I would have never considered myself a workaholic. Work-life balance is gospel to me. GOSPEL. I need to have a healthy bit of life in my life, in order to feel normal. God only knows why I chose to go into advertising (I blame 21-year-old Ambika), but alas here I am. And I love what I do. I really truly love it. But strategizing, and then noodling your strategy, and then re-wording your words, and re-visualizing your visuals can get gnarly.
And considering that even on a normal 9-7pm schedule, my brain turns to mush by EOD, I’ve been living a nightmarish, brain-dead, extreme.
I know people out there can do it. I have friends who have done it and continue to do it and more power to them because Lord, it is hard (although I guess if you’re making bank it’s probably easier to stomach, i.e. why investment banking still exists).
But regardless of my trials and tribulations, I’ve been doing my damndest to stay positive and on top of my life game. Because with a wedding to plan, a guy to love, and a family that will never stop calling (please don’t, I love you!), no one’s going to let me off easy.
Here are some ways I’ve been staying afloat:
1. Retreating to my work besties. Often.
There is nothing better than a work BFF break during a long work day. They’re like a pool of cold water in the Sahara. A lone umbrella in the rain. A pair of mittens during a blizzard. Those peeps are important peeps, and they will save your sanity time and time again.
2. Planning what I’ll do on my day off when the crazy ends.
This is what I’m thinking right now. Take a day off. Go to Brooklyn. Find this new creepy cool new age store that I’m intrigued by. Purchase a book. Purchase a fancy lunch. Sit and read. With my phone in my purse on DO NOT DISTURB MODE (which if you haven’t discovered I literally don’t know how you live).
3. Getting something really tasty for lunch everyday & keeping treats at my desk.
I had enchiladas FOUR times this week. This is not an exaggeration. And each time, for some reason, my meal got the slightest bit bigger. Oh Guac? Of course! I need chips with that! Oh an ELOTE appetizer? Please. Game over.
4. Sending my fiancé work-selfies.
K can attest to this. I have ONE documented full-face selfie. That shit’s just not my thing. But when it comes to making weird faces at my fiancé – I just can’t resist. And even if he doesn’t respond (which he doesn’t), at least I can have a little (or huge…) laugh at myself and realize that life just isn’t that serious.
5. Not making any plans after work.
For some people, this isn’t a thing. In fact, they need to go to a fancy dinner and then drink cocktails until 4 am to feel better. Not this gurl. I need a cup of chai with fresh ginger, and my bed. Enter apartment. Change into PJS. Wash up as fast as possible. And in.to.bed. NETFLIX.
6. Journaling moments in my crazy as F days that give me a sense of fulfillment.
There are some really good moments in my bad days. Moments when I finally crack a tough question, or figure out the perfect chart (1. you know you’re a strategist when…) to fit the campaign architecture in my head, or help a brudda/sistah out. I can’t lose sight of the things I love about my job. They make the crazy hours feel less crazy.
7. Using whatever downtime I have to write blog posts like this that will make light of my situation.
Even if it is just plain crazy.
Hope you’re all staying afloat!