Happy weekend, y’all. Its Friday and I am home. All. Day. Long. I’m gonna be home every Friday from now on. And that means that now my Fridays are the shit.
This past autumn I worked full time because my colleague was on parental leave, so I took on some of her responsibilities. Originally, my contract is actually written for me to work 80% (4 days a week), and that’s what I did last spring. But, with my colleague having a baby during the summer, we needed a substitute for her for the fall semester. So, the school decided to give me a 20% contract in addition to my 80% contract… and that obviously meant that I’d be working 100%. Full time. 5 days a week.
It was really good. And it was really tough.
You see, I am responsible for 3 classes (~ 90 students) with my 80%, and my colleague is also. I took on one of her classes (30 students) for my extra 20%, while a substitute came in for the semester for the other 60. While it doesn’t sound that bad to add in 30 more students to 90… it totally was.
The 30 girls in the class were (and are) amazing. So sweet and adorable and fabulous. Though, there was a lot of work due to quite a few of them having some pretty intense health issues of all different kinds. So, 120 students left me feeling like I could never accomplish anything completely or correctly. I felt as if I was drowning at work and I tried to give some responsibilities away, but my position isn’t really set to be one that can delegate so much. It’s so specific, what I do as a mentor. And it’s all connected to everything else.
Add in the stuff happening in my own life (parents sick + having surgeries, a 3-day trip to the US to be with them, my wife hitting rock bottom with her eating disorder, being on edge and feeling unsuccessful at work, 2 very close deaths in the family, and so much more)… it all made this autumn one of the hardest I have faced.
I had also completed my life coach training + was officially internationally certified! But, I literally had no time and definitely no energy to work with that… even though my inspiration was out the roof. And that depressed me. Left me feeling suffocated – because there was so much I wanted to do, yet had no capacity to do it at all.
All of this meant that I was forced (by myself + my body) to take some mental health days toward the end of autumn. To back off. Slow down. Try to rebalance. And I seriously began looking forward to the holidays, a two week break from work, and a trip with Lina to the States to be with my brother + my parents. A reset button.
Before the holidays, though, I tried really hard to get my work to hire me permanently with that extra 20%. I mean, even if my colleague would be back to work in January + take back her students, there was so much more that I could do to fill up that 5th day of work. Sooooo much to do. So, I feverishly tried to sell myself in. But, in the end, even though I sold myself in, there was no money. No possibility to add the extra time to my contract.
For about 30 minutes I was disappointed.
But, my soul was celebrating. I knew that I needed my extra day back. I knew all along that I should not ask and try to make my 5th day at the school a permanent thing. But, the money… the stability… it was so tempting.
Fortunately, I have an amazing wife who supports me like crazy. She wants me to be happy, wants me to grow my Life Coaching business, and celebrated with me the fact that now, after an autumn of hell, I had my 5th day back. My day to dedicate to my own work.
So, today is the first day of having my 5th day back.
And I’ve been working like a crazy person at home. Updating mailing lists. Planning newsletters. Making a few business dates. And gearing up to bombard y’all with Life Coaching offers + inspiration. Gaaaaaah. It feels sooooo good.
Oh, and I’ve been drinking coffee for about 5 hours now too, of course, and listening to my favorite playlists on Spotify. As soon as I complete this post, I’ll make some lunch and take a break. Because… self care.
Then, there’s more to do. Meditate (that is part of how I structure all of my days). Find inspiration. Write some more. Envision a lot. Take + edit some photos. Drink a little beer while working. (Because… weekend + I’m responsible + home). All the stuff that I loooove to do.
And that, my friends, is why my Fridays are the shit.
I have been given the gift of a full day, which I now call my 5th day, to work on my visions and dreams and plans. It may not be the safest, most stable thing some of you might think. It may be risky to not seek to find full-time work. But, I live in Sweden. A place where jobs are not always 100%. And that’s ok. A) Our salaries are pretty good here. B) Health insurance. We don’t need it. Our taxes pay for health care. C) It is not frowned upon to have a <100% job. It’s normal. And, most importantly, D) Work/Life balance. We only have one life. So, why not take all of the risks we can to live out our dreams + visions?!
It is all about balance + priorities. And, if I need to not buy something this month so I can work from home on Fridays, then so be it. My dreams are worth way more than a new anything.
So, here’s to all of us taking whatever (scary or silly or socially different) steps it takes to live the life that we dream of living! And… here’s to rising up from the tough, dark times + discovering how the tough, dark times are most often the best blessings in disguise in the end.
Oh this post is fab Liz – I’m so happy for you to have that freedom. DO NOT feel you even need to justify why taking a 4-day week is OK, it is, it’s what you want! DO IT! I sometimes feel the need to justify being happy to not work past 4pm eachday, but that is why I do what I do, and prioritise it and LOVE IT!
I’m sorry to hear your autumn has been so hard, but I wish you all the wonderfulness for your Friday Fundays going forward! You need the time… I want to do so many other things sometimes, but weekends are for downtime and evenings are for resting… so that doesn’t always leave us time for our “other” stuff you know! ENjoy it, relish in doing it! People dream of this shit, so no justifying, just love it! xx
Thank you thank you thank you! I need to hear the pep and a reminder that I am not crazy for craving this time. And it means a lot coming from you for so many reasons. One of which is that I know you work hard with the work/life balance – and your are such an inspiration! I am totally not gonna take my day and time for granted! No justifying needed… just pure bliss! xo
congratiolations 🙂 must be nice to have your fifth day back! Enjoy,
Thank you! It feels severe good – and I’ve got so many plans! Lots of love to you, my dear friend.
I see I am obviously not up on the most current slang, but eventually I figured out you are glad about your new 5th day at home! Sounds perfect for you, to be able to have the “down”/introspective time you need to maintain the energy level to do what is important to you: relationships and coaching/inspiring. Congrats on not getting 20% more work time!
Hello, Barb! Oh, if you are speaking about the slang of the “5th day”, I totally made that up. There is no phrase… I think I coined it when I wrote this. 🙂 And, yes, it is so perfect to have this time to do what I love. Thank you so much for cheering me on!
I think it’s awesome that you’re getting some time to invest in your new ventures, be it life coaching or whatever comes next! It’s so tempting to always seek more ways to help others, particularly when it comes with stability and purpose for ourselves, but I agree that taking time to follow and nurture your own passions is equally important. Of course what is most important is taking time to take care of yourself as you said. Congratulations again! xx
I love that you say… life coaching or whatever comes next. What a beautiful reminder to be in the moment and to read the feeling of the moment. To not just box myself in to anything, but to allow whatever comes my way to have its space. Thank you for being you! xo
[…] and as a life coach (pretty much one in the same). One at a school + one on my own. Amazingly (as you can read about in this post), I am able to begin to balance the two… thus beginning the next phase of creating the life […]
I wish I could have my Fridays off just to work on my own things but that’s not really how it works (yet) in my current industry. But I am happy to see that you have a three-day-weekend to fulfill a few life-coaching dreams, too.
Thanks, Laura! Of course, I get less money and all of that. But, it’s about the quality of life I want. Wishing you tons of inspiration for all of your dreams as well! xx