My Reshuffling, Six Months In

Six months ago, I started a new job.

I guess every job change is a landmark in our lives, to varying degrees. Often, I think, we make job changes because we hope it will bring some combination of more money, better benefits, and/or move us along a career development track. Sometimes, it is a realignment of what we are hoping for in work-life balance.

Six months ago, I made a radical change. I needed to work, like so many of us–I needed the income. Other than that, my criteria were location, short commute, and limited-to-no requirements on my thoughts or energy outside of a basically 40-hour work week. I was taking a step back from all-consuming professional focus. Those were basically my requirements. Anything else was icing on the cake. I would not say I was part of the Great Talent Reshuffle because my reasons were intensely personal–but probably everyone’s were and are. So, maybe I am a part of that phenomenon.

My priorities for this job were drastically different than for previous jobs/focuses:

  1. I wanted to spend more spontaneous time with my family.
  2. I wanted to prioritize some of my personal goals and interests.
  3. I did have professional goals but I saw the job change as a way to support myself while working on my true professional goals during my own time in the evenings, weekends, and perhaps lunch breaks.

When I realized I was six months into this huge change, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take stock and reevaluate.

This first Spontaneous Family-Time Goal is working out well. The Personal Interests Goal is having mixed success. Definitely some really good things happening, but not as much as I would like.

The frustration lies in the Personal-Time Professional Interests Goal. Even with the 40-hour work week and the short commute–damn, I’m tired.

Part of it is that I am a night person but I force myself to try to function as an ultra early morning person because I live in a hot and humid area of the country and, if I am going to do any outdoor physical training in the summer, it has to be in the early early morning. So, not only am I often sleep deprived, but it is cumulative as the week progresses. There are many times I get home from work with great plans but I grab some dinner and then pass out asleep for a bit in the recliner instead.

Part of it is that my job is both sedentary and mental work. No matter how much I want to, the last thing I want to do at lunch or as soon as I get home from work is sit and study. My mind is tapped out for awhile.

Weekends: My house increases in chaotic disarray throughout the week and some housework must be done on the weekends. And sleep. Unless there is a need, I don’t set alarms on Saturday and Sunday.

So, my goals for the next six months are to

  1. Maintain the little progress I have made in spending time on my personal interests and hopefully increase that some.
    • Increase cardio stamina.
    • Increase frequency of foreign language practice.
    • Experiment with sourdough baking.
  2. Get more of my house in order (I am still not completely sorted from the move).
    • The basement.
    • In front of the filing cabinet (so it will be easier to use the filing cabinet!).
  3. Figure out how to have the energy, focus, and motivation to pursue my personal professional interests.
    • Continue to brainstorm on this.
    • Keep trying to adjust my sleep patterns, I guess?
    • Keep trying to have errands to run or go to the gym immediately after work (I prefer outside rather than gym, but something has to give)? I am thinking in this direction for mindless and active tasks so that perhaps later in the evening it is easier for me to want to sit and study. Who knows if I can make it work that way.

I would love to not work 40 hours a week, but wouldn’t we all? I’m not giving up on the idea of working fewer hours, just not going to drive myself crazy about it either. I am so grateful for this current position because it meets so many of my needs that that gratitude is a factor in what concessions I make in life, for better or worse . . .

How about you?
Were you part of the Great Talent Reshuffle? Did it work out the way that you hoped? Is it truly a better situation for you, at least in some respects?

* * * * *

This Past Week In


I was in the middle of the intense search for a new job.


  • I attended a funeral of a dear friend’s spouse who died from COVID.
  • George Floyd was murdered and our town, with the nation, reacted.
  • The town I was living in locked down in a curfew because the police heard threats that “people” were going to arrive and attack our homes. It was surreal the way my neighborhood closed up like Main Street in a Western movie anticipating a shootout–surreal and intensely sad.

3 thoughts on “My Reshuffling, Six Months In”

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