Below is a very honest look at this past week so you can see for yourself why I do not make this a regular Friday feature (I don't need to bore you with the monotony of it each week).
I attended a 2-year old's birthday party in Central Park and then went to work. I arrived around 1 pm and left a little after midnight.
Not wanting to return to the office, I set up a work station in my living room and worked most of the day - including a couple conference calls. I made steak and arugula salad and went for a run in the gym - too rainy to venture outside. I'm not ready to face severe elements yet. Finished the evening with some popcorn and The Amazing Race.
Met with my trainer at 730 for a pretty intense workout. Was at work by 930 and didn't leave until 8 pm. Finished the day on the couch watching shows off my dvr.
Slept in and skipped the gym. Was very disappointed in myself for breaking my morning workout streak for no good reason. Made it to work just after 9 and left around 830 pm. Again, finished the day on my couch watching Biggest Loser. Felt even worse about skipping the gym that morning and re-committed.
7 am pilates mat class. Work from 930 am to 9 pm. Conference call to plan bridal shower for a friend and then call with my sister and mother until my brain couldn't follow along anymore. Watched America's Next Top Model (the most ridiculously addicting show out there) and Make Me A Supermodel. Went to bed.
740 am running in the gym. Discovered I have lost 5 pounds since starting my intense spring training routine 6 weeks ago. Rejoiced! Work from 930 am to 930 pm. Started the day with an email from someone I supervise with the subject line: "catastrophic failure", luckily the day could only improve from there and it did.
730 am met with my trainer. Tried on skinny black pants and happily discovered they fit and look great! Arrived at work at 10, hoping to get out before 7 or 8 tonight so I can go to a birthday party for a couple of friends and still have enough brain cells for social interaction.
Intense week, right? The week nights are not my worst since I was out before 10 each night but piling this on top of working a full weekend and keeping up my workout schedule was tough. Last night a partner called me around 7 pm and I told him he was lucky that he caught me right before my brain turned off for the night. He laughed and asked how I do that and I told him it was a mandatory forced shut down after a certain number of thinking hours. I ended up working for a couple more hours after that call but this has been an extremely busy week with pieces moving in several directions at once and I have been stretched and my brain really is on the verge of mandatory shut-down.
But, there was one more piece to my week. A key piece that made me realize I am where I need to be right now. Something that pointed out to me what I had forgotten, that I really love my job. Not all aspects of my job, but overall, I really love it.
You see, on a whim, a number of weeks ago I applied for a very different kind of job. A job in a kinder, gentler city with kinder, gentler hours. A job where 4 weeks of vacation are not only offered, but where employees actually take 4 weeks of vacation each year. A job where billable hours are not required. A job where I would be working with a very good friend of mine.
I panicked and wondered what I was doing. I daydreamed about the new lifestyle I could have with that new job. I freaked out over the prospect of picking up my life and moving. I weighed the pros and the cons shifting each day as to where I ultimately wanted to be. I felt disloyal as I was given a key role in a new and exciting project at work.
Then last week I had a phone interview. The most intense interview I have ever experienced. I went in with a good attitude, still unsure as to whether this was the job for me. I was more focused on the social/lifestyle consequences of the shift than the actual day-to-day job. I asked questions, the four people on the other side of the phone questioned my experience, my abilities and posed an elaborate hypothetical scenario to test my skills. After more than an hour, I hung up the phone and realized I was sweating. I felt good about how I had presented myself. I was forthright and honest. When there was something I did not know, I admitted it. I felt I had nothing to lose.
On Monday night I called my mother and told her I didn't want the position and even if they called me for a flyback interview, I would decline. After working an intense weekend doing something I love, I could not imagine walking away. And that surprised me. It did not surprise my mother.
On Tuesday I had a message to call the place where I had interviewed. I was not nervous. I kind of knew what they were going to say before I even dialed the return call. The woman on the other end of the line cautiously and apologetically tried to let me down easy. I kind of felt bad for her as she delivered the news that while the panel really liked me, they were going with someone else blah, blah, blah. I wonder if she was surprised by my cheerful response as I thanked her for the experience.
As I hung up the phone, I suddenly realized, I don't need a new job. I don't need to move to another city. I am right where I want to be and I am doing what I want to do. Even if I am doing too much of it at times, this is where I need to be.