Two weeks ago my boss and her boss brought me in for my yearly review, and frankly, they had a hard time containing their enthusiasm. Outstanding this, wondrous that. Amid all the abject sycophancy and genuflecting, however, there was one teensy problem about my demeanor. They said more than a few people had noticed that I was often dismissive, peevish, and visibly exhausted at work. And they were right.
Vacations are wonderful things, because they let you reflect on how fucking busy you're not. (About 10 times today I've noticed myself reading on the couch or playing Great States Junior with Robert and thought, "Dude. I am so totally not busy right now.") But I had been more than just busy. I was weighed down, snowed under, flailing helplessly at an avalanche of work I had brought down upon myself. The strain was obvious to everyone but me.
Last Sunday I went to church with the family and spent most of the service with TwoBert in my arms. During the sermon, I zoned out and leaned my nose into TwoBert's face, closed my eyes, and meditated on my current station. I was taking on all these projects, whether I believed in them or not, staying up all night, grousing about deadlines, shortening my already short temper, and alienating everyone around me. What the hell for?
Then it struck me: I'm running. I'm running away from that terrible, helpless feeling of being an unemployed parent. Of needing to work as much as possible whenever opportunities are offered and save it all up because the job could lay me off tomorrow and then where will I be? Last time I had one kid; how the hell could I manage now, with two?
I thought I was over my layoff, but I'm clearly not. Fear has turned me into a workaholic, and I need to develop the will to say no to a gig if it's for nothing but what I perceive to be a little extra monetary security. This is why I have decided to be very circumspect when it comes to choosing work. And why from now on I will worship at the Church of Chubby Cheeks.