MWD63 - On Working Well, With Others
or why, lately, my brain feels like jello before it sets
Welcome to Midweek Dinner. There’s a whole story behind that name, something about the way Wednesday creeps up on you, and you have to cobble together a meal out of whatever you can scrounge from the fridge. And yes, sometimes there is talk of food in this place. But mostly it’s about what I’ve been reading, in print and online; or what I’ve been thinking, in clarity and confusion; or what I am hoping, in fear and in joy. And you are always invited to join in.
Back in May, I started a new job. It was a thing I did for reasons and not a thing I wanted to do exactly. It was exhausting and not at all what I expected, and when the reasons dried up, I quit. Back in September, I started a new job. It was part-time, and it was perfect. I was in a community of people I loved, doing work I loved, and I was still home a lot. But then reasons — they have cropped up with a quickness, and I realized I needed to go full-time if at all possible. I needed health insurance, and I needed more money. And I needed it yesterday. Thus, it is a good thing to report that back in January (ha!), I transitioned to full time at the library. I am in a community of people I love, doing work I love, and . . . I am never home.
Though perhaps obvious, this is a thing that is very, very hard for me. Maybe it is hard for lots of other folks, but I know some people really thrive having that separate, professional sphere to give shape and a different purpose to their days. I appreciate those things, too, but it is hard to leave the house in the dark, it is hard to eat lunch at a cubicle, it is hard to feel tied to a building, it is hard to arrive home at dusk, arms full of groceries, knowing the dogs still need to be walked and fed, and that the floor still needs to be vacuumed, and dinner — GOD, dinner — how do other people do this?
It is a transition, and I am making it work, but just barely. There are other things stewing with me, too. And those are harder still. Dim and uncertain and terrifying. And also hopeful.
I’m also reading more for work and writing more reviews for other places, so my website has gone quiet. My to-be-read shelves are still groaning under the weight of all the books that feel impossible now. My fridge is bare, full of leftover takeout and individual fruit cups. And this space, well, you know what has been happening here. You’ve been aware of my silence, perhaps even appreciative of it.
But I’m here now, writing this morning in an unexpectedly quiet moment. I know what’s for dinner, and I know I will pour out presents and love and cookie cake and laughter for my nephew whose birthday we celebrate tonight. I know that the rain will stop, and that spring is already peering around the corner. I know the days are lengthening and that sometimes, when I arrive home at dusk, the air is so warm and the sky is so soft, and it all opens before me like a gift.
I don’t know how often I’ll be here. I’ll do my best. We’re all out here just doing our best, aren’t we?