December 14, 2002

Eleven Hours

That's how much sleep I got last night.
Eleven hours, straight through.
11PM to 10 AM.
Not even a bathroom break!
It's 2 PM now and the woolly feeling is slowly lifting from my head.

I'm not complaining - well, not exactly.
The word complain has an implication of desire for change, and I don't want to change my circumstances with regard to my job.
Maybe whining would be more accurate.

Of course I didn't expect it to be easy, suddenly going from 24 hour sloth to 40 hours a week of standing on my feet, sometimes for five or six hours at a stretch.
A coffee break during those long stretches would be nice but if that's the only thing I'd change about my job, I consider myself in good shape.

Occasionally I catch myself wondering what I'm doing and why, but I can immediately tell myself the answers. I HAVE to get out in the world. I HAVE to have an independent source of income.
While a desk job might have been nice, this will have to do and ultimately will probably do me some good.
(Or else kill me, whichever comes first.)

Besides, after awhile perhaps I can be shifted around, promoted, or find a job at a more progressive bank that actually provides chairs or stools for their staff.

I come home exhausted at night but the kids have been (or are being) fed by the Housemate and are pretty mellowed out by that time.

Before I started working, I told Housemate that I would continue to clean up the kitchen (pots and dishes) and do all the laundry but I'd like him to take on the other chores, the rest of the cooking (he was already doing a lot of it) and the general housecleaning.

He agreed.

He really had no choice because that was all my responsibility (plus child-herding) when he worked and he has not worked hours like these for almost twenty years.

I figured he couldn't do a worse job in the house than I did.

I was wrong.

But so far I don't really care. And I know if I break down and scrub out a sink, I'm doomed to do it forever.
So we'll see how those head games progress.

Meanwhile, the rest of the household goes on:

Mark has settled nicely into full-time college with the realization that it beats work.
The Housemate does his thing, whatever it is.
And Rob has one more semester to go in junior college and will soon be applying to McGill.

Recently as I was driving Rob to the mall we were discussing the application process (it's online, naturally) and he asked me why I never got a "Masters" degree.

Rob: You were smart, weren't you?
Me: Yes. It's a long story which I can tell you but not while I'm driving.
(No way can I multitask through that one!)
Rob: Oh... does it have to do with being caught cheating or something?
Me: NO, nothing like that!

(At the time I felt relieved that the real story wasn't nearly as bad - but now I wonder, why would the first thing that popped into his head be that I might be caught cheating?)

Rob: Does it involve you doing anything wrong?
Me: Not unless you consider depression and a "nervous breakdown" doing something wrong.
Rob: I understand about depression - I think I might have it at times too.

(So do I, and I watch him carefully. But so far he hasn't fallen in very deeply.)

The discussion then veered off into issues of mental health and the public perception thereof and never did get back to my derailed education. But it will, eventually, and I feel quite relieved that I won't have to carry around a pretty big secret much longer.

Linque Du Jour:   All Too Flat
This one is for Stephanie, not so much for its content but for its source of inspiration.

Looking Back

One year ago:
Dry Spell

Two years ago:
A Cautionary Tale

Three years ago:
We Don't Need No Education..

It's cool - for me - to look back and see what concerned me at the same time of year, especially when it relates directly to what concerns me now.
The 1999 entry was about Mark's decision to leave school and work full time, which I then felt might not be a bad thing for him.
Three years later he's back in class, passing and, according to him, doing quite well!
We'll know for sure when the grades come out, but it's wonderful to see him shake off his feelings of academic inadequacy.
He really needed those extra years to mature and while he still doesn't have much of a direction in life, I'm more confident that he'll end up okay.

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