To get my work done, I’ve been having to wake up hours early, go to bed hours late, and I admit that I have been resenting it. I am aware that I made the decision to add a full-time job to an already pretty full work schedule, that I made a choice, that many people, especially the kinds with babies, have it much more difficult than I do or are far busier than I am, that I am being well-compensated for my time, that it is neither a tragedy nor the end of the world, but I resent it.
I miss reading for pleasure. I miss writing. I miss taking baths–you cannot proofread or write copy in the bath. I miss my boyfriend, who has his own ridiculous hours to work. I miss seeing the dogs over at his house. I missed a party because I had too much work to do. I miss a glass of wine at night with dinner, because I have to be clear-headed to work some more after I stack up the dishes. I miss writing emails that have nothing to do with work. I miss not being resentful and I miss having things to think about other than work, things to talk about other than the way the project managers screwed up again and I had to stay late again and everyone has their thumbs up their asses again and I swear I will never, ever take for granted my free time, my happiness, or being able to go to the bathroom without coming back to three panicked people ranged around my computer with piles of work in their arms for me to have finished an hour ago except they screwed up again.
I miss the time when the only screwups to affect me were the ones I
made. I miss not being filled with impotent rage. I miss being done
with work for appreciable, almost luxurious amounts of time. I miss the
ends of my to-do lists, the very last item crossed out with a very
satisfactory heavy line. I miss when my house was–well, my house
is never exactly clean. But I miss when it was less exploded. I miss being
able to take five minutes to hang up my clothes without feeling like
I’m wasting my time, or squish the cat’s armpits, or look at a blog, or
see what’s happening in the world, without a tiny gulp of fear that I
have wasted all my time and am now hopelessly, irretrievably behind.
I miss being a slightly more interesting person who didn’t complain so much.
November and then December, and then I am done. It’s give up the
freelance stuff, or give up the office job, and I think I know what’s
got to give. I am fulfilling my commitment to be a full-time employee
through the end of the year, and then I am walking away, because I have
better things to do with my time, my energy, my life, than have all my
time, my energy, the whole of my life, be taken up with this.