Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reclaiming my mornings

Some chairs you love. Some, like this one, can swallow you.

In August I started a full-time part-time job as editor and writer for a regional online magazine.  I say full-time part-time because I only needed to spend four hours a day in that office, but I had to be there five days a week. 

Needless to say, it was taxing. Not even the fact that the office was a two-minute walk away from the Standard newsroom did not quite erase the fact that it left me, often, exhausted and drained. I had to leave my home right about the same time that everybody else does -- during the rush hour. Surges in Grab and Uber are considerable. And then of course I go home at the usual time -- in the mid- or late evening. And do the same thing all over again the next day.

I found, too, that I had neither time nor energy to apply myself to the demands of my other engagements. I often found myself sleepy, grumpy, and without appetite or enthusiasm or clarity of thought for most things.

I missed my mornings. 

Since I began working at Standard, and especially since I struck out on my own nearly ten years ago, I had been used to having my mornings to myself.  I could sleep late, or do housework, or work on other projects, or watch television, or meet with friends for lunch, or just do nothing which is the most awesome of all, before I get ready to go to the office at mid-afternoon.

It also meant I could remain true to my calling as a night owl. Early to bed? No - that just wasn't me. 

I missed my mornings so much that not even the new challenges of the job -- the immensely wider scope, the thrill of meeting and interviewing people from Southeast Asia, the new personalities and management styles I had to deal with, and of course the additional stable pay -- could convince me that it was worth staying on a regular basis. 

(The furniture also took some getting used to. I did not want to stick around for that.)

So over the holidays I gave in to the idea that had been nagging at me for a while. I decided, not to sever my ties with the magazine, but to limit my engagement to that of being a freelance writer. I would still enjoy meeting people online, interviewing and writing about them, and developing my reporting skills in the process. But I do not anymore have to haul myself out of bed, grudgingly, every morning. 

 As a result, I am now a sunnier, cheerier person, too -- a greater joy to be around. :)

I'm happy I started the year with a great decision.  May I follow through with a lot more.

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