I’m the kind of person who used to enjoy reading articles about super-successful people getting up at 5am to start the day…and never do it myself.
Get up half an hour early so I’m not rushing around like a headless chicken? Sure, absolutely. Morning jog before cooking a healthy breakfast and sitting down with the latest news and my emails? Hahahaha. I’d rather be reading or listening to music or on social media or cuddling a cat in lovely cosy bed.
(I may not be a millionaire, but I do look a decade younger than I actually am).
Anyway, that all changed when I started my new job. I love my new job. However, it’s miles away from where I actually live. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to grab a lift with one of my friends/coworkers, but he starts early. That’s great and I can totally see why it’s the best option – an already 45 minute drive doesn’t need to be made even longer by rush-hour traffic – but it also means starting my day before 6am.
For the first few days I was dead. Throughout my whole life I’ve never lived more than two miles away from school or work, and for the vast majority of those years it’s been a twenty minute walk at most. Deliberate choices and rentals and houses were bought based on those things.
Now all that’s changed. Setting everything back by two or three hours is effectively me learning to live in a different time zone. I eat my lunch at something like half ten in the morning. I’m too tired to stay up really late at weekends and go out for dinner during the week, which has killed a lot of my social life off (but meant I have more money in the bank).
I’m not going to lie. I have days where I really, really struggle. I wrote about my morning and evening routines a while back, but now they’ve totally changed.
My typical work day now looks like this:
5:45am – Alarm goes off, I hit snooze for another five minutes.
5:50am – Get up, showered, dressed, ready for work. I don’t feed the cats myself any more.1
6:15am – My friend arrives to pick me up.
6:50am – Arrive at work. Have breakfast.
10:30am (ish) – Have lunch. (Unless it’s a Monday, when we all go out to the pub around 12ish).
3-3:30pm – Depending on whether we’ve had a half hour or hour lunch break, we leave at 3 or 3:30.
4:15-4:30pm – Arrive home.
At first I was excited to have more time at the end of the day. ‘I’ll get so much done!’ I thought.
I was so naive.
The reality is that I’m bloody exhausted by the time I get home. Occasionally my friend will drop me off somewhere a bit different and I’ll force myself into getting some walking in or going to the shops or park, but mostly I just crash. If I do go out, I’m falling asleep on the sofa by 9pm. Hell, sometimes even by 7pm.
I feel like I’ve hit a plateau. I just have no energy at all. My body just can’t seem to get used to what it should be doing. My brain is still pretty confused too.
At weekends I try to stick roughly to the time zone I have during the week as I thought it would make it easier to adjust. The reality is that I probably go to bed an hour later and get up an hour later, but nothing too crazy.
I’m definitely missing out on my actual life, though. I have no motivation to blog, or upload photos, or read, or make plans with people (although they’re still making plans with me, which I’m grateful for). Everything just feels overwhelming, and after a solid two months of being overwhelmed, it’s probably not that surprising I’m so tired.
But I hate it. I want to get home and create and write and laugh and watch things like The People vs. OJ Simpson without falling asleep mid-episode and having to rewind. I want my time back.
Joe has spent a lot of weekends away, which doesn’t help. So this weekend I’m going to spend some time getting back into the swing of things. I’m going to finish my Chernobyl and Kiev photos, and I’m either going to work on blog posts for here or a complete re-design for Jenni.me. There. Now I’ve said it, it feels like a proper commitment.
Now I just need to stay awake long enough…
- Joe does that so they can eat at roughly the same time every day (there’s no way I’m still going to get up before 6am at weekends to feed them). ↩