Working 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM five days a week (with every other Friday off) is a bummer. I mean, I like my actual work. I like my actual co-workers. But I don’t love being tethered to an office for so many waking hours. Nobody does, though. (Do they?)
Who can be surprised when I spent 10+ years working at home? I am used to having the weird flexibility to wear pajama pants while I work as The Real Housewives of Dallas plays in the background. I could literally roll out of bed and four minutes later be online, working.
(Now? I Roll out of bed at 5:30 AM–the sun is not up, but I am!–and then drive down a crowded California freeway for thirty minutes. From awake to work takes two solid hours. Yesterday, I returned home twelve hours after I left. (Please. Feel sorry for me.)
I just want to be home.
I am old enough, though, to not underestimate the value of health insurance for the whole family, not to mention the sweet thrill of the direct-deposit paycheck every two weeks. So, my soul withers away in a fluorescently lit office while my family asks me, “What’s for dinner?”
(Indeed. What is for dinner? Dinner is a magic trick I pull out of my Crock-Pot four or five nights a week. Dinner is a conundrum. Dinner is the bane of my existence. Dinner is for losers. I hate dinner.)
What’s really bumming me out is the dismal thought that this is It. This is the culmination of my working life and after this, I will just retire (if I’m lucky) and then drop dead. I feel like there is no space for dreaming and imagining a future beyond this job because I am old.
I mean, no one starts a new career or earns a new degree or writes a first novel when one is 60 years old. (Does one?) (I’m not 60 but why quibble over time? Who has time for time-quibbling when one is whining and being generally disagreeable?)
Anyway. So, that’s how it’s going. I want to have a languorous stretch of time in which to think, to stitch, to write, to read, to dream, to . . . avoid cooking dinner. I know how fast time goes by and I’m mad that I didn’t embrace all those moments from yesterday and last month and three years ago and the decade before that.
And I’m mad that I don’t have time today to do anything that really matters to me (though I did write this blog post and on my gosh, how good does it feel to just spill some words onto the computer screen?).
Slow down, speed up, wait. I just want to look around for a minute. Can we just stop the clock?