As of today it’s been one week since I stopped writing for ITworld (last Tuesday in a marathon writing session I banged out 3 posts and scheduled them for the remainder of the week). This change has had quite an impact on me. I’ve caught myself laughing more, being silly more and just, in general, feeling less tense.
Except when I’m not. Basically I’ve traded time-pressure stress for financial stress. I’m not sure how it’s going to feel once that extra check stops coming in so I’ve been fretting about that. But the difference between time stress and money stress (for me at least) is that time stress is constant. I often spent most of my day stressing about what I’d write about next. There was always a new deadline coming. Even when I took time off from the day job, I had the blog to worry about.
Financial stress is actually more intense (because it’s nice to have a home to live in, for example) but I seem able to ‘put it away.’ There’s not much I can do minute-to-minute about money, but I could, in theory, always be writing or researching a blog post. I used to check my RSS reader at least 6-8 times every day in order to keep up, for example.
The end result, so far, is a happier, more relaxed me. I find myself doing the WEIRDEST things. Last night after dinner I sat and read the newspaper. And I mean an actual, made-of-ground-up-wood newspaper. We subscribed to the Sunday paper mostly for the coupons (see above re: financial stress) but I’m finding myself leafing through it and reading about stuff I’d never otherwise read.
In terms of gaming I’m enjoying time-gobbling activities like going for fast lap records in Drive Club. The blogging me never had the patience to drive lap after lap trying to shave a second off my time because it felt like I was wasting precious time. If a game activity didn’t offer constant in-your-face stimulus I would bail on it as too time-consuming. But now I have free time to do things. I no longer have to decide what one thing I’ll do in an evening, there’s time to do several things.
Overall it’s a pretty good feeling, and worth having to cut some corners financially in order to maintain it. As long as we’re safe and warm and can pay stuff like medical bills and buy new shoes every so often, I think I’ll stick to this one job idea. I kind of dig it.
One thought on “A different kind of stress”
Good for you! I used to work two jobs 70 to 80 hours a week. The money was great but I never had free time. Time to relax and spend with the kids is worth more than the fattest paycheck.
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