I’m starting a new series of occasional posts I’m calling “A Week In The Life.” My goal is to highlight weeks that I think illustrate work/life integration. The goal is not to pick “perfect” weeks. But weeks that highlight something I think is important or helpful in thinking about integration. I also want to highlight weeks that bust toxic cultural mythology around work & life.
What kinds of myths?
- Work only “counts” when it happens at certain places and times. This myth is common at many companies, but it is also a myth that many people have trouble letting got of too. Obviously some work requires us to be in a certain place at a certain time — waiting tables comes to mind. But plenty of work doesn’t.
- Working outside “normal” hours is bad (especially when mothers do it) but attending to life during the typical workday is good. Using evenings and weekends to catch up on work to offset time spent at school events, for example, is neither good nor bad. It’s just a way of managing all of the things you want to do.
Okay, so on to our week.
Sunday, January 8: The best laid plans of mice and men. Hebrew school was canceled because of weather so my plan to go to the gym was scuttled and I just went straight to the hair salon for a cut and color. My husband and kids picked me up after and we went out to lunch and then saw Sing!
Monday, January 9: It was the best of days, it was the worst of days. The trains were messed up badly. My normal 45 minute commute turned into a 2-hour-and-then-some journey. But the day got better as we scored a big win at work and I was able to get to most of the stuff I planned. I got home early, finished up a bit more work from home, then enjoyed tacos with my kids. Lovely way to end a day that started out rough.
Tuesday, January 10: Up at 4:30 am. Yup, you read that right. I had a morning meeting in Boston that requires a 7am flight. When I arrived I was able to make a quick phone call from the airport club and then get to my meeting. I was able to get home early enough to go to the gym and pick up my daughter from Hebrew school. These nights can be a bit nutty from a dinner perspective and everyone just kind of ate something and drifted off to bed.
Wednesday, January 11: A pretty typical workday, but I was able to slip out for a gym class at lunchtime. I stayed later than usual because I had a great evening activity. I got to be in a focus group for my favorite clothing brand, MM.LaFleur. So fun! Wine, snacks, and clothes.
Thursday, January 12: One of my commitments for 2017 is to get massages at least once a month. This is made easier by the fact that we have a massage therapist come to our office every Thursday. So I looked at my calendar and decided this Thursday was the best day this month. Such a great way to start the day! I spent the rest of the day getting ready for an event next week, including doing a practice run of my speech.
Friday, January 13: I spent the day with my partnerships director getting ready for our events next week. In the late afternoon I ran a training webinar and was able to duck out on the early side to pick up challah and rugelach. On Friday nights we make dinner special — we light Shabbat candles, have challah and enjoy the end of the week. It’s a lovely weekly ritual.
Saturday, January 14: Ah, the weekend! We all slept late. I took the kids to babysitting at the gym to give my husband some time, then he returned the favor by taking the kids out to lunch. We spent the afternoon watching Zootopia (for the fourth time …). Then, we made our own pizzas for dinner! Such fun.
Summary: A good week with a mix of intense work but also lots of well-spent personal time. Getting up at 4:30 for a flight wasn’t fun, but getting a massage at 9am on a Thursday certainly was.