Reclaiming Weekends

This weekend I am not checking my work e-mail.

Ah, work.

I love my job. Maybe I love it a bit too much?

When I first started at YS I was pretty good about balance. I limited my availability. I worked from home at least one day per week. Weekends became sacred time again. And I did a lot more little things to set me on a healthy path.

Then last February that all changed. Some positions were eliminated and we were put in a meat grinder position of turning the company around financially. Without being asked to do so I took ownership of that– “I’m going to do my part.” and all that healthy balance went out the window.

The other day Tic and I were chatting about this being a reset point for our lives. Sure, there is infinite work to be done. But if we don’t pace ourselves the workload will destroy us. He said something along the lines of… “If I’m not at a convention or something I’m fully aware that I’m not that important. I don’t need to be reached all the time.” That really resonated to me. It kind of cut to the quick of the issue. Like Marko has talked about on his blog, I have an unhealthy tendency to attach my significance to the world by what I do instead of who I am to the most important people in my life.

And so Tic and I are trying something. It feels like a big step. In reality, it’s a baby step. But we want to start off with one little victory before trying to add more. On Friday we both set out-of-office messages that just said, “I’m not available over the weekend.” And we’re both going to try really hard to ignore work stuff for the weekend. And we’re going to catch-up on Tuesday to see how it went. (Starting on a three day weekend is asking too much, so we just want to make it Friday at 5pm until Monday morning.)

There is lots to do. In fact, there is tons to do. Far more than I can fit into a work week. But I’m just not that important. The world will continue to spin. Projects will wait. I don’t need to work night and day and weekends, too.

The fact that I have 43 unopened e-mails on my work account is driving me crazy! And knowing that that number will be about 200 by Monday morning is tough to deal with. But the truth is simple. I’m not that important to the world. The fact that 43 unopened emails are driving me crazy reveals the true depth of the problem, too.

I am really important to my family.

I desire to be fully present. I need to work on that. I’m trying.

Crap. 47 emails.

I need to stop looking.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

1 comment

  1. Glad you’re doing it! Very rarely do I check church email or answer my church cell phone on Fridays, my day off. Even if I have a pile of stuff to prepare for Sunday, like I did this week, I’ll do it Saturday instead just to protect Fridays. Glad you’re setting boundaries! Keep it up!

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