May-Be Full of Possibilities?

“It’s a good thing Margaret Mitchell suffered a broken ankle back in 1925. She got so bored as she lay around the house recuperating that she started writing a book. Eventually it blossomed into the 423,000-word blockbuster Gone With The Wind, which sold 30 million copies and won her the Pulitzer Prize. Judging from your current astrological omens, Aquarius, I suspect that you, too, may soon be offered an opportunity disguised as a ho-hum problem.”

– Rob Brezsny’s Freewill Astrology, April 29


Blue skies with fluffy clouds.

Warm sun beating on my neck.

Feeling the light breeze travel through the SRT station as I sniff the sweet aroma of the nearby Dad’s cookie factory.

This, to me, marks the beginning of The Good Season – that period from mid-spring to summer that gets me out of my mental funk, at least temporarily.

It’s May once again. And again, I’ve got the vibes that come with good weather. I’ve got a bit of spring in my step, and I’m slowly noticing the colour returning to the city after several months of muted hues.

And again, my mind’s filled with thoughts … of melancholy over having to return to work just when I’ve gotten a brief taste of freedom … and of making my life a tad better than mundane.

But how?

Of course, I’m not wishing to break an ankle (or anything) like old Margaret. ‘Cause gaining 10 pounds would more likely happen, than me churning out a manuscript.

But seriously. With all these good vibes I’ve been taking in over the last few glorious days off work – the sun, the breeze, the feeling of not wearing socks and shoes for the first time in months – something has GOT to give.

Something HAS to happen, to make me change my outlook and slap a smile on my face on the days I have to earn money. ‘Cause my happiness can’t be reduced to only three days a week. This has got to translate, somehow.

All I want is a sign that there’s an opportunity (one that I would love, WITHOUT HESITATION) just up ahead, and that I should bide my time.

I just hope I haven’t already gotten it. ‘Cause that would suck.

Four-Day Reality

These days, when people ask me how it’s going, my usual response is, “Livin’ the dream.”

And I guess I am … sort of.

You see, about seven months ago, following a nutty 10-day-on, four-day-off schedule, I had a little talk with my boss and basically told him I didn’t think I was capable of sustaining that kind of scheduled work pace over a long period of time. I told him I was concerned for my health, amongst other things. (Which, considering the entire planet was dealing with H1N1 at the time [and frankly, I worked in one of the biggest germ factories around] was, arguably, a legitimate concern.)

So, long story short, I landed a new work schedule, and one to die for: the highly-coveted four-day work week.

Fantastic? You betcha.

But – as with anything – there’s always a catch. I now work weekends. Every weekend.

Sure, there are huge pros.

I start work on a Thursday, when most people are praying for Friday to arrive, and the week to end.  I get three days off. Three days I can use to run errands and not worry about weekend hours. To take naps at will and watch as much daytime TV as I want. And, theoretically, do the things that people do on weekends, during the week.

But there are also cons.

While I do have friends who I can see during the week, the majority have the complete opposite schedule from my own. So other than my parents, there are very few people I see regularly.

My social life has quieted down greatly. I miss brunches. Parties. Movies. A number of special occasions. On the odd occasions I do go out on a “school night”, I can’t really stay out late – or if I do, I pay for it the next day. Perhaps a lot of you don’t think it’s a big deal. And sure, it’s not – if you’re a homebody or have a family you have to get home to.

And on my days off, going out is at a minimum, mostly because where I live has often proven to be an effective deterrent.

If I actually want a weekend off, I have to book it off, often a month in advance, so the people doing the scheduling actually remember to get someone to fill in – or at least ensure I can get someone trained to be able to fill in while I’m away.

And it’s put a damper on my attitude. On Friday, when everybody is all “TGIF!” and getting ready to peel outta work, I’m bombarded by the expressions of happiness, whether verbally, Facebook, Twitter – whatever.

And all I can do is button my lips and silently remind myself that that was me, four days ago. But the camaraderie I once shared with people when I used to be on the same schedule? It’s no longer there.

And even though I work four days a week at 10 hours a day, I’m in no way safe from working overtime. In fact, it’s a regular occurrence.

I’ve done Friday nights. Twelve-hour shifts on Sunday night (which is supposed to be my “shortest” shift of the week) are pretty much a given. Even Saturdays aren’t safe. A couple of weekends ago, I worked until about 12:45 a.m. Sunday morning, only to return to work at 9 a.m. for another 12-hour shift.

I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if I actually LOVED my job. Right now, I’m just trying to find a way to like it.

Guess “livin’ the dream” comes at a small price, doesn’t it?