New Years’ Dissolutions

3 Jan

While my son and his father dutifully shook off their respective Holiday Comas this morning and returned to their usual weekday obligations of school and work, I met mine with only minimal enthusiasm.  Being currently unemployed, however, I need to garner enthusiasm for one minor obligation alone: that is, to rise at 7 am, throw on some semblance of clothing (bra negotiable)  and drive my son to school.  And that’s it.  From there on out, the day is a clean slate, an empty agenda, a virtual Horizon of Endless Possibilities.

Which is completely untrue, of course.  While my real agenda is simple, it is most definitely not empty, populated by a single but very insistent line item: GET A JOB.  And that Horizon of Possibilities?  Pretty much unattainable without a steady income – one of the bitterest ironies of life, as we all know: having the time to do whatever you want and having the money to do whatever you want tend to be mutually exclusive properties.

So each day I slog through what I suppose is my one other regular obligation: engaging in the perpetual cycle of Search-Locate-Communicate that will presumably, at some point, end with me smiling, relieved, and duly employed.

The trouble is, though I am a good worker, I have a terrible work ethic.  On the job I will throw myself into my duties full throttle, yet while also simultaneously resenting, with every fiber of my being, the fact that I even have to work at all. That’s a heinously elitist attitude, I know, and I have no idea where it managed to seed itself in my modest middle class origins.  Oddly, however, this inner love/hate dynamic usually seems to work out OK -I’ve never been fired, generally get positive performance reviews, and on more than one occasion, have actually been begged not to leave a job.

maybe it’s better to just … lie down

In addition to a questionable work ethic, I also seem to be short the chromosome that makes people “take their work home with them,” psychologically speaking; a particular anomaly in the nonprofit milieu, where we’re all such martyrs for whatever the given cause may be.  But me?  Out of office, out of mind.

As my current job search trudges on, I’ve shifted into a lower gear, one that just skirts the outer edges of boredom, and have had time to grow concerned about the things that will invariably change when I finally do go back to work.  The following issues are of the greatest concern, and may soon push me to a serious reconsideration of whether I should go back to work at all.

Keep in mind that these have absolutely nothing to do with my self-professed poor work ethic.

  • My dog will die of loneliness.  When all three of the people in my household were preoccupied with our daily out-of-house responsibilities, we convinced ourselves that the dog simply slept all day, waking when we arrived home with no understanding of how long we’d been gone.  “It’s just been 5 minutes as far as he knows,” we’d say, quelling our concerns about being neglectful dog owners.  Now that I spend considerably more time at home, however, I have had the opportunity to observe that while, yes, the dog does sleep all day, he seems to do so with an awareness that I am here with him as he does so.  I may even venture to suggest that he sleeps more soundly, more comfortably than he does when the house is empty.  Disrupting that new vibe for him could prove …. disruptive.
  • There’s so much Important Stuff to write.  I’ve got close to a full dozen subscribers to my blog now, hanging on my every written word, that I don’t want to let down, and probably just as many book ideas on the verge of really coming together, you know?  I’m an artist in my prime! It would really be a shame to have to squelch all this talent, to cut into my writing time by getting another job just so we can “buy groceries” and “pay the mortgage.”
  • The house is so damn clean.  Sure, we could hire someone to take care of it once I go back to work, I suppose, but do professionals really know what they’re doing?  Like do they know that you need to sweep the dust off the top of the molding as well as the floor?  And that the best way to scrub the edges of the bathroom fixtures is with a toothbrush?  Or that one shouldn’t wax linoleum?  These things are important.
  • I spent, like, almost a full hour making that cash flow spreadsheet.  The one I set up to figure out just how the fuck Unemployment will cover my full spectrum of regular monthly expenses, and demonstrated just how clearly it won’t.  I spent, like, almost a full hour on that. Going back to work would be like kicking that hour right in its face.

These are only the top concerns that spring to mind, of course.  Be assured that the rest of the things I’m thinking about in regards to this employment business are equally weighty.  But I forgot what a lot of them were.  Out of office, out of mind.


a tough job but someone's gotta do it


One Response to “New Years’ Dissolutions”

  1. wampamuse January 5, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Jenee – it sounds to me like you are a writer, and that is why you resent other jobs which are taking you away from that very important task. It’s not about not having a work ethic, it’s about not wanting to waste that ethic on things that aren’t important to you. I don’t have the answer – ‘cuz i know the mortgage needs to be paid, groceries need to be bought – but somehow i think you need to make a place for that artist in her prime and if you must work at another regular job, do it for HER, not for the groceries…Just sayin’.

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