I am grateful to the various folks in my workplace who pretty much sweated drops of blood to get the budget for our current fiscal year submitted AND approved.
There was no downsizing. There was a bit of upsizing, as a matter of fact. Even though one person retired, and one person quit because of health issues.
However, in my particular corner of the work universe, some new policies and procedures were put in place that now require everyone to run around like bunnies on crack in order to get certain tasks accomplished.
It used to be, for me, that Friday was just the end of the work week. I often said to others, “I do stuff for someone else five days a week, and then on the weekends, I do my own stuff.” Laundry, letter-writing, gardening, shopping, floor mopping, crocheting, reading, napping, hanging out with friends, teaching Sunday School . . .
Hasn’t been that way for more than three years. Saturday and Sunday have ceased to be a meaningful period of time set apart from the hectic pace of the rest of the week.
Realistically speaking, Friday has become the day I look forward to most because, after five days of hanging tough, I know I have permission to go home and collapse on Friday evening. And I stay collapsed until 5:30 a.m. on Monday.
I have done nothing in three years or more to materially affect the external or internal chaos of my life. I have evolved into a creature who ignores as much as possible outside of work-related issues, no matter how serious or chaotic it might be.
Possible roof leaks? Lost cell phones? Dust bunnies the size of guinea pigs? Bags of mold in the refrigerator that used to be Romaine lettuce? Friends I haven’t seen in months?
I ignore all of that for the sake of Friday, for the sake of going home, slumping in a cat-hair encrusted dining room chair, putting my head on the dining room table and–without drinking a drop of alcohol–collapsing into blissful unawareness for an hour or two. Then I spend the rest of the evening trying to wake up so I can go to bed and come to consciousness the next morning with some motivation to wash underwear, go out and buy toilet paper, clean out the cat box.
For all intents and purposes, I have become a de facto type A bachelor who has no life outside an office cubicle.
My clothes are out of date, my hair is never combed, my diet is the least bad-looking leftovers in the fridge, and the last time I had a relationship intimate enough to include kissing was so long ago that I am beginning to wonder if I made it up.
In fact, the last time I looked appealing enough to attract someone who’d want to kiss me really was so long ago that I am sure all the photos of an attractive young woman who looks like me are pictures my mother put up so she wouldn’t have to be reminded of the shapeless sack her daughter has become.
My life outside work is a mess because I use all my energy to make sure my life at work is, as far as possible, in order.
I don’t know where my Bible is at home, but I know where all my markers are at work. I can’t find a pair of stockings at home, but I can find my white-out tape at work.
At home, I can’t think of anything to say to God except, “I hate my life.” but I can laugh and chat at work like I’m Senator Clinton at a fund-raiser.
Well, I CAN thank God for Friday and the two hours I can sit with my head resting on the dining room table, unaware of any realm I operate in.
Friday. Is it a gift? A curse? The blissful end to the work week? The sad reminder that there is no real respite from Mondays?
I don’t know, but it is now the sacred mystery at the center of the universe, and I am its high priestess.