Work/Life Balance What?

2012 has brought with it, in addition to a gross lack of winter, an abrupt change and new challenge for me–one I have never had to worry about. When I began a new job in late January (one of the Top 5 Most Stressful Life Events), I was ill prepared for the toll on my body and psyche that an additional five hours of work per week would have.

Zoe: Career Gal

Essentially, I went from singing, “9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’,” to crying, “8 to 5… am I ever going to do this?”

Most people would shrug at getting to work at 8am, but as I have previously–and emphatically–stated, I am not a “be someplace at 8am” type of person.

I went from an extremely sedate workplace, where I was fighting to stay awake during the day, to being on the go for nine hours straight. So let’s add this up: I’m actually awake and getting ready for work before dawn, I’m in an extremely busy work environment for 45+ hours a week, I’m fighting all of my night owl urges and/or passing out by 10:30pm from sheer exhaustion, and I’ve gone from being an internet diva to, “I really hope I have time to update my Facebook status once a day and blog twice a month.”

(You knew it was coming:)

Me trying to balance it all.

Up until this point, I never had to struggle with the age-old juggle of work and life balance, primarily because I became accustomed to multi-tasking and taking some time out of each day to browse the internet at work for personal use. (I know–first world problems, right?) Internetting/personal computer time is now reserved for nights and weekends, or scrolling through my phone at lunch time while I try to decompress and replenish nutrients in my body. Most of the time, I haven’t had the inclination to come home and turn on the computer. My brain and body just don’t have it in me.

On the one hand, I come home feeling fulfilled and that I have made a contribution–relatively novel concepts for me in my work history. On the other, that means I’m feeling what people with careers feel on a day-to-day basis: tired!

In my new life, I have a handful of hours to myself when I get home, and I have been hoarding them for time with my dude, time with my dog, and staying on top of the few shows I like to keep up on. (Now that Downton Abbey won’t be back for another 9-12 months, Mad Men will have to fill the hole come March.)

Then, for Valentine’s Day, I gave my other half a Kindle, which has been an immense help to him with his enormous reading list for school each week. It took only an hour or two to realize I would have to have one of these for myself, so I decided to go for it and get one, also.

Talk about life changing.

I own lots of books but have rarely, if ever, pulled out the enormous hardbacks of compilations to read, like my Jane Austen collection. As Pride & Prejudice is one of the free classics Amazon offers, I downloaded it and plowed through it this past week, a feat I never thought I’d accomplish, since my brain at younger ages couldn’t comprehend the archaic language, and bookshelf space has been scant for a few years now, rendering large tomes to storage boxes in the attic.

So now what free time I have is divvied up much more conservatively; I’ve actually been getting back to one of my favorite pastimes and reading things not just on the internet, thanks to the weightlessness of e-books. I’m even poring over the daily paper, a habit I never generated in any of the other cities in which I’ve resided. I’ve had to admit to myself that I’m really starting to put down some roots.

My beloved blog is no longer checked nearly as frequently and writing posts is all the more difficult (but still just as special and important to me). Here’s another kicker: I don’t even have children, so I can only speculate how full-time moms and dads who have schedules like or busier than mine manage it all. I’m assuming that’s why sleep becomes a thing of the past.

All this is to say I’m going through a life adjustment and I hope the readers who keep coming back will continue to do so when I am able to publish new musings. If any of you out there have advice on work/life balance, throw it at me! Or even just relay a funny comment or story. I have missed being on here these last few weeks.

I’ll end this with a few things I’m looking forward to, since I won’t be able to devote a blog post to them:

1. The Oscars (I have seen maybe ONE film, by accident, that is nominated.)

2. My official Thin Mints arriving so I can freeze and then devour them.

3. Spring arriving and staying, since Winter has really half-assed it this year.

4. Traveling and seeing old friends–I have one confirmed trip so far, and I hope to have another booked soon.

5. Re-populating playlists to CDs, since some asshat stole my CD case from my car with many years’ worth of burned discs in it. You better be enjoying them, whoever you are.


Prognosticator of Prognosticators

Punxsutawney Phil: Prognosticator

Hallo everybody!

I know I disappeared there for a little while. Right after my last post, life got kuh-razy and all the posts I had planned fell to the wayside.

I do apologize.

I was experiencing one of those major life changes that just sucks you into its vortex and there is nothing you can do about it but ride the wave and come out the other side. I think I just mixed a few analogies and metaphors there.

Anyway, in honor of one of my favorite days of the year and favorite movies of all time, today’s little comeback post is all about the genius of Groundhog Day, the early 90s runaway hit (and now cult classic) with Bill Murray. There’s really not much, if anything, to dislike about this movie.

  • Great acting? Check.
  • Fantastic cinematography? Check.
  • Kickass soundtrack? Check.
  • Spot on directing? Check.
  • Memorable quotes to last a lifetime? Check. (Also see: Jokes That Never Get Old? Check.)

(Am I right or am I right or am I right? Right! Right! Right!)

Furthermore, now that I live back in the Middle States, it makes it that much easier to fulfill my dream of taking the grand tour of the set of Groundhog Day, located in the fine town Woodstock, Illinois. I can’t even tell you how excited I would be if I actually had plans to take a small road trip to go visit and get my tourism on. Someday…

Do you love Groundhog Day (the holiday)? Do you love or hate the movie? Because there are only two options. You can’t “kind of” love the movie because either the repetition bothers you or it doesn’t. Either the brilliance of the movie kicks you in the crotch and laughs or it doesn’t.

And so, in honor of this fine day and even finer film, I give you some of my favoritest quotes. (Though Ned Ryerson’s “Right! Right! Right!” quote is up there.)


Ned Ryerson: Ned Ryerson, got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn’t graduate…?

Rita: He’s not afraid to cry in front of me.
Phil: This is a man we’re talking about, right?

Phil: Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?
Mrs. Lancaster: I don’t think so but I could check with the kitchen.

Ralph: (after a shot is taken) That about sums it up for me.

Phil: Too early for flapjacks?

Rita: You’re missing all the fun. These people are great! Some of them have been partying all night long. They sing songs til they get too cold and then they go sit by the fire and get warm and then they come back and sing some more.
Phil: Yeah, they’re HICKS Rita.

Phil: Well what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.

Phil: Once again the eyes of the nation have turned here to this (sarcastically) tiny village in Western Pennsylvannia blah, blah, blah, blah. There is no WAY that this winter is EVER going to end…as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don’t see any other way out. He’s got to be stopped…and I have to stop him.

Man in hall: Do you think it’s going to be an early spring?
Phil: I’m predicting March 21st.
Man in hall: Heh, good guess! I think that actually is the….first day of spring.

Buster: (Holding Phil the groundhog) He just smiled at me, did you see that?

Larry: No no no…nobody honks this horn but me, m’kay pal?

Phil: Ned, I would love to stand here and talk with you…but I’m not going to.