Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ain't no cure

From this week's David Letterman newsletter:
Top Ten Things Dumb Guys Like About Summer

10. All the sand you can eat.

9. Easy on the pocketbook pets -- ticks.

8. If you have a light blue shirt and you sweat a lot, voila! A dark blue shirt.

7. Eating shrimp salad that's gone bad in the heat equals a week's vacation from work.

6. Wait, this summer or last summer?

5. On 95 degree days, the wind chill factor makes it seem like a delightful 90.

4. Great deals on snow shovels.

3. Drinking some cold beers and then going into space.

2. Them beachballs is purty.

1. Get to spend 12 weeks in Crawford, Texas.

I am happy for those adults out there who got some time off this summer. I would dearly love to sit and look at purty beachballs, maybe wipe the sand off of the beer glass, somewhere far away from Crawford. Austin will do, but I am still locked up by this crazy workcycle.

My best friend has summers off, and makes the most of every minute of it; traveling (sometimes even to Europe), workshops, concerts, sleeping in. Still, what I am hearing from her is how hard it is to go back to work, it's depressing, and how she wanted to do SO MUCH MORE during the summer, it just wasn't enough time. She also feels that people in her profession really need summers off because the stress of dealing with the children year-round* added to the stress of always needing to do exactly the right thing (and make no mistakes) would mean that the nerves would not endure it -- not year-round. I pointed out that lots of professions have those qualities, such as air-traffic controllers, police, and medical personnel (and I could think of a lot more, such as pilots, bus drivers, emergency 911 operators, etc. yada, yada), none of which get summers off. But then I am reminded that those people, although their work stress level is many times the amount of mine, DO get a little actual time off here and there... and I don't. (Whether or not they are able to leave their job at the office door is another matter.)

I have 2 part-time jobs. On one of them is the "day job" where I work for someone else and get a benefit package, but the other one is me being self-employed doing my "dream job". A few years ago, I turned a hobby into an occupation, and it has been growing on its own. I really enjoy it and it's what I want to do, but the "dream" is not always a good dream. For years I envisioned this very occupation, except that in my dream I would make good money and be able to take my work with me to exotic locales since I would be able to do it all from a laptop. Warm breezes, cool drinks, blue waters... and wired. The reality of the situation, however, is that I don't make enough money to afford hotels and cat-sitters... and the nature of this job is that almost every day there is something that needs to be done that cannot wait. It might take a few minutes or several hours but it won't wait until someone's vacation is over, and I have no helpers. It's just me. (Sounds easy to solve, doesn't it? It's not.)

Tomorrow is my birthday. I am taking off of the day job, but will probably work all day at home on a new project I am trying to complete on a deadline. It's an exciting project, and I'm glad to do it, also I really need the $$$. Tonight is a show night, and Saturday night (maybe Sunday afternoon too) we will be out and about, kicking up our heels, but I think I will spend my birthday evening watching good old Friday night TV: Meerkats and Monk.

Laptop pic snagged here.

*I am not talking about children being or not being in school during summer. I am just venting about adults who have summer off and are always forgetting that others are not so lucky. I also don't mean to put my friend down. I think she's great and I'm lucky to have her, and hope to see her this weekend. I'm also glad that she has a job that allows her those particular perqs.


Nava said...


...and yes, I am with you about those who complain that a whole summer is not enough vacation. Boo Hoo.

Nava said...

Oh, and by all means, Monk is the best choice for a birthday evening. You'll thank me later :-)

Blueberry said...

It isn't just summer, there's also Spring Break, and extra holidays like President's Day and Columbus Day, Winter Break, plus vacation. I myself get a Winter Break, which is great, but I can't remember when I didn't spend the whole damned thing trying to make somebody's deadline.

Mando Mama said...

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you...I wish for you a lottery ticket.

The kind of work you do is always, always going to be about making up for somebody else's missed deadline. That stinks.

I hope you have a great day tomorrow. I'm glad you were born!