Is a nervous breakdown an option?
April 8, 2011 10:26 AM Subscribe
How can I arrange my life so that I feel less overwhelmed?
posted by Jess the Mess to grab bag (16 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I work 32 hours (4 days) a week, but I also have a fledgling freelance writing business on the side, which I spend another 16-24 hours on each week. I make enough to live on (but not a whole lot more) at my day job. So far I haven't made much at all writing but revenue is slowly increasing and I totally love and am dedicated to it. It's At Long Last, Without a Doubt, What I Want to Do With My Life. The problem is, I can't seem to get a hold on the other aspects of my life - I never have enough time to clean - I do laundry only when I literally have nothing to wear, I feel like I'm neglecting my friends and family, sometimes I miss bills because I just didn't have time to read my mail, etc., and I feel like a wimp, because I know a lot of other people work longer hours than I do and still hold it together. One exacerbating factor, is that my day job has me work an opposite shift one day out of the four so it's forever throwing my sleep schedule out of whack. It's not a bad job, but it's not great either. Honestly, the only reason I stay there is because they let me have a four day work week and keep my benefits. My husband also works full-time and does all the cooking and helps out as much as he can but he has his limits too. He also makes enough to survive, but neither one of us makes enough at our jobs to support the other. We keep our expenses pretty low and strive to live within our means. We have no kids, so we really don't have it that bad, I guess. We have a dog and two cats though, two of which have (so far) minor health problems.
What I really want to do is quit my day job and just work full-time on my writing business. I imagine myself being so much happier and less stressed that way. But if I'm being realistic about, I know that would be a very bad idea right now, since I'm currently not anywhere near making enough money to support myself. And I've heard so many horror stories about people quitting their jobs and never finding work again. I also know that I have a tendency to make impulsive decisions sometimes based on whims or feeling rather than rationality.
So I guess my question is, to those of you who have moonlighted at something, while holding down a regular job, how did you deal with the rest of your life? Should I just accept that everything's going to seed for a while? If so, how long will this period last? Are there any magic tricks for keeping your shit together when you've got a lot going on?