It came on like a low grade fever. It started Thursday. As I wondered where my energy and my "happy" went, my brain started counting down the days to the weekend. "I have to work Saturday. And for every Saturday (and possibly the odd Sunday) until the end of time ..."
The truth is quite a stretch from the way my mind dramatized that statement. Yes, I have to work on Saturday. Yes, there is the possibility I may have to work a Sunday to make up for taking last Saturday off. And the structure of my Saturday employment is fairly loosely defined - severe weather conditions and flexibility to change a work day is a constant. But the truth is, that I feel like I'm committed to this sixth day of work until the end of time. But I'm not. I just can't quit. That is all.
The mere thought of that commitment shuts me down. If I could work this day and still have a two day weekend at the end of it, this wouldn't feel so heavy. If my Monday to Friday workdays were not ten hours long, maybe I wouldn't feel the need to hoard my time and energy so much. Yet I see others working harder and longer hours and days than myself and I feel weak because I am craving a two-day weekend so badly.
My holiday replenished all of my inner resources and I stepped into my daycare week with an energy, enthusiasm and enjoyment that I haven't had for a very long time. Yet I am allowing this "one day" to take all of that away from me.
Most people work out of their homes five days a week. I just have to do this "one" day! ONE day. What is my problem?! Yet I'd rather step out of my house to work this day than to have this very same work dumped on me at home. I do appreciate the fact that this day is neatly packaged up into a day away from my home and once I'm finished, I can box it up and put it on a shelf until next week. For that, I am grateful (just watch, I am going to end up bringing home some homework tonight just because I typed those words).
I have my life all neatly compartmentalized into its spots. "Daycare" is Monday to Friday, from 7:30 until 5:30 and for the most part, it consumes our entire upstairs. I have daycare spaces designated within our home, with one room for "office supplies" and a door I can close if I want to work on something that requires closing myself off from the world (I typed those words and visions of writing came to mind). And I have my bedroom "suite" downstairs which is 100% mine and no part of the daycare infringes upon that zone.
"Sundays" are very much akin to my oasis of a bedroom. Sundays belong to me, my family, my friends, projects I want (and need) to work on. Sundays are sacred. And I am at risk of losing a few Sundays due to looming deadlines within my out-of-home bookkeeping job. I do believe a line has been crossed in the sand. IF I have to work a Sunday, I need something back.
This has nothing to do with money. I'd lose that pay cheque in the blink of an eye if that was an option. But it's not. Not right now. I have been trained and groomed and trusted with this job. It is a privilege. I know this. This job is about holding up my end of a friendship which has grown out of a chance meeting with a family I babysat for fifteen years ago. This is about commitment.
I'm not good at commitment. This is the part of a relationship where I usually run for the hills. I can feel it with every fibre of my being. I am in "quitting/running" mode at the moment. I've been here before and I've pushed through. I will push through again. It's just getting harder with time.
"Numbers" are just not where it is at for me. When I look at my little offices space I have carved out within our home, I do not picture myself locked in a room working on income tax, GST returns and accounting work.
I look at this door I want to close and I feel "words". I have been shutting off the flow of words lately and it feels like my oxygen supply is depleting. I want to let my fingers fly over "something that matters". I've been writing about "nothing" in an effort to keep the words flowing out my fingertips but I can feel it with every word I type. I'm pushing this. This isn't coming freely or naturally right now.
I like numbers. Numbers make sense. I like right and wrong and black and white and balancing to zero. I find great satisfaction in solving a number puzzle because you know the answer is there. You just have to find it.
Life is not a lot like numbers. Life is messy. It doesn't make sense. There is a sense of right and wrong within every decision, it is a bazillion shades of gray and the only thing we know for sure is that our lifespan is a limited time offer. There is a puzzle and a story within every person you meet. You just have to seek it out.
I want to immerse myself in "life" and stretch my mind and my horizons. I'm getting itchy feet because I know I've stayed in this quiet little safe spot long enough. It is time to reach out and broaden my view. But I feel the constraints of my heavily committed week reining me in. Is there a way I can have it all? Maybe not. But I can search for ways to strive for "more".
New years don't elicit a need to set resolutions, but there is something symbolic about that fresh new calendar that is speaking to me this year. It is saying, "Make me interesting!" "Try something new and scary that makes your knees shake!" "Think outside your house!" "Live more, fear less!"
I feel something stirring within. But it comes with the feeling that I have to let something go in order to make room for more. Maybe it's time to clean out a few more closets. Tomorrow. Because today, I must go play with numbers, balance to zero and make sense of something tangible.
This is real life. The holiday is over. It's time to shake myself off and make the most of the time I have before my next holiday...