus now, not the rat race pace I too was keeping. Time management is my least favorite thing and nowadays it’s not an issue. Here’s to us and others who’s lives have seen a beneficial change since our world was forced to change❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Ally Bean says:

    When I was in high school I was the exact opposite of you. I loved sitting in classes and loathed any kind of physical activity that disrupted my day of learning.

    In answer to your question, I’m going from the middle lane to the slow lane. I’ve decided I’ll socialize less and use my free time to learn a few new skills. I took an online class during the pandemic and while I wasn’t crazy about the company that offered it, I enjoyed learning at home on my own schedule. Which I suppose brings me back to being the high school kid who liked sitting still and learning. 🤔

    Liked by 2 people

  5. leelah saachi says:

    I live much like i did before the Corona -I am 76, and what I miss the very most is shaking hands and hugging – this very basic modes of connecting. I spend more time on PC now because I feel more isolated – but I also meditate more and see a great development in my mind

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Art of the Beat says:

    Not much has really changed in my pre vs post pandemic life. Even though pre-pandemic we went out often, we kept to ourselves and rarely socialized. The one thing I am enjoying, as I have a touch of agoraphobia that I am constantly trying to hide, is space. Space in the supermarket lines, at the bank in a restaurant.

    Lovely post, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Well, I loved classes and sitting in school and disliked gym and recess. I’m not athletic and don’t collaborate very well so team sports were out! But I enjoy hiking and yoga and other non-competitive physical activities. My work-life balance didn’t change much for the pandemic because we are retired, but we missed visiting friends and family and, on the other hand, spent more time taking walks out in the safety of the woods.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. bosssybabe says:

    I’m hoping when things return to normal that my employer will allow some balance of work from home.. I’ve really enjoyed the flexibility and has provided me more appreciation for home life and work life balance 🙂 what we all need!, 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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