When I first entered the workforce right out of college, I struggled to adjust.
Don’t get me wrong – I loved being employed. It was exciting to know that I had a desk to report to everyday, one that I could decorate with photo frames and other personal mementos. I also really enjoyed my morning routine: one medium caramel iced coffee and a doughnut. These simple things endeared me to working life right away.
The only problem was that I found myself constantly tired. Yes there were times in my role where I needed to work late, but nothing outrageous compared to other industries. Nonetheless, after a nine-hour workday and seventy-minute commute, I would arrive in my apartment to find that I only had enough energy to catch up on shows before I fell asleep.
This ritual made my weeknights, and Monday nights in particular, feel pretty bleak. After all, I’d been excited to graduate so that I would have more time to see friends, attend events and get more involved with happenings in the city. So how could I do all of these things and achieve work-life balance, when I only had the energy for half of the equation?
Looking back, there are areas where I should’ve done things differently: having a diet that included vegetables, actually getting my daily exercise in, or cutting my sugar intake by about half. But I have a new job now, and I’ve realized that perspective is powerful in affecting how I feel about my out-of-office time.
To this day, I’m still tired when I walk through that front door. I imagine it will always be that way. The only difference is that I’ve learned how to tell myself to get over it.
Sure, Monday nights aren’t as great as Thursday or Friday nights. There’s still a large chunk of week to get through, and it’s tough to get back in the work groove after a weekend. But I’m beginning to discover that I have the power to shape how my nights play out: whether I’m catching up with family, doing some writing, going to the gym or digging my head in a novel. Some days I’m so beat that I do just need my TV, and I embrace that. But otherwise, I remind myself that everything outside of my 9-5 is in my control.
And that is an energizing idea.