I woke up this morning, not too early (there was natural light but no sunshine yet), not too late (too late, and there would have been a grey cat staring at me like she was contemplating whether to eat my ear or my nose first because I wasn’t up filling her bowl with real cat food) and just a little cold (I turn down the heat quite considerably at night because I hate sleeping warm and because I’m cheap) because it was freakin’ cold outside!
And after the usual morning offices (don’t you love that phrase?), I went to the kitchen, losing the usual morning footrace to see who can get down the stairs faster, me or the grey cat, and looked at my calendar.
IT’S JANUARY 17TH!!!
What happened to January 10th?
Where did a whole week go?
I’m not kidding – I have no idea where a whole week went. I mean, I know I went through the usual motions, getting up, getting dressed, running errands, sending out cv’s, making phone calls, Tweeting regularly, cooking dinners, playing with the grey cat, reading a couple of books, but really… where did a whole week go?
The whole morning, I was sort of in a panic about it. I went through that list of things I done, apparently by rote. And then I thought about the things I hadn’t done, which I really had wanted to – which includes writing a birthday card to my brother, David as well as a couple of personal letters plus failing to write a blog post and get a hair cut.
And then I realized, aside from not blogging, which really was silly of me… the rest of it is okay. David will get his card. My hair will be cut. The letters will be written. And the world will go on.
Since my professional life got a kick in the ass , I have been living a life half-between extended leave and extraordinary pressure. Extended leave, because I wanted to be there & available for family & friends for the holiday period and for the first vacation Jeff & I took together in four years, and because I had been working at some pretty stressful levels for a couple of years and not working for a little while was not so awful.
Extraordinary pressure, because I am middle-aged & middle-experienced, and there is absolutely no denying that that makes selling myself to a potential employer much more challenging. Also, I need to work, for my well-being and for our family unit’s well-being.
And because looking for work has become my job right now, to think that I had lost a whole week was a little disconcerting.
Then I turned that idea around. What if I hadn’t lost the week, but gained something instead? What if what I gained was permission to be steady in searching for a job, but not to throw myself into a frenzy about it and wind up with a bad choice? What if what I gained was an extra half hour to my day when Jeff & I can sit & talk or play a hand of cribbage and really be a couple, instead of two people always running in and out all the time? What if what I gained for just a few days was permission to be mostly disconnected and entirely unpressured and find enjoyment out of what is actually a pretty good life?
I certainly can’t afford to take that much mental time off too often, but every now and again, I think we could all stand to be calendar & clock free. And as long as I am more faithful about blogging and sending birthday cards, I may just not look at my own calendar, my own clock as rigidly as once I did.