Another Perfect Holiday
Well, following what was the perfect Thanksgiving -- spent cooking, relaxing, eating, and playing games in our jammies but only after an early-morning trip to the fitness center -- we are now sitting around with no game plan. Several months ago, I had asked X if I could have the kids for the full weekend, so that we could make a trip to see family out east. By the time he got back to me it was too late to press on with any elaborate trip, so we decided to settle for something closer to home. That hasn't panned out either, along with most of the other ideas that I've had in the last hour, just trying to come up with something.
So, I'm pissed off, because through no fault of their own or mine, we're stuck. I'm more pissed because the company I work for is cutting me back to HALF TIME as of MONDAY, and there's no guarantee of how long that will last, or whether I and the good folks I followed into that arrangement are going to be able to pull some sort of holiday miracle out of our butts to generate business to make up for the other half. I'm pissed because I'm sitting at home with the kids, having promised them something more festive to do today, but failing to produce. I'm pissed that I had to tell them that we'll be fine for a while because their 43 year old mother is able to cobble together two part time jobs to make ends meet. I'm SO too old for that. Ugh.
I know I still have it one hell of a lot better than a lot of people. I don't live large so while there aren't many places I can cut back, I don't have a mountain of worrisome debt staring me in the face, either. There are people in my own family and among friends who are ill, who are losing their jobs altogether, who have all kinds of sadness and unpleasant situations on hand. I'm just having a bad attitude about the fact that I was just hitting a new place, a clearing in the forest where I could see that things were in pretty good shape and I could start to live like a normal person, you know, without a dishwasher with holes in it, or carpet that looks like it belonged in a frat house. But I guess I'll have to live with that a little longer. Every time I see another "news report" about people not spending money, my head feels like it's going to blow up. Given that so many millions of Americans are out of work, how exactly, is this news? I have a credit line big enough on one card to buy a brand new car, but I'm not an idiot. Look at this story. At least my job isn't to play Dr. Santa.
I know things will turn out ok and most likely even get better, and I know that one key is simply to start behaving like some of the candidates I've helped get into great jobs -- not undersell myself, capitalize on my transferable skills, not accepting anything less than what it would take to keep me whole, truly prepare myself to compete. I also have to make sure I'm not working for free--I am indebted to the good folks who gave me a shot five years ago and I'll do everything I can to help turn things around, but I've cut back my hours in the mornings when my kids are with me so that I can drop my daughter off just before school starts, allowing me a little more time with her but also saving me the expense of morning child care. To think I'm one of the lucky ones in my company? Yah. Needless to say, this concludes my experiment with the corporate sector.
I hope that all y'all are having a reasonably good holiday weekend. As crappy as things seem to be right now for just about everyone I know, I can still think of more than a few things I'm grateful for to every one thing that's got me down. I hope you can say the same, or sing it, or play it this weekend while you have a little time to yourself. As the kids in School of Rock say, don't let the man get you down. You might want to cozy up with someone you care about and listen to this tune from the Red Clay Ramblers, even if it's just your cat or your kid. At the end of the day, what we're really hanging onto is the love we have and the hope to love even more, at this time of year and all year.
One Rose/Hot Buttered Rum