a peek inside the fishbowl

26 Jan, 2015

When every day is a work day

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Publishing/writing/career stuff

I posted this photo to Piper’s Instagram account this morning:

Snoozy Mondays

I don’t really hate Mondays – that was Piper talking – but it did get me thinking about how confused my work week has become these past few years. I don’t really have a work week. I don’t get up, get in a car, show up at an office, put in a full day, and then come home from said office and push aside thoughts of work until the routine begins again the next day.

I sometimes work at night, and on weekends, and my commute is short: I start upstairs, and end up downstairs. My morning routine is a simple one: I drink my coffee, eat breakfast, put in some time on the treadmill, have a shower, and get dressed. Today I turned on the space heater in my home office and put on slippers. My work schedule is not a schedule at all. I basically use whatever time I have to Get Everything Done. I DO ALL THE THINGS. Which is partly why I’m trying to be more regimented about my work day.

Related: I was having an email exchange with a local resident in regards to a letter to the editor he was submitting to the newspaper. We’d had a couple of back and forths on Sunday morning and in his last note he wrote: let’s get back to our families and take this up on Monday.

Everyone talks about the importance of disconnecting, but what if the job you’re connecting to is one you truly enjoy? It’s like being asked to put down the crossword puzzle you’re working on, or that great book you’re reading, because you’re reading too much. It’s hard to do. I suppose if reading is interfering with your family life, it might be an issue. I’m not sure how my family feels about my work. Do I work too much? Perhaps I should ask them.

Tags: ,

4 Responses to "When every day is a work day"

1 | Cath in Ottawa

January 26th, 2015 at 6:35 pm


I struggle with this all the time – I love the convenience associated with my 7 step commute as well as the ability to pick up a sick child, throw a load of laundry on or start dinner at 2 in the afternoon if need be. But I find I need to really be careful to not be anchored to the phone or computer all the time so that it doesn’t feel like work never ends. On balance though I will take it every time over the alternative, and feel lucky to be able to do so!

2 | Lynn

January 27th, 2015 at 12:57 pm


Agreed, as well. I often wander into my office and start working at all hours, when the rest of the family is doing something together – it’s hard to have a strong dividing line, and I’m not sure I really need to have one, after all. I can’t imagine going back to an office type job now – I’d never be able to handle the routine. I love being able to work when the mood strikes, being able to work ON whatever is flowing today – it’s awesome.

3 | Peter Boyle

January 28th, 2015 at 11:37 am


Dear Andrea,

Count your blessings when you have the time to follow your heart’s desire.

Yours truly,

Peter Boyle.

4 | peter

January 29th, 2015 at 11:39 am


Interesting post. This is something that used to cause me a great deal of stress. I have been self employed my entire working life. When I worked I always felt I was sacrificing my family and when I was with my family I felt guilty that I wasn’t working enough. About a decade ago I erased all lines between work and life. I am free to go on field trips or for a hike if the mood strikes during work hours and happy to take clients calls at home in the evening or on weekends. I work from home 50% of the time and now that I have given up on searching for the unachievable work/life balance, the stress is gone, productivity is better than ever and family life is wonderful. It remains a challenge to everyone, but sometimes I wonder if we are just a little too hard on ourselves searching for balance.

comment form:


Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Jenn Jilks: That is really exciting! Break a leg!
  • fun88: I was excited to discover this page. I want to to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every part of it and i also
  • Gretchen Humphrey: I had a beautiful bee& birdbath filled with a solar fountain and dozens of antique marbles that were suddenly disappearing. At first I thought my
  • Jinjer: I am sobbing reading this post. And you're right, companion is not enough. Little furry treasured gifts that they are. Thanks for sharing cutie-pi
  • Karen: Dear Andrea, Mark and your daughters I am so very sad for your family xxx Piper was/is my favourite Instagram post. You shared with us so intimately
  • Christina Banuelos: Thank you for sharing Pipers life with us. Your posts of Piper brought me joy. Every time I see your post and see what kind of mischief Piper was gett
  • Carla Slocum: I am sitting here yet again crying at your loss. We have known that loss with Asta the WFT our first pup but now have the enormous gift of Stryker the

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

Still calling it Twitter