Appreciating the Time Off

In between all of my moves I was left with not having a job for roughly 8 months.  At first I enjoyed being able to lounge around.  That enjoyment lasted about one week and then I began to get extremely bored.  While I didn’t have a job I was actively looking.  That being said, you can only look for jobs so much during the day.

Some people have mentioned that looking for a job was like a full time job.   For me I probably spent 4 hours or so actively looking most days.  Some days (especially in Texas) there were no new jobs to look for, apply for, etc.  That meant it was far less.

Now that I’m actually working and out of the house around 45 hours a week (with commuting), I’ve found myself really taking advantage of my days off. 

Case and point: Last week I had to use my day off to go to the DMV.  The last thing I wanted to do was take one of my few days off, drive to the DMV for a few hours only to sit, wait and then do what I needed to do.  That’s adulthood though and I had to get the necessary paperwork done.

I’ve found myself stuck in the same rut or routine several times wondering…does it get better?  Will I be happier with x,y,z?  I must rush here, I must rush there, I must get everything done.  In college, I tended to have the all or nothing mentality.  I wanted to do it all and I wanted to do it all well. I would like to dabble in swimming, in running, double major, join clubs, have a job…etc.  I wanted to do it all.  I wanted to be successful in everything I did.

The truth is that you cannot be successful in multiple things by burning the candle at both ends.  If you stress yourself out trying to fit every single thing you can into your life, it won’t add quality of life but rather take it away.

I first learned that when I quit swim team my senior year of college.  I no longer had a 2-3 hour commitment daily to the pool.  I had 2-3 hours to work on my studies, to relax and to focus on other things.  I wasn’t rushed anymore and it honestly was the first (of many) lessons I learned.  You don’t need to be amazing at everything.  You don’t need to do everything.

I second time I learned that was in Oswego.  While Tim and I did long distance, I only really focused on working, running and hanging out occasionally with friends.  I didn’t have a lot of outside factors and it allowed me to excel at working and meet many new people (I was injured at running but did go to the gym).  If I had more things piled on top, I don’t think I would have gotten nearly the benefits (and enjoyment) of what I did out of my job in Oswego.

The next time I truly learned this lesson was moving in with Tim last August.  Though I never speak finances on the blog, I had saved enough in my savings to live one year without having a job.  Not one year buying everything in the world but one year living comfortably.  (This means doing the occasional road race, new shoes but also paying what needs to be payed like bills etc).   I knew I probably wouldn’t find a job for a few months (a few not 8) so I had financially prepared for that.

While sitting and applying for jobs I felt the need to apply for every single job available.  Nevermind that it didn’t look interesting, it was an hour away…I qualified so I would apply.  I even found myself thinking if I got one job, should I get two?

All of that was unnecessary.  I found a job I love and I’m happy.  The wait was worth it and it allows me the balance I need in my life.  In the end I am sitting here saying you don’t need to do everything.  You don’t need to thrive on being on the go all the time.  If you are anything like me (you may or may not be) then you do need and truly deserve some rest and down time for yourself.  This is a lesson I struggle with often.

Question for you:

Do you have the all or nothing mentality?

I used to in college but have found that I do really enjoy my down time too.


21 responses

  1. I used to have that mentality but now not so much. These days I cannot do it all because I have so much on my plate. Maybe once things ease up I can take on more but for now I am pretty content.

  2. I will admit that I am a little over committed right now with working two jobs, but financially we need it currently. I do have nice relaxation on the weekends, and I have plans to back off of coaching a few nights at the beginning of next school year. Sounds like you’ve got the right balance 🙂

  3. I do not have the all or nothing mentality. Ove the past year or so I have come to realize that I am trying to do too much. If I want to get better at what really matters, I need to cut back. So, I’ve cut back on TV time, magazines and newspapers. I get my news during my commute now.
    This weekend I also stopped blogging on the weekends. I still wrote, but those posts will go out during the week. Not having to write every night will give me more time to work on my business or spend extra time at the dinner table with my family.
    I’m tired of being busy and tired all the time.

  4. I 100% know how you feel- definitely an all-or-nothing mentality right here. I feel like if I’m going to commit to something, I have to give it my all, which really doesn’t make any sense when you’re doing a million other things! A lot of the time, I get stuck thinking I have to do everything in order to succeed, and if I don’t, I’m somehow less of a person (which is NOT true). But it’s hard to get out of that mentality when you’ve kind of trained yourself to function like that, you know? This post was definitely a good reality check! I really can’t do it all and sometimes I need to refocus and put things in perspective!

  5. I love this post – and so completely agree with you! It might be fun to have it all, but the reality of that is actually pretty stressful and un-fun! Good for you for choosing and then doing!

  6. Love this! I really struggle with trying to do everything too…prioritizing things in my life is definitely something I’ve been working on lately. I’m so glad you’ve found some balance in life and are happy!!

  7. I am notorious for that mentality; always have been and I think it’s only gotten worse since I found myself in a job I’m not 100% satisfied with. While the job is getting better I still want to do it all; I want to go back to school, I want to be a stay at home mom someday, I want to finish my personal trainer cert & get into gym management… someday I’ll figure it all out 😉

    I’m the same way. The past 6 weeks has been 12 days on/2 days off so having the weekend to do whatever I want was so nice. I may have taken a 3 hour nap in the middle of the day. Zero guilt!

  8. It’s definitely a matter of adjusting priorities. I use Sunday afternoons for my down time. I don’t know if I can go beyond that! Maybe after I complete my first half marathon I will try to take a few days off. We’ll see 🙂

  9. I don’t find myself doing TOO many things but I definitely relate to having to do everything I am doing absolutely perfectly. If I don’t do it perfectly, I freak out and stress and don’t sleep. I become an anxious weirdo.

  10. I definitely used to have the all or nothing mentality, but since I’ve slowed down and decided not to focus on all the things, I’m so much happier. I have a job that does a GREAT job at paying the bills and a boss and coworkers who “get” my running and don’t give me the side-eye when I head out for a run at lunch.
    Although my 80-hour a week job sounded cool and important when I told people what I did, I was miserable. I truly did not have the capacity to do anything other than work; it’s so nice to not have work occupy most of my brain now.
    I’m able to focus on work, me, running and my friends. Those really are the most important things (although not necessarily in that order!).

  11. Amen! It took me a while to find a job too, and honestly, I feel like if I found it immediately, then I wouldn’t love it as much. And I definitely have a “give 150 percent or don’t do it at all” mentality. I mean, if you’re going to do it, then *really* do it. 🙂

  12. I definitely struggle with the all or nothing mentality, although it’s gotten a lot better as I’ve gotten older and realized that the more I tried to do, the less I actually got done. This is something that I’m currently trying to apply to my tendency to multitask too… I swear that blogging and the internet have given me ADD 😆

  13. Well considering we have been talking about this a lot lately you know I appreciated this post. I’m definitely of the all or nothing mentality in a lot of ways, but I’m also learning to let go of it. Job hunting is so frustrating. I’ve spend quite a bit of time on it lately (like right now…) but in the end it really does come down to what makes you happy. I’m glad you found something you love 🙂

  14. I think that having it all is pushed at us all the time. That we have all the answers, be perfect in everyway. I am definitely trying to get away from that mind set. It is too draining

  15. oh man, can I relate to this. Since starting full time work. weekends go by like that (clicks fingers).

    I always have this notion that free time would be amazing to do nothing, but ironically, when presented with it, I actually crave business. Hence why I’d never consider an ideal vacation involving just lounging all day.

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