Last month, I said that something had to change in my job situation and I'm happy to report that the change is now in progress.
Starting soon, possibly as early as the beginning of next month, I will be scaling back my hours to work part-time. I detested going back to my boss with my tail between my legs, after having asked for a promotion during the heat of the monster project, and after he'd moved the discussion along, the week prior, about moving me up the ladder. However, I can't deny the fact that my entire attitude about my job has changed. I'm not inspired, I'm strained and a zombie lately. I do want to progress my career, but I think, for my own sanity, I might have to do it at a slower pace than I'd originally liked. Additionally, I genuinely do want to foster some side sub-careers, if you will, because I'm not a person who is laser-focused on one interest. I'm a more ADD version of Ben Franklin, not a John Nash. I always struggle with maintaining interest in any one job or place of employment when winter rolls in. I am sunk by the cold and dark. It seriously affects me. I'm a solar-powered person; 5PM darkness and overcast days are not my friends. This, of course, affects my productivity. (Apparently, I'm not the only one.)
But the main reason I've wanted to scale back is make myself more available to my family and take care of my general and specific health. As it is now, I have to make an appointment any day I want to leave work on time. Not early. On time. Have to give everyone a big heads up that I might want to go home at the time we say we're going home. Even now, in the down season. If I were a Secret Service Agent, I'd understand that my job is not a job, it's a life. But I'm not. Even when I don't have massive deadlines hanging over my head, that kind of tyranny over my time is stressful. After visiting Dad for his second open heart surgery, I've pretty much decided I need to slow the frak down. He had his first heart attack at 38. 38! Not the road I want, and the highway traffic of genetics is already going against me. I don't want to be on the chopping block. No job is worth that to me. Honey has already weathered two very stressful surgeries with me in the last year, I don't need to add more for him to worry about.
I'm hoping to work 2 1/2 to 3 days a week, when I begin this new regimen. So what am I going to do with the extra time? So many things I can do! Look for other 3/4 to full-time jobs that either a) I can work from home and aren't as driven by deadlines (currently pursuing one), b) speak to my creative side, but I can leave directly at 5PM, so I can eat dinner with my husband more regularly and pursue performing without feeling like a jerk; bonus points if the job is in my industry or c) both. I also plan on writing more; getting my personal website to look more presentable and profitable would be a plus; start working with a voice-coach and start pushing for paying voice-over jobs; avail myself to the rent-an-actor company I signed up with but have yet had time to pursue; sell the shit on eBay that I set aside last month; paint the basement; actually exercise again; go back to my thesis and figure out what I want to do with it; spend more time at the doctors' office, which is why one of my supervisors thinks I'm doing this anyway, which is about 20% true ... so many things I could do!
My only reservation about this is, of course, the current economy. I am worried about scaling back while jobs are hemorrhaging throughout every market. But Honey is supportive and isn't panicking, and since he speaks math better than I do - were I single, I'd live in a rattrap, even if I made a gazillion dollars a month, just because I'm terrified of spending a dime on anything - I take my cues from him the way I do from a flight attendant. We hit a bump. Is the flight attendant scared? No? Okay, I won't panic then. Incidentally, this is also why I'd be a bad flight attendant. Though I'm a pretty good host, I can't gauge normal from "holy shit" turbulence. Just like I can't gauge sufficient money from excess money. No money? That, I know. And right now, it looks like stepping back from my table for a while isn't going to leave us in trouble. It's going to mend more problems than it causes.