THIS seemed so big at the time. Little did I know that eventually part time would give way to no time, then on my own time, then solo business building, a mistaken partnership, and back out on my own. And all of that AFTER the dot-com bust, following the boom when I worked 12 hour days like I'm doing now.
It seems like I was 22 when I wrote this. It was just four years ago. Time. Keeps. On. Ticking...
Here's how it felt then...
Taking a Chance on Me
I've been working full time for 20 years now. And for me--well you all know me well enough to know that full time is full time plus pulling all the stops out, doing whatever it takes for a cause or colleage--which means that full time is more like 50-60 hours a week. Sometimes more. Not all my dutiful nature, mind you. I got a lot out of my work--I always have since writing has always been involved. So I loved work as much as work loved me. The star performer, the one the client always wants to work with. Meantime, have a baby why don't you, and raise her at home while you work full-plus time, trading care for her off in random intervals with your husband, who is also trying to further his career and take care of business, and suddenly project after project after project, goal after goal after goal, time ticks by. And where did you go? We go?
So I made a decision yesterday, and my employer was kind enough to accommodate me. I'm going part-time. Starting with 30 hours a week, which will give me the freedom to work just the hours Jenna's in school when Pre-K starts August 12th. Doesn't sound like much of a cutback, but when you realize I was working 50 just to be able to bill 40, it could mean a lot. What that means I think, first, is nights and weekends without work. Wow.
Wow. I can't remember the last time I didn't work a weekend to try to keep up, bill the hours. Be the star. The one they think kindly of. That's the wonderful world of consulting. Billability, the double-edged sword. It's sweet when times are good--look how valuable I am = see how much I bill. But in tough times, both economically and personally, the struggle to fulfill your commitment to the organization (when you're an overly consciensous worker like me) can wear you down, wear you out. burn you out.
I'm worn out. And I'm doing my best to change one part of the equation that's burned out my passion. By going part time I think I can give the BEST of me to work and the BEST of me to myself and my family. It's a start anyway. One change at a time, so to speak.
Next week, for the first time in my grown up years, I am a part-timer.
That's all for now.
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