I finally started a full-time job this week. After a little over two years and one month, I am once again spending the majority of my days at work.
After being the master* of how I spend my time for so long, admittedly it’s a bit difficult getting back into the thick of things. In the just over three-and-a-half days since I’ve started, I’ve been reminded that there are only so many hours in a day. The big two four. Whether you are rich, or poor, regardless of your location, we all have 24 hours in a day, and how we appropriate those hours is so supremely important.
I make it a rule to get 8 hours of sleep a night. Anything less, and I am unable to do anything well. I get cranky, irritable, and everything feels foggy. So, there’s no compromising there. For work, I am required to be at the office for 9.5 hours, with 1.5 of it spent at lunch. Again, non-negotiable. 8 plus 9.5 is 17.5, which leaves 6.5. Subtract a couple more hours for the commute, and that leaves 4.5. Taking into account other necessities like taking time to fall asleep, eating, cleaning up, going to the bathroom, and personal hygiene, that leaves maybe 2 hours for the whim. The seemingly endless amount of time that I mentioned I had before is no longer available to me.
With such little time available, I’ve already learned that I must use it to do the things that are important. For example, I’m writing this during my long lunch. I don’t need 1.5 hours to eat, but I have it, so I might as well use it. There are other things I have to do, like keep track of my finances, spend time with JC, and exercise. I try to squeeze those in whenever I can, but sometimes, even if one has the time, one does not have the energy.
The temporal cost and the energy cost of having a job are pretty much what I predicted and expected. But, it’s only my first week. In the coming weeks, I’ll get a little more used to it and get a discount on my energy cost, allowing me to do more of the important things. I’ll probably get greedy and want to squeeze in more tasks, but I will do well to remember that there are only so many hours in a day.
*you could argue that I still am the master, having chosen to work rather than run out of money