Last week, I gave my two weeks’ notice at the coffeeshop. For those of you keeping track at home, this is the second time I’ve given my two weeks’ there. Remember how I did the same in January to pursue freelance writing and a part-time position with one of my besties at a tea shop? Well, long story short, the tea shop position fell through and freelancing wasn’t even scratching the surface of paying the bills, so I stuck it out at the coffeeshop part-time for five more months. In the meantime, I picked up 25 hours a week serving at a little Italian restaurant.
For nearly four months I’ve been working my balls off. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at the coffeeshop from 5:30am to 2:00pm, Thursdays off, and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at the restaurant. Recently I’ve been doing back-to-back doubles at the restaurant, meaning I’d be working from 10:45am to 10:00pm at the earliest. I’d run all my errands on Thursday and coax my body into not being sore and tired, though, inevitably it always was.
My body hurts. My soul hurts. My feet ache, my calves are perpetually tight, my hands are sore, I haven’t seen my friends in ages, and I just feel ugly — inside and out. I haven’t been taking care of myself and I don’t have the energy to take care of my house and my husband and my life. My house is in disarray from the two floods we incurred in two months and my cat just puked on my nice comforter. I’m a hot mess.
But this is what I do. This is how I cope. This is exactly the pace I’ve set for myself my entire life. I go go go go go until I crash and burn. It’s all or nothing for me. If I’m not working my ass off 60+ hours a week, I don’t feel like I’m holding up my end of the bargain… but I constantly find myself at the end of my rope after burning my candle at both ends for far too long. It’s just what I do. Balls to the walls. Head down, barrel through, no one to blame but myself. It’s obvious I suck at balance. I don’t know what it is, how it feels, or what it looks like. I feel guilty when I take too much time for me. And “too much time” usually translates into “any time at all.” But I’m tired of feeling shitty, looking shitty, and being shitty to everyone I encounter.
I call this the pendulum effect. I swing so far to the side of overworked and I hang there like one of those pirate ships at an amusement park. When I get relief, the chance to swing back, I sit on my ass, eat Pizza Rolls, wallow in self-pity, and feel like a total loser. There’s no grey area in the way I encounter life. All or nothing, baby, and dear god it’s exhausting.
So I quit one of my jobs. And I’ll just get used to working weekends. And you better believe I’m going to make the most of my time off, because you don’t know what free time is like until you completely deprive yourself of it.