I've only been working for two months in my first Big Grownup Job, and I'm noooot entiiirely sure how people do this whole work life balance thing. I get home, and I'm generally not in the mood to cook, so JD's either brought something home or we go out. Then we come home, I collapse on the couch and read for a big, then I'm in bed by nine and asleep by ten.
My mom cooked dinner every night (granted, she got home at like, 4:30) and graded papers after dinner, but she and my dad still seemed to do more leisure things in the evenings than I did. I remember my mom was in a bowling league for a while, and my dad would go skiing in the winter and ice skating at other times, and they always made it to my school plays and concerts and had time to pick me up from school every night and drive me to and from practices and competitions every weekend (literally EVERY weekend in high school). And in highschool, I'd stay up until at least 10 every night, and I had practices and homework, but it never seemed as... stressful and tiring as having a job does?
I think part of the difference is pure age-- I physically have less energy than I did ten years ago-- and part of it is the change in scale of what I'm doing. How you do in school really only effects you-- even in team competition, you don't have as big an impact on others as you do in a work place. Now, I worry that messing up on something could really negatively effect someone else, not just myself. And maybe I'm putting too much of myself into it (my mom says I always internalize everything which, hey, may be true) but I just don't know how to separate home from work. Even when I'm at home on the weekend doing something unrelated, the thought that I should be researching one of the many work related questions I have is at the back of my mind, constantly.
I'm assuming that as I work longer, I may adapt better-- hopefully both becoming better at doing my job, and finding it easier to take on normal home-related tasks like cooking and cleaning. I remember that a lot of people were worried JD and I would go crazy when we were spending all day, every day together, but I actually really miss him during the day. I guess we're one of those weird couples that never get sick of each other, and we're not really out of the honeymoon stage, despite never actually going on a honeymoon. Our first anniversary was a week ago, so we're still pretty close to being newlyweds. But just how much time do most people spend with their spouses in those after work hours? Do most couples spend all evening cuddling and talking, or separated on individual computers, or physically close but watching some tv show together? I don't know what the normal balance is! And it isn't like normal matters, as long as individuals are happy in their own lives, but it is something I'm curious about.