When you discover what you need

Pay attention.

I’ve been a little overworked last week and contrary to my plans totally didn’t manage to focus on writing another blog. I’m not lacking topics I want to write about, not even time is the issue. I have simply been too tired and therefore unable to concentrate on writing coherently. I am still tired, but work will ease up somewhat this week, and can put more energy into this as well.

So, I had this idea the other night as I was sleepless tossing and turning despite being horribly tired. It occurred to me in the middle of the night. I took out my phone, wrote these first few words, and managed to go back to sleep.

My idea was that it is important to discover what it is we need. On so many levels. And when we do, we must pay attention. My frustration when I had this thought was the many hours I had been putting in and the late shifts.

I considered the alternative, a 9 to 5 office job. Been there, done that. Not what I need.

More so, however, it was the fact that last week I had five shifts, which meant having to leave the house on five days, cycling to work, being among hundreds and hundreds of people, having to engage with dozens of them, and being completely drained every night.

That was the main frustration. As much as I like my job, and the social aspect is part of it, I have a limit. I am still an introvert. I cannot be out among so many people for so many days in one week. I need a break. No wonder I feel completely depleted and unable to even write.

I know what I need in that regard. I know my limits. That is the reason I only work part-time in this job, 25 hours a week. Last week it was easily 45 hours. Mind you, that is an exception – thankfully. But it was a stark reminder of why I work part-time.

The next few weeks shouldn’t be this extreme and I sure as hell don’t plan to repeat this experience. Covering someone else’s vacation or illness is a different story, but that wouldn’t just fall on my shoulders.

I’m perfectly content to be at home multiple days in a row, working from home and sometimes not even leaving the house if I don’t need anything. I don’t often do that in summer, mind you, as I love to enjoy the weather and just be outside. But in winter I may well hole up inside for days at a time.

I discovered what I needed in a job and in my work week long ago and sometimes I fail to adhere to it. Whilst I don’t make my own schedule, I can give preferences, which I do, and that works well enough, but I also tend to help out when needs must – more so than others. So, I end up with plenty of overtime.

By the way, figuring out what you need from your job or work is incredibly important to achieving a healthy work-life balance. But beyond that, we do have many other needs that we have to consider or discover and we always need to pay attention and not push those needs away in favor of work, people-pleasing, or for any other reason.

Yes, I may be a bit preachy here and I don’t want to go further into this at this point. I was mainly concerned with my job these past few days and remembering why I don’t work 9 to 5.

This may change in the future. And if or when it does, I will have to adapt.