I’ve been working in different realms of the service industry for over 8 years & currently work at 3 establishments as a bartender. To some, working an average of 30 hours per week sounds like a dream & it can be. However, I’m not in school & I don’t have a day job, so I rely on bartending to pay my bills & feed my belly. I’m the type of gal that tries not to ride on her looks & stand around; I actually hustle & while I know I’m not the best bartender in Milwaukee, I do know how to sling drinks pretty well. With that being said, it gets exhausting being “on” for 90% of those 30 hour work weeks. On busier nights, my “lunch breaks” are brief moments between pouring drinks & maybe a very quick bathroom break (if I’m lucky). My “clients” span a wide range of people, including: my awesome friends, other service industry workers, creepy old guys, college kids, rowdy stay-at-home mom’s, athletes, musicians & a lot of annoying drunk people.
Wow, I’m beat.
Luckily, now know it’s okay to set boundaries. Earlier in the year when I decided to take on 3 jobs (establishments have changed a bit since then), I promised myself I would keep at least 2 days open for sanity purposes. I’ve done the whole, “work EVERY single day for 2 months straight” thing, and it sucked. Especially because I’d get maybe one day off & would just repeat the process. A life like that left me irritable & I had no time for my true passions in life: art, music & happiness. Sure, I love spending time with my friends when I have a day off, but as I get older, I’m better understanding the benefits of personal time to myself. I like to have time to be reflective on my life, to read, to dream about the future. I also enjoy watching mindless television, playing videogames & actually being productive in my art. Last week on my 2 days off, I got to do all of that & besides a few text messages & phone calls, I didn’t focus on anyone else except for myself. I didn’t even leave the house & that is what I like to call a People Detox.
Every moment of my work week is spent being around people with various moods & energy levels; and while I consider myself an optimistic person, if someone around me is being negative, or in some cases, is being a drunk asshole, it takes some of my energy to stay positive & move through the situation. I’ve finally learned that it’s okay to kindly decline invitations out & to not squeeze people into my free time EVERY week. Everyone needs to reboot & I feel it would do a lot of people good to simply relax & take the time to enjoy themselves.
So please, go grab a coffee or tea by yourself, enjoy a little quiet time & let your brain relax for a moment. Your body, mind & spirit will thank you.