Steve used a word: 'balance'.
That was the word that I needed to consider. My biggest issue was with work is the fact that if they need you, they mandate the overtime. There are people who will 'die in their traces', so to speak. Looking back, I think that I probably was one of them for years. I had to be.
But now, I am past that, and I am looking forward to making my own plans, doing my own thing. If I could simply say, "I'll work 40 hours a week, and no more for the period of the extension", I'd be inclined to sign on. Unfortunately, that is not the way of it. If they need you, you will work the overtime, whether it be 10 hour days, or working Saturday. It's their call.
If you feel that it is unreasonable, the response is anger. The goal is to shut you down and shut you up. You will be called divisive and ridiculed for the idea that you might speak for anyone but your own radical self.
But Steve said that word, 'balance' and in the end, if I stay on, they determine the balance, and the only thing that will matter is company needs.
It was a sleepless night. I tossed and turned until 11. I was wide awake at 3 AM.
What to do, what to do?
I thought about balance, I thought about what I want. I thought about what everyone else expects of me. I thought about our actual needs. What do we need? Will quitting affect our long term plans? The more I thought about it, the clearer it became.
When Tim got up this morning, I was packing his lunch. I said it carefully, out loud for the first time. "I don't want to take the extension."
The words felt good in my mouth.