what i miss

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.

  13 comments for “what i miss

  1. Liz
    October 28, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    The silver lining (*gag*, I know, but can’t help myself) is that All the Things You Miss have made it very clear to you what your decision will be. It’s nice not to have to struggle with a choice ;). Hang in there, Anne.

  2. Anne
    October 28, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I needed to hear that, Liz. Thank you.

  3. M.
    October 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Well, I wouldn’t give up on real jobs entirely. Some of them let you put your work away after you leave the office, sometimes you have a really great boss who respects you and treats you very well, sometimes your coworkers are responsible organized pleasant people who make you happy to go to work, and sometimes you do finish projects and you get that feeling of accomplishment. (My first job encompassed all that.)

    I don’t know how your job works, but is it the kind of thing where it’s either feast or famine? Like weeks of nothing punctuated by weeks of crazy?

    If not, eh, you’ll be done shortly. It’s what I keep telling myself with this semester. :) But if it is a feast/famine deal, hang with it. You may find that you’ll have to put things off for weeks at a time, but in the end you’ll get them done. I’d be loathe to throw away something that provides you with, say, health insurance benefits. Would it be possible to stay on part time?

    Obv. we’re all different, but damn, was it ever nice to depend on banking a grand a month when I had a real job… the work was nicer, people friendlier and more cooperative, the atmosphere was kinder to innovation than academia if you can believe that, and I really miss the faster pace. But not all jobs are like that.

  4. Anonymous
    October 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    “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.”

    -seems a tad snarky to us readers “with babies,” often called children.

  5. Anne
    October 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    -seems a tad snarky to us readers “with babies,” often called children.

    Actually, I was thinking particularly of friends of mine who have just had actual babies. And I was speaking with absolute sympathy.

  6. Anonymous
    October 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I’d like to quit my job too but I’m not fortunate. It’s hard for me to feel sympathy for someone who can.

  7. Anonymous
    October 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    (2nd anonymous is not 1st anonymous but thank you for clarification Anne.)

  8. anon
    October 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Sheesh, and I’d like to point out that neither anonymous is me, anon. And I’d like to add that you should get your panties out of their respective bunches, folks. I am always baffled by the willful misinterpretation and/or snotty comments of some commenters.

    I am right with you, Anne, and on the same time table. Not that I’m quitting my job in December, but at the end of the year I will go back to “only” working my regular full-time job. I’m currently also teaching a class, taking a prep course, and doing several other not-my-usual things that are wreaking havoc on my need to sometimes, I dunno, BREATHE.

    I miss reading my magazines, which are stacking up in a lonely–and dusty pile–on my night table. I miss cuddling lazily with my man as we linger in bed before rising or loll on the couch in the late evenings watching silly tv. These days we’re up too early, in bed too late, and never seem to have down time. We are both in the midst of particularly hectic schedules (his too will end in a few months, thank god), and we spend too many days sharing too few moments, especially for two people who live together! We hardly see each other and it’s hard.

    This too shall pass. I cling to that silly adage like you would not believe.

  9. Rene
    October 28, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I agreew with Anon. And I agree with you Anne. I work a full time job that does not have anything to with what I really want to do with life purely because I need the money and the health insurance benefits. I hate waking up early to go somewhere that stresses me out. I also teach some classes a couple nights a week and on weekends. That job is also stressful at times though most of the time I adore my students and I do love what I do there. But still, at present I am working 7 days a week and I often leave the house around 8 or 9 am and don’t get home till after 8 or 9 pm. It’s maddening and it sucks. And life was not supposed to be lived this way. I realize we all have to work to afford to live but what happens when you ONLY work and don’t have time to LIVE?

    My office job ends because my office is closing, in the beginning of 2009 and I can assure you that my next job will be better too.

    Here’s to living our lives doing what we love! I don’t see anything wrong with wanting or having that. Hang in there. You’ll get through it.

  10. Anonymous
    October 28, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    you might just get laid off and have the decision made for you

  11. Audrey
    October 29, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    ‘Round here, we have plants and businesses closing left and right. Lots of people are suddenly without work in a crappy economy and right before the holidays. While I certainly understand the frustrations of two full-time job, it’s an embarassment of riches, isn’t it? I certainly emphathize with the constraints brought on by a full-time job.. but, well, at least you HAVE a job to complain about.

  12. anon
    October 29, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Wow.

    Ok, I can’t help it, I should just let it go, but I’m sucked back in and I guess I have to have the last word. Damnit.

    Here’s the thing about blogging. In some ways, it’s no different than any other form of communication, in the sense that it’s sharing what you feel in the moment, the here and now, the as-I-type. It’s like when you run into a neighbor at the grocery store on your way home from work, and she tells you she had a lousy day at the office, and you offer some sympathy and then go buy your gallon of milk.

    Just like that neighbor (or do you tell HER to be grateful she has a job too?), what a person blogs about on a particular day or at a particular moment doesn’t necessarily represent the sum total of who that person is.

    But then here’s the especially amazing thing about blogging: you may not ever really get to know your neighbor all that wellh, but here, with Anne, you have archives! You can look back and read about her and learn what an incredibly generous and caring person she is. Catch some insight into how she feels about other things, on other days, at other moments.

    So if right now she’s feeling a little overwhelmed by work and lack of free time, I really don’t think you need to remind her that the country is experiencing an economic crisis and she should just thank her lucky stars she has a job and shut her mouth. She’s really quite sensitive, you see, and knows what’s going on in the world.

    And saying things like that to someone who is stressed is like saying to someone who just had a leg amputated, “Well, gee, you’re lucky; some people don’t have ANY legs at all.”

    Yes, it’s a public blog, so yes, you can come and offer your snarky comments. That’s your right. But luckily, so can I.

    So, please, stop trying to prevent a person from expressing herself without the fear of offending every fucking asshole out there.

  13. Audrey
    October 29, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Oh good grief. I have been reading Anne’s blogs for three, almost four years now and I do know she’s kind-hearted and generous. Would I tell a complete stranger or casual acquaintance to be thankful? Nope, you’re right, I wouldn’t. I’d cluck and offer the appropriate empty phrases and move on. Would I tell a friend? Yes, I would! I wasn’t trying to be snarky or an asshole. I was trying to offer a different viewpoint.

    I forgot the intimacy created by the internet is often a false one. My mistake. Sorry, won’t happen again.

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