I am a ‘Fixer’, and it sucks ass

I’m a Fixer in the British sense of the term. It’s EXHAUSTING

I’m good at fixing though – I’m a design engineer so it’s literally my job. Objectively speaking I am good at it, and I feel that’s the reason why I find myself fixing in both my professional and personal life.

Initially I thought the problem was simply me not trying hard enough to create a sensible work life balance for myself, but nearly a year and a half into my current role, you can say my position on the matter has… evolved.

I’m inclined to believe that the combination of my nature and the implicit demands at work are the only two ingredients in a shandwich (a shit sandwich) causing a teeny bit of a clash. I am naturally very conscientious when it comes to my work, and being that way demands a whole lot of mental bandwidth from me. In order to be able to give so much, I need sufficient recovery time. That’s not time spent fixing a different set of problems or working on a different set of tasks, or time in standby. Its time switched off.

Even if I could be different, I am not 100% sure that I would want to be. Because I enjoy getting things done. The feeling of making progress with something I care about is part of what drives me to chase more progress. But in a perpetual state of deterioration, my mind goes into autopilot as my passion dwindles – like a fire burning out its fuel and air, choking out on its own waste gas.

Point is, I need way more time to mentally rest than what I have been getting in the last year, and lately I’ve been feeling an odd mixture of anxiety and apathy when it comes to my work life because of it.

We have a hybrid situation at my job, which when joining I initially thought that it would be helpful in getting a good work-life balance, but I’m finding the opposite to be true. I don’t think I have had enough experience with other companies working with a hybrid model or remotely, so I can’t say it’s a WFH thing, but I know its definitely a ‘my-specific-workplace’ thing.

There does seem to be a bit of a normalisation of starting very early and working till very late – up to 12-hour days isn’t actually that wild here at all. And even though they don’t explicitly ask you to work overtime (no, there’s no overtime pay) I find it uncomfortably common that schedules and deadlines can only be delivered to if I work additional hours after work, and through my lunch break. I spend waaay more time behind a desk than my ideal, and after 12 (or maybe 14) hours problem-solving behind a screen, mentally I am wiped.

This prolonged, heightened stress means that outside of work, I do not have the mental power to pursue my other interests, like fitness, painting, and writing. Not to mention my other budding interests that I can’t mention because I’ve not even been able to give them a go.

It feels like I have had a creative block all year purely on the back of being mentally drained. It’s depressing really because my creative hobbies are more than just hobbies, they’re how I offload.  

I want to say that I’m glad the holidays are coming up – I intend to stretch this one as long as I can – but at the same time being around family means navigating a different set of tasks, like dodging questions about when I intend to get married like I didn’t just now turn 26.

Like fr sis, in this economy? Tuh.

Anyone else feel like they work more hours while working from home and working hybrid than they used to when commuting on site before the Covid evolution?

Renẹ x

Published by Ẹlọghosa

Thought librarian | Commentary on culture and personal development | Quietly Dramatic

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