Somebody waiting at home

Posted by on August 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm.

There’s something about being young and in love.

That’s how the saying goes, right?

Well, most (if not all) of the #Lifers are in happy, lovey-dovey relationships. Some are lucky enough to get to live together, or at least in the same city. I am 881 miles away from my significant other, according to Google Maps. So we’re doing this long-distance thing.

I’ve realized how much differently I approach work, and even socializing, when I know I could be back home, talking to him on Skype or gchat. When there’s no one waiting for me, I’d be happy working 12 hours days. When I worked in DC, I often got to work an hour or two early and left as late as I felt like (often 8 p.m. or later). I rarely had anyone waiting for me to get home, or even anyone who knew when I came home. I really enjoyed being able to work as hard as I wanted without any negative consequences, only positive ones.

But when I’m in a relationship, like I am now, it’s tough to justify working longer than required. It’s not a matter that he doesn’t understand (he does, he’s also a journalist, and also works insane hours), but it’s that work isn’t the only thing that makes me happy. And if the happiness of finishing a project at work after hours is less than the happiness of finally getting to talk to him about his day, well, it’s pretty easy to tell what I’m going to do.

It makes me wonder how grown-ups do it. Real adults, that are married and have kids. How do you focus on work and put in whatever extra hours are needed when you have people who are waiting for you at home? I suppose that’s why people go for jobs that pay well, or at least pay overtime well. If you’re going to trade a few hours of being happier, you deserve to be reimbursed.

Then there’s the opposite problem. What if I find a job that makes me happier than our relationship? What if he finds a job that makes him happier than our relationship? Of course we’d be happy for each other that we found such awesome jobs that we want to put in 80 hours a week, but I’d imagine it’d put a serious strain on the relationship.

There’s something absolutely wonderful about having someone waiting for you at home, and something incredibly liberating about not having someone waiting for you.

Right now, the whole young-and-in-love thing is pretty awesome, though, so I won’t worry too much about the future.

And I suppose worrying that too many things could make me really happy is silly.

Can’t have too much of a good thing.

That’s how the saying goes, right?

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