16 July 2009

Time Is On My Side

Yes, it is.

I gained six hours this week. Well, not yet...but I will. And when I do, I will have six extra hours every week.

You see, I accepted a new job which will start on September 1: a job which will allow me to telecommute two days a week (meaning 6 fewer hours of commute time). Six hours might not sound like a significant change to you. For me, it will change my whole world.

The change means six more hours a week to work in my garden...or write my book...or spend with friends. It means that on Friday mornings, I can once again meet my elementary teacher peeps for breakfast and still be to work on time. It means 14,500 fewer miles on my car each year (and lots of money on gas and service). This change enables me to not have to take a vacation day so I can meet the plumber to fix my toilet (after 5 months of not working properly). I don't have to wait weeks to pick up my birthday gifts at the post office because I can now get there before 5 p.m. I can tell local schools that I am available to volunteer at after school events (or be there for early morning tutoring). For two days each week, I don't have to come home with a tension headache and completely fatigued from dealing with traffic. I won't have to pay bridge tolls or parking.

Some of the change is sad. For the first time in my career, I won't be working in the sciences. My role will be tangential to them---as well as every other k-12 content area. I will greatly miss the people I've been working with for years. I will also miss my current job---I really do love the work I'm doing, but the supervisor will not entertain my need for six more hours to have a life. When faced with a choice between an amazingly wonderful job (and no life) and a job I hope to grow to love (and have something of a life)...I picked having a balance. It's not a happy choice for me, but I feel like it is the only one I could make.

If the housing market was different...if the economy and job opportunities were different...if I had a spouse at home to take care of all the other of life's duties while I was away...then I might have other solutions to the 6-hour issue. But I can't operate under those uncertainties any more than I can in a job environment that insists I live an unhealthy lifestyle. I have to respect myself more than that. And with six more hours a week, I will.


Tim said...

I feel very fortunate to have a boss who understands and actively promotes the concept of a work-life balance. And who also is very comfortable with the idea that sometimes I can do my job from a location that is not at a desk in the same building.

Congratulations on being able to reclaim a few hours a week for yourself. It's too bad you had to make some compromises with your job in the process. Good luck.

organized chaos said...

When I finally moved out of trendy city living in DC and into (gasp) VA my afternoon commute went from 1-2 hours to 15 minutes (even though I only moved six miles). Suddenly I had my life back. I hadn't even realized how much of my time was wasted in the car in the afternoons, but after my move I realized I hadn't really been a full person during the week. It was a fabulous discovery. I hope you enjoy your six hours! I know exactly how precious they are!

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Glad to hear the change is agreeable, SG. You'll have to keep us informed.

I attended the ETS/ATI Summer Conference on Assessment for Learning, and for the first time heard Heidi Hayes Jacobs (very witty and sarcastically funny) who is seriously into 21st Century Everything, Anne Davies on differentiation, and one of my heroes, Dylan Wiliam, of "Black Box" fame.

Wiliam had some very interesting things to say about professional development of teachers. I'll be writing about that on RepairKit as I disengage from the local political horsepucky up with which I have been putting for too long! :)

Stay cool and have a quality brewski for me!