So, I have a dilemma and I don't know what to do. I figured who better to ask than you lovely readers. Here goes...

Currently, I am working overtime twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). I earn pretty good money for doing so. It's almost the equivalent of a third paycheck a month. Then two other days a week, I stay late for purposes related to the grant I won a few months ago. This means that 4 days out of the week, I work late and get home late. In fact, Mondays are my only early days, and typically those days I run errands for the house or for my job.

Here's how a typical work week goes these days:

Monday - Get home @ 4-4:30pm, write, try not to fall asleep, work or do house chores, make/eat dinner, watch TV/surf the net/hang out with A.P., go to bed

Tuesday - Get home @ 8pm, eat dinner, watch TV/surf the net/hang out with A.P., go to bed

Wednesday - Get home @ 5-5:30pm, write, try not to fall asleep, work, make/eat dinner, watch TV/surf the net/hang out with A.P., go to bed

Thursday - Get home @ 8pm, eat dinner, watch TV/surf the net/hang out with A.P., go to bed

Friday - Get home @ 5-5:30pm, write, try not to fall asleep, work, make/eat dinner, watch TV/surf the net/hang out with A.P., go to bed

The overtime I'm doing is in three month chunks. If you sign up to participate, you sign up for three months and it's up to you if you want to do it again the next time around. The deadline for whether or not I want to work another three months of overtime is approaching and I have to decide soon. I go back and forth every day.

Here's a quick pro/con list:

Pros - I make more money which allows me to meet a couple of big financial goals (paying off student loan debt and saving for a house). It looks good to my bosses that I'm willing to pitch in. And if I get better at managing my time I could potentially get all my work done for the week in 5 days (meaning no Sunday work, which is typically a whole Sunday).

Cons - I'm exhausted all the time. I don't get to see A.P. as much these days. I, in some ways, tripled my work load. I also feel that soon my grant project will take up even more time on Wednesdays and Fridays and I will be at work even later those days. My personal life is taking a major hit. I barely have time to clean, cook, or do anything I love: read, write, take photographs, etc. Finally, by the time the weekend rolls around, I become pretty useless. I bum around, take naps, and do nothing on Friday night/Saturday, and I work all day Sunday.

So it obviously looks like there are more cons to pros, but that first pro is a big one, and I'm torn about what to do. The ability to pay off my student loan debt way faster than I anticipated is a big draw. But this whole thing is affecting my appearance, too. You all should see the sad, sunken eyes I'm sporting these days! Plus A.P. keeps telling me I should just forget about it, and just pay off the loans eventually. And he's the first to get excited about reducing my debt, but he really sees the toll this is taking on me. I also feel that as long as I can handle these overtime stints, I should take them on. It will help us so much financially, and I still have that poor person mentality that I have to bust my ass for money. Argghhh!!!

What would you guys do? I'm so torn. Every Tuesday/Thursday morning, I wake up and want to kill myself at the thought of another 12-hour day, but then the work day ends and I kind of think I can do it. I really can't make up my mind.


  1. I would take the next three month session off to recharge, then at the end sign up for the next three months . . . so on, off, on, off. All that extra money isn't worth much if you are miserable and hate your job.

  2. I think the on/off suggestion is a good one.
    Another possibility would be to get some help while you're working longer days. It would cost you a part of the extra money you make but it would make the whole thing more bearable: I work full time, sometimes have evening meetings and I do have a side job (not too time consuming but I do have to do it). I have someone coming every weeks to clean the house and iron the clothes, she can also do a couple of laundry loads. I get the groceries delivered from time to time. This way my free time is really free time and quality time, it makes a huge difference.

  3. I think the opportunity to make the extra money and pay down that dept is great. I'd take it now, because who knows what will happen later that might prevent you from taking the opportuntiy again.

  4. @Musing & Midge: I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. I am definitely leaning towards every other "session." I really want the money, but it's taking a toll on my life. I've also felt sick a lot lately, and I haven't been sick in almost two years. I may give it one more go and see if I can't balance the work load better, but I also may just wait until summer.

    @The Maiden Metallurgist: That's sort of what is making me lean towards doing it again. I feel like until we have kids, or just more responsibilities in general, I should work as much as possible and sock away as much cash as possible.

    Such a tough decision, folks! Grrrr!! I'll keep you all posted, though.


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