Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Business or Boyfriend?

By Tracy Watson (WI grad ’06), Our World Books – Books that inspire falling in love with your life.
It’s been a while since I had a serious relationship.  Now I do and it’s a little tricky to manage both.  Well, for one thing, it’s long-distance, so my morning is his evening and his morning is my way-too-late at night.  For a while we were meeting up around 11p.m. and talking until 2am.  It was super romantic, and, well, at that time of night, kind of hot!  But, after a few months, I found that the cost was pretty high.  Even though I have a work-at-home business and set my own hours, the lack of any kind of “normal” schedule was starting to get to me. 
My schedule became like this, waking up around 10a.m., doing my morning routine, having breakfast, checking email, and getting down to business at around 2p.m.!  By then, I was super-stressed because I only had three hours to contact people on normal office hours, if I had to contact someone on the East Coast, I was rushing to get to them before they left for the day, it just really set me off behind the gun so to speak.
So, eventually, I started shutting down at 1:00a.m., then 12:30a.m., 12:00a.m. and yeah, my boyfriend wasn’t too thrilled.  See, he was at work, and had the kind of gig that allowed him to IM me with impunity.  In other words, it was convenient for him, especially since he didn’t have a computer at home. 
It was really tough to make the call, since not talking with him during his mornings meant maybe days before we’d meet up again.  But, when I heard myself say, “You know if you respected my work, the way I respect yours, you would be more understanding of my need to have real business hours…”  I sounded so whiny!  And it was pretty clear that I needed to respect my business, not my boyfriend.
So, bit by bit, I’ve gotten back to a real schedule.  I’m up at 8:00a.m., I start work at 9:00a.m. and the best part is I don’t feel like I have to make up for the late start by working until 10 at night!  I’ve also started to have real weekends.  One or – gasp! – two whole days off!   I feel more refreshed in the morning and I get way more done; I guess it really does work to get your work done during the day. 
It wasn’t easy making the call, but I believe a happy businesswoman is a better girlfriend!

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