1. You’re frequently left worrying about whether or not you’ve used up your data for the month, because the closest concept of hell you can imagine is not being able to check your email after you leave work. (And then you remember you have unlimited, and for once, you’re thankful you shelled out the big bucks for your plan.)
2. Speaking of: checking email is also the first thing you do when you wake up, though you know partaking in such endeavors before you’ve had your morning coffee are always bound to be disastrous.
3. Some of the worst fights you’ve ever gotten into with friends and family members happen when they tell you to do something fun this weekend “instead of work” and you’re like, BUT WORK IS FUN?! (Okay, maybe not “fun,” but tell yourself something enough times, and you’ll end up believing it to be true.)
4. Those moments when you consciously unplug leave you wondering, “Well, now what do I do?” You also become acutely aware of every twitch and compulsion to check your email or text messages, in case someone sends you a “hey, check your email” text — for which you’ll sooner push a child over on the sidewalk than wait 15 seconds longer to get back to your computer.
5. You check your phone every time you hear a text message trill, only to see that it was somebody else’s phone nearby, and feel a mix of relief and annoyance at yourself for even checking in the first place.
6. You know by now that you’re either working out at 5:30 a.m. when the gym opens, or at never, ever, ever o’clock.
7. You just can’t ever get yourself excited for Friday like your coworkers, because chances are you’re only going to wind up working on Saturday and Sunday, too — the only difference is that you might not be in your office. (You will come to qualify this change of scenery as being “good for you.”)
8. If you’re told you can’t take a working vacation, you have a minor fit and wonder whether using your precious vacation days is even worth it anymore.
9. On the days when you manage to clock only 9 hours (Only 9! Instead of the requisite 10+! Glory hallelujah!) that’s due to the fact that you were probably productive enough for 14, you multitasker, you.
10. You live by little mantras like “better great than perfect,” “a job begun is a job half-done,” and “I think I can, I think I can, dear baby holy Jesus I really, really hope I can.”
11. You’ve mastered the art of working through burnout.
12. Your meltdowns have to be scheduled and systematic, lest they interfere with “max productivity.”
13. Your rituals to maintain said “max productivity” are sacred and shall not be interfered with.
14. You use jargon far more than you yourself are comfortable with, and have to force yourself to stop using buzzwords and trade-speak in your off hours.
15. The friends you hang out with most are either coworkers, or people who are in similar job fields, or people who are so completely resigned to the fact that you are absurdly busy that they don’t even bother challenging your laser-eyed mania anymore.
16. You are a little envious of those nap rooms that are set up in hospitals — and have asked your boss for a sleep pod, or at least a couch on which you can steal a little shut eye. Maybe? Pretty please?
17. The only animal you could ever fathom getting is a largely self-sustaining fish. Dogs are a pipe dream. You would forget to water a plant (unless you put a reminder in Google docs).
18. In fact, if anything’s not scheduled, it’s just not happening.
19. You’ve calculated exactly how much money you make per hour you actually work (instead of the theoretical 9-to-5) and the disparity makes you want to weep.
20. You either look like an utterly flawless, put together dream of your capable self… or a shambles of frazzled and raw nerves that might snap your crooked glasses at any second.
21. People have asked you if you’re “okay” so many times that the term has lost all meaning. Okay in relation to what? You’re “managing.” You’re “on top of it.” You’re “busy, but that’s like, totally a good thing.” You are never just “okay.”
22. You know you should slow down… but you’re on a roll. You realize that it’s not healthy… but you’ll take a break one day. You acknowledge that you need to turn your phone off… but it’s what tethers you to this world. In short, you are a spin master, and can justify your workaholic tendencies at any level.
23. And yet despite the relentlessness with which you fling yourself into every effort humanly possible, you acknowledge that you do, in fact, get a very real sense of accomplishment and fulfillment from being so utterly devoted, and for the time being, that is all you need to keep on going.