Writing this series, and reading all of your comments, has been illuminating. It's been like therapy for me. At first I thought of it as "here are my thoughts about this issue that affects all of us," and it was disconcerting that many of you responded with, "I'm so sorry," and "You poor thing." Like, hold on, we are talking about IDEAS here. Nobody mentioned FEELINGS. I didn't mean for this to be a cry for help. OK, maybe this situation is not what I want it to be, and I wouldn't say I'm happy about it, but... unhappy? Let's not be hasty and say things we'll regret later.
Reading my previous posts in this series again, I'm struck by how repetitive they are. These thoughts just swirl around and around my head endlessly. That is not healthy.
All of which forces me to acknowledge that yes, this is a problem, and I need to deal with it because I have just about reached the end of my rope.
I decided that I will try part-time, AND I will have to really assert myself and set boundaries. It's hard to say no, but at this point, if it doesn't work my next step is out the door. So my priority needs to be making this job sustainable, not bolstering my reputation.
I talked about this with JW, who was offended that I had said he wasn't on board with the idea. To be fair, the first two times I brought this up, his reaction was "Don't do anything rash," because he was concerned about his own job stability. But this time he said the magic words: "I want you to be happy and healthy, and that's more important than money." And then he said -- because it was 11:30 p.m. and, like every night that week, I needed to stay up later to finish my work -- "But is it going to help you with this?"
It won't. In fact, Friday I talked to someone at the firm about going part-time, and figured out the next steps and made a concrete plan. And what am I doing now, Saturday night at midnight? One guess. (OK, given that I'm actually taking a break and blogging right at this moment, I'll accept either "work" or "procrastinating.") The person I talked to warned me that I would be blazing my own trail here, and that it would be an ongoing process to figure out how to reconcile a part-time schedule with the demands of my practice.