Off to work I went.
Last week was my first week of work, in a while. My first week of work in an office in an even longer while. After six months off, four years in retail and one year of grad school, I find myself back in front of a desk during most daylight hours Monday through Friday.
It was, predictably exhausting, an overload of information and new routine and new faces and trying to ensure I did nothing stupid. Nights last week were spent prone on my couch, willing myself to stay up until at least 10 before crashing into bed. Rinse, repeat. By yesterday, I had ironed the wrinkles out enough to eat a full breakfast at home (scrambled cheesy eggs on sourdough), knock out my work tasks, see Air Force One fly by, hit Happy Hour, then go to dinner and a movie with husband, and I stayed up reading when we we got home. OK, I can do this. Sure, my sink is piled high with pots needing to be cleaned, and I have a vase of dead flowers on my shelf, but some of the pots are already clean, and I kept up with washing the sheets.
The unorthodox retail schedule, while often inconvenient for weekend fun, is great for getting errands done. Don’t work on a Tuesday? Knock that stuff out. Going in to close at 1? Work out and then bake banana bread before heading in. There’s never really a break like the Saturday/Sunday weekend provides, but somehow, there’s always enough time to do everything. Not to mention, for the first time in our relationship, husband and I are on the same schedule. We have never worked the same hours, ever. Jury’s still out on how this will affect us, but suffice to say, we definitely did not make our mid-week run for groceries.
There’s also the question of time together vs. downtime. We’re both people who need to be alone and recharge. I could do that during my weekdays off. He could do it during my nights at work. Now we’re gone together and home together, and we, of course, love each other, but I think it’s ok to say that neither of us wants to spend every moment not at work with the other. I’m not really worried; it’s just another thing to adjust. In fact, today, he’s at a computer event, and I’m typing this, then going to yoga. We’re doing fine.
You think starting a job is just, ok, I’m going here at these times to do this work, and then I get paid. But nothing is ever just what it is at face value. So we’ll see. I’ll go in to week two after these glorious days off, and I’ll learn more and still be tired, but maybe I’ll walk through the market on my way home, and maybe we’ll get the pans washed right after dinner, and maybe I’ll go to an evening yoga class. Maybe. What I will do is acknowledge that change is hard but inevitable, and I’ll adapt, recalibrate my days and keep moving forward.