Pinch Me: I'm Working Full Time Again

Fran Hopkins, full-time worker

What's it like, working full-time again after a nearly three-year sabbatical?
  • It's seeing the beautiful full moon, still in the sky at 6:30 in the morning.
  • It's smiling to myself because I feel connected to the world again. I'm no longer an observer, I'm a participant.
  • It's having daily opportunities to wear nice jewelry. It's getting my first paycheck and looking at it in awe, like it was the Loch Ness monster. Is it real?
  • It's splurging on a manicure this past weekend, one thing I'd promised myself I'd do if I found a new job.

Of course it isn't just these thrilling little moments. I feel so tired most of the time, but that's gradually getting better as I adjust to my new schedule. Some of the realities are less than thrilling:
  • I'm a night owl and I hate having to go to bed "early" and get up "early."
  • My free time after work feels so short before I have to go to sleep -- so I can get up and do it all over again.
  • My weekends are crammed with chores.
  • It's much harder to schedule things like doctor or vet or car appointments.
  • I'm still trying to find routes to and from work that are the least-backed-up with ridiculous rush-hour and holiday traffic. Commuting isn't my favorite thing.

When I think about the things I don't like about working again, I always remind myself that I am NOT complaining! This is what I worked so hard for, for so long. There were many times that I doubted that I'd ever experience the "daily grind" again. So at times, I still find it hard to believe that I'm really back at work.

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I'm adjusting, but it's going to take some time. I'm having a little trouble keeping track of all the details of life. (Did I pay that bill? I forgot to go to the cleaners!) My dog is sad that I leave him all day (and I miss him too). I'm not getting enough sleep. My social life has been drastically reduced. I have to do more planning ahead to stay organized -- planning tomorrow's dinner tonight, figuring out what to wear each day -- the night before. And it's harder to fit in my exercise routine now.

I'm still transitioning from my old life without a job to my new life with one. It's actually quite a joy to be in this position. I know that I've been fortunate to beat the odds; the opportunity to work again is something that I don't take for granted.

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