I made my decision.
I was faced with making a big decision, which I wrote about last week in a post about OCD and making decisions.
I am making a change in my work life.
Starting this week, I am lowering my work hours to 32 hours per week.
It may not seem like a big change, but for me, it’s huge.
As you may remember, I work as a newspaper reporter. My main beats are county government, the sheriff’s office and the courts.
I write about activities in local government, crimes when they occur, and the outcomes of some of those crimes in court.
Some of my days are very long, especially Tuesdays when we lay out the paper, which I also assist with.
If I have meetings in the evenings, it also makes for a long day.
Sometimes I feel like I miss the entire day in a blur because I’m wrapped up in making phone calls and conducting interviews, or I’m hunched over my computer writing a story.
I’m away from home more than I like, and I sometimes feel overwhelmed by what I have to do at work and by what I’d like to do at home.
I think this sense of being overwhelmed stems from several things, such as my temperament; my OCD, depression and anxiety; and my energy level.
It’s also affected by the nature of my job. There’s always another deadline looming ahead, another paper to plan for, another interview to conduct, more story ideas to generate. It’s easy to stay in a state of anxiety.
For a while now, I’ve been fighting the job. I’ve had a hard time getting up in the morning to go in to work. I’ve dreaded Mondays. I’ve basically lived for the weekends, and some weekends I have to work.
After I first got the idea for cutting my hours, I talked with my husband, then the newspaper’s publisher, then the editor. Then I thought some more and talked some more and asked more questions.
I prayed. I meditated.
I knew it would mean less money. Not a lot less per week, but it would add up over a year’s time.
Also, I’ve worked full time for many years. Being a full-time worker was part of my identity.
But things worked out. I made my decision. And I’m at peace with it.
Why is this a huge change for me?
It means more time.
I’ll have chunks of days or even whole days free from the confines of the job.
More time to do the writing that I want to do. To do more things at home. To perhaps start an editing business.
More time with Larry.
I hope with the step back, I’ll be able to enjoy my job more.
And I hope that I’ll feel less overwhelmed, more ready to tackle the mental health issues that affect me.
I’m so grateful that I’m able to do this now. I don’t want to take the opportunity for granted.
Have you ever made a change in your work life that had big effects on your life?