Thursday, January 24, 2008

Everybody wants a piece...

Work has been really busy lately. There's so incredibly much to do, and just not enough time to do it in. Lately, I've been feeling guilty about my lunchtime workouts, both as a mommy and as an editor. Mommy-wise, I feel terrible being away from the Cricket for an extra hour every day (well, almost every day); and editor-wise, I feel that, even though I put in an eight-hour day (which means arriving at 8 and leaving at 6 so I can be gone for two hours in the middle of the day at the gym), I am somehow slacking off by taking the time to work out.

I was expressing this guilt to one of my superiors at work--I'll call her Marie--who said that the way she gets around that is by working out first thing in the morning or on her way home from work. She didn't actually come out and say it, but I perceived the underlying message to be, "And I'd suggest you do the same." She said that often, the time when things need immediate attention is the middle of the day, and if one isn't here, it can be percieved by others as slacking off, regardless of the fact that one is putting in an eight-hour day anyway.

I can think of a million reasons why working out at lunch is the absolute best time for me. For one thing, I can walk to the gym from work and back again; at the beginning or end of the day I'd have to park at the gym, which costs a ridiculous amount of money. For another, I know myself and my habits, and it's WAY too easy for me to justify sleeping in a little (snuggling with the baby and the hubby in bed) in the morning or skipping the gym at night so I can get home to my family. Third, since work IS so crazy right now, that workout and shower in the middle of the day is the perfect break; it makes it easier for me to focus on my work.

I don't know what to do. I don't know whether to keep working out at lunchtime lest it be considered open defiance of Marie; but I'm afraid to ask her if that's what she meant, because if she says yes, then I DEFINITELY can't work out at lunch anymore. And I'm just terrified that if I have to start doing it in the morning or evening, I'll get out of the habit (for the reasons above and many more), which would mean I'd wasted A LOT of money, and worse, that I'll be condemning myself to a lifetime of being overweight.

I just feel like everyone wants a piece of me right now, and there's none left over to keep for myself.


VenetianBlond said...

Oh, Lord, do I hear what you're saying. Our students all come in between 11 and 2, which is of course when we're trying to get lunch. And the days when I pick up Conan from school, stuff some dinner in my face and walk out the door for rehearsal as Kenan walks in just kill me. But I think you hit it right on the head--you know what's best for you, and no one else (except for the Boy) is going to watch out for you. So you just have to make the best decisions for yourself. And if that means you have to be more explicit to folks like Marie about what you accomplish vis a vis your face time, "Here's the project I got done at 10 am this morning, would you like to take a look at it?" then you can stand up for yourself.
I get really worked up about face time because I work with some long term state employees who sit around waiting to "punch the clock" and I get done in 2 hours what they do in a day.
And as much as I hate to do it, I sometimes bite the bullet and bring work home or stay late as a one time deal to get stuff done in an emergency. It's just shifting the guilt from one area (work) to another (family) but if it takes some of the external pressure off, it can be worth it.
Good luck, and hang in there. You know what's best for you.

Anonymous said...


Welcome to the world that I feel like I live in. It's hard to balance. Today, I had to stay home with a sick baby and while I am supposed to be "working from home" Sophia decided to throw a huge fit about spilling a little Apple Juice. So, I was on the phone with my boss and a screaming baby. (Not a feel great moment about my career.) I try to work out enough as well and barely fit any in. It's a struggle. Think of it this way, you need to be healthy in order to be a better mom and a better will live longer, have more energy, and feel better about yourself. Really, everyone wins when you let yourself have some time to workout. They shouldn't care when you do the work as long as you get it in. Be kind to yourself...sometimes you are the only one that will.