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Another Long Week

I knew when I accepted my new job that it would not be a 40-hour work week. Last night, I had a work-related call just before 10 p.m. — a dedicated instructor caught in something of a jam thanks to scheduling conflicts. Tonight, I was working until after midnight on multimedia content for an online course. I barely had the first week's content loaded before the "official" start of the course. It has been one of those weeks.

I keep telling myself I'm doing better than expected. I do seem more organized than many other instructors, and I'm working hard to prove myself in the new position. But, I am also exhausted.

As readers know, my wife and I have been dealing with the damage from a flash flood. It was the fourth time water had taken over the lower-level of our house. I spent much of the last week worried about the new appliances (washer and drier) as well as calculating how expensive repairs are going to be. The good news is that the appliances do still work. The bad news? I need to work even harder if we're going to get the repairs and preventative maintenance done in the next two to three years.

My wife and I make lists. I have a list of the work that must be done on the house, work that should be done, and projects we'd like to have completed someday. The must-do list deals with structural and safety issues. Unfortunately, the flood drew attention to more of those costly must-do items.

Work pays for repairs. It seems simple enough. But, the reality is that we cannot pay for the repairs, so we'll have to use a home-equity line of credit. I hate that. So, I will be working on other projects to quickly settle the debts.

I've wondered why most people I meet don't seem to be nearly as "stressed out" as I am over the costs of home ownership. Do I worry more than most people? I'm paranoid about delaying repairs and ending up like we did with the water in the family room. Delays don't seem to be wise.

At some point, maybe not far off, I'll be working so much that I won't be working well. I worry already that my work isn't the best it could be because I'm trying to do too many things before the end of this year. The list of projects and the timelines I had hoped to meet are overwhelming. But I know homes do not fix themselves.

I always thought I was okay with time management and planning, but so far I've been way off when estimating when I could finish projects. Too many projects aren't being completed on time, while too many new projects are appearing on my to-do list. Telling people "I'm sorry, but I cannot do that" is difficult for me. I want to do all I can. The problem is, I'm reaching the point when I can't do many more tasks in a week.

The irony is that I tell audiences to plan and then double or triple estimated time requirements. I advise people to worry more about their mental and physical health than things. Yet, here I am worried about my house. With the worry leading, indirectly, to 50-hour work weeks, I'm starting to feel I'm not going to keep up much longer.

It doesn't help that I am still ill, either. I'm hoping the latest cold or whatever this is passes quickly so I can be more productive. Or maybe there's no way I could be more productive and remain sane.


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