Take last week for example. I worked from Monday to Thursday at a very reasonable school, not too far from home. Then I had a long weekend. That was great. Time to deal with stuff including having a rest. Time to write and catch up with people. Time to go shopping with my daughter. The weather on Friday was brilliant again. The kids I'd been teaching all week were on their annual rewards trip to some theme park or other.
"Wouldn't you have liked to go with them?" asked a friend.
"Not on your life!" I said in all sincerity. My life on Friday was my own. No-one was paying for my time and no-one could ask anything of me unless I was prepared to give it freely. I think it's one of the main advantages of working the way I do now as a supply teacher (or a mercenary). If I don't feel like working I can refuse without feeling guilty. I don't have the responsibility I used to have, and I don't lose sleep over work anymore. Except when I worry that there may not be enough work to cover the bills. The restoration of the work/life balance for me has only been achieved through part-time working and removal of responsibility. It restored my love for my job and the quality of my life simultaneously.
Today, I'm at another very reasonable school actually covering my own subject for a change. It's really not a bad way to make a living.