2 weeks down, 8 to go.
Since I moved to FL 2 years ago, one of my overall goals has been to work less.
Usual issues apply. I sure do miss the extra 20% or so that I made by working over, but after years of being away from home for 9-10-11 months a year, in 2014 I spent only 50-some days with my family, had a crisis of conscience over it, and starting living a little smaller since, with great results.
On of the problems I have is that I'm a creature of habit. While I enjoy trying new things as much as everyone else, I'm very comfortable with having a routine. This is true for both at home and at work. So, my routine after being away from home too long is often to overindulge in the things I enjoy. I end up celebrating too much, going over the top with gifts and getaways, eating and drinking too much, etc... painfully, I admit that it's guilt driving part of that- my family putting up with me being away when they should have me there... well, I overdid that. When I'm home after a long trip, it all ends up being too frantic- I have to do everything, and do it fast, before I get back to sea.
So, after 2014's marathon year of work, where I spent more than 300 nights sleeping on a boat, I had enough.
It took me about 8 months to pay down debt and set up some projects that I needed finished, started, or at least significant progress made before I could start getting onto a healthier rotation between work and home life. I haven't worked any extra days in the past 11 months or so.
I miss the money, but I don't need as much as I did, and the past year has been wonderful, as far as the experiences and time I've had with my family.We've grown particularly jealous about having our time together, rather than the opposite, which seems to be the case with couples who live with the 9-to-5. Someone mentioned at my wife's church last time I was home that my wife and I are in physical contact more than most couples- whether it's hand-holding, or just sitting beside each other. I suppose that's an artifact of the job, like the starving men in the Essex's lifeboat, all of whom hoarded food the rest of their lives after rescue.
Still, it's a lot better than the alternative. Lots of friends out here are on marriage #2.
Much as I hate to do it, I'm working instead of going home when my rotation ends in a few weeks. There's a few things I want to do that a couple extra grand would be called for, and that aren't pressing enough to be worth going in debt for- So, here I am, back where I was, but this should be it for overtime 2016, God willing.
I'm mostly doing this to buy wood, stock, and supplies. That's all I'll say for now. I'm going to do... something. You might laugh if you see what I've got planned.