Just when I started to revel in Friday afternoon euphoria, my boss asked me to come into work tomorrow. On a Saturday. From 9-5.
One word: Ugh.
I’m living out a scene from Office Space, and I’m scared of what Bill Lumbergh will say next.
“Oh, and I almost forgot. Ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too…”
It’s tough to have a decent social life when I’m pulling 60-hour work weeks. It leaves little time for anything other than sleeping, eating (always), and showering (sometimes). And it starts to mess with your head, like in a recent marketing meeting when I looked down and realized I was wearing two different socks. True story.
My job often digs into my social time. And what’s worse is that it also digs into my social energy. After 11 hours in a gloomy prison cubicle with little to no sunlight, I feel lousy. I just want to veg’ on the couch and watch reruns of King of Queens. But tomorrow night, for example, I have plans to hang out with my friend Lindsay. I already know it won’t be easy to “look alive” and be the funny, witty, exciting friend I know I can be! (Which leads me to my coffee addiction… a story for another time.)
A stressful work schedule can really take a toll on my dating life, too. The thought of going out on a dinner date after a long day at the office… and trying to look and feel pretty… and coming up with interesting things to say… and mustering up the strength to laugh at his not-so-funny jokes…
I’ll say it again: Ugh.
But these are the cards I (along with most everyone else on the planet) have been dealt. We all have jobs. We all have busy schedules. We all experience stress. We all find it hard to fit everything into 24 hours.
So what are we going to do about it?
As for me, I’m learning that I need to control my life and my schedule, and not allow others to do it for me (except for tomorrow, of course). If I want quality social time—the kind where I actually have time to wash my hair and put on some lip gloss before going out—then I need to make it happen. Seems odd to have to pencil myself in to my own planner, but it’s important!
Especially when it comes to meeting new people (and possibly even potential suitors), it’s vital to get out of my little office bubble. Socializing has so many benefits—emotional, psychological and even physical.
“Having a social network and being engaged socially with family and friends really can lead to not only improved cognitive heath, but improved physical health,” says Kathryn Jedrziewski of the Institute on Aging at the University of Philadelphia. “People live longer if they’re more social.”
Case in point: Catherine. A 93-year-old resident of South Philly, she makes it a point to meet up with her friends—and fellow league bowlers—every week at Saint Monica Lanes.
“I’ve been bowling a good while,” says Catherine. “I try real hard. I like the people. They’re all so nice, you know. And I enjoy it.”
She bowled a 159.
If Catherine can do it, so can I.
As for my boss? I think he has my stapler.