work/life balance

It seems like 2 years since the last post. Actual time: less than 5 months.

I was right to be concerned about balancing 50-hour work weeks while trying to have a life outside of work. And the 8 or 9 hours in the office (followed by an hour or two of working at home at night) and trying to cook dinner and eat before 9 pm. I should have been concerned with how my new work schedule would impact my relationship with my boyfriend. Frankly I was crabby and, at times, quite difficult to share 600 square feet with.

The good news is, things are getting better. I think I’m finding my stride at work and learning how to have a life and a high-pressure job. Meeting friends for happy hour, getting an occasional pedicure and a massage once a month definitely help. I’m invigorated by new projects at work, and the team continues to grow. (Side note: why do sports phrases like “my team” have such an integral role in corporate life? If we are one team, who is our opponent?)

So I’m working on a work/life balance and taking a few vacation days next week. (Hello, five day weekend) I’m trying to ration my paid time off, in case I want to fly home for the holidays, or to a beach between November and February when the Seattle gray is just too much to take. Paid vacation is one of the most beneficial things a company can give. The New York Times article mentions a study that found the anticipation of a vacation can improve your mood, though happiness drops to regular levels after the vacation ends. Taking vacation days can improve your productivity and lower stress (obviously). I firmly believe that vacation days are infinitely better than weekends, mostly because I don’t get paid for weekends, but vacation days seem to evaporate so much quicker than weekends.

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