…I may have another moment of work/life clarity.

I had one earlier this week, in between fever dreams and bouts of impostor syndrome. For a beautiful moment I had peace with the career I’m returning to on Monday.

Then it vanished and I felt terror. But hope springs eternal, so maybe I’ll get another sweet taste of relief.

Truth is, when I’m actually doing the work, I’m fine. But when I leave I fear the failure I’m not experiencing. Which sucks because by definition, when I leave, I’m at home relaxing.

Maybe it’s just that this was such an extremely shitty week, I can’t help but expect disaster. I think I’m recovered by now. I do better at work/life balance, as I do with most things, when I’m not heaving my guts out. Who knew.

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…it’s a Friday. A real one.

This was the first work week in a long time – something like seven years – that I’ve had to drive into my office every day instead of telecommuting.

My God, driving is a pain in the ass. You never expect it to be as tiring as it is.

Fortunately, it’s Friday, so I’m back to my normal routine after today. I remember this feeling now. Fridays still mean something.

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…I’m not shy about taking time off.

I have PTO available to me, and I use it all regularly each year. I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I’m tired constantly even with the breaks.

I’ve known others who just don’t take their time off. It’s hard to reframe your life to something self-driven when you dedicate yourself too much to a job. Thankfully that’s not a challenge on my plate at the moment.

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…we’re having pizza for dinner.

This week is going to be absurdly busy. I’m expecting to have virtually no free time each evening. As in, I won’t be home from work until right before bedtime for the kids, so I’m going straight to nighttime rituals.

So we’re doing pizza takeout for dinner tonight. We do this often, but the difference tonight is that we have a good excuse. It’s guilt free takeout. Fuck you, credit card – daddy’s gotta rest.

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…today is a passenger day.

Today’s one of the days I physically go to my office. It’s at least an hour drive one way, often longer. And I fucking hate driving.

Driving is one of the worst things I have to do on any kind of regular basis. It manages to be both boring and dangerous, sedentary and exhausting.

Fortunately, I often carpool with a coworker, and today’s a day I get to ride instead of drive. It’s like pretending I won an Uber gift card every couple of weeks, only without the corporate evil and sexual harassment.

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…my office gave us a paid day off.

Veteran’s Day has always been one of those lame lip service holidays where all our institutions say “thanks” out loud but don’t actually do anything to improve the lives of the people it’s meant to celebrate. All they really do is close the post office. So, that sucks. (FWIW, I think Veteran’s Day should be an annual deadline for Lockheed Martin and all the other ghouls to finish building the useless war jet projects they started in January, and if they don’t finish, all their money goes to a tax-free cash payout to veterans.)

My office at least does one step more and actually gives us the day as a paid holiday. I’m using it to get my Covid booster, which is literally the least (and yet, paradoxically, the most) I can do to help out all my fellow citizens today, veteran or not. And who knows, maybe I’ll do some grocery shopping or some cleaning while my kids are at school.

Parenthood is when a day off becomes exciting because it makes doing chores slightly easier.

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…my office is super flexible with telecommuting.

I’m extremely lucky that way.

I totally get what it’s like to be on the other end of that spectrum. All my past jobs were hostile as hell to the concept of telecommuting. Though in the cases of Target and Hollywood Video, I can’t blame them.

Today I work for a company that’s entirely rational and actually likes its employees. It’s shocking. I still don’t believe it when something good happens, and I’ve been conditioned to expect another shoe to drop. No tricks yet. It’s just an actually cool place to work.

I recognize how rare that is. No chance in hell I’m giving up this position any time soon.

You hear that, all you crabby small business owners bitching about your personnel shortages? You want to keep people on your team, it helps to treat them like people. You fucking dumbasses.

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…my Ecosia searches have been stacking up.

I set all my devices to use Ecosia as the default search engine like a year ago and forgot all about it. Now my little tracker says I have about 5,000 searches. Supposedly that’s over 100 trees planted.

I helped plant 100 trees by doing nothing except looking up B movie stars’ biographies and searching for the exact same waffle recipe every Sunday instead of just writing it down.

And you can, too. Just go into your browser settings and change the default search engine to Ecosia. As far as I can tell, it’s legit, and even if it isn’t, it ain’t like fucking Google was gonna do anything nice for you.

Now go be an aggressive douchebag about this to your office the same way I’m gonna be, so everyone else can passively plant trees, too.

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…I have a scented candle in my home office.

It’s just plain nice.

Usually I don’t spring for fun stuff for my office. Not sure why. I spend a ton of time here. Even before the pandemic I was telecommuting four days a week, so if there’s ever a place where a bit of luxury would go a long way, it’s on my desk.

I think I have it drilled into my head that work is on this side of the door and life is on the other side, and while that’s good for keeping work/life balance and all that shit, it does sell me short on more basic things. Like smelling elderflower all day.

Sometimes you’re just allowed to have candle.

You hear that, you lousy Wall Street Boomers? I spent five bucks on a luxury instead of putting it in my IRA and life is better for it. Now get the fuck back in your shitty office and keep bitching about kids these days, or whatever stupid shit it is you decided to waste your precious remaining years on.

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