Monday, November 14, 2016

Much-Needed Day Off

I've been working at this job for seven months now, which may not seem like a real lot of time. In the larger scheme of things, it really isn't, especially since I had thirteen years in at my last job. But I am growing more and more appreciative of the need to take time off from jobs as I get older. Simply put, you get burnt out if you don't. It could be a lot worse for me, because my normal schedule is four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days, which means I get two full days and a substantial part of two others away from the job. But still, the routine gets monotonous after a rather short period of time, and the peculiar logistics of working third shift wear on a person physically much more than a regular day job.
It took me months to establish a sleep schedule that worked reasonably well for me--and then we got a dog. And as much as I love the dog, its own needs have blown that schedule to hell, and I found myself last week starting to sleep after dinner and before work. It had two desultory, unexpected effects: I haven't been to an NA meeting in over a week, and it was proving harder by the day to drag my ass out of the house to actually go to work, and I was spending most of the shift, instead of just the horse latitude time of 2 to 5 AM, struggling to stay ambulatory.
And so I asked for,and received, a night off. The original rationale was that I was going to help with my daughter's college visit, but that changed in the middle of last week, but I decided to keep the day off and take advantage of the last chance I am going to have for a while to visit with Lauren, even if I had to drive three hours to do it. She is likely headed for her ultimate destination today, which means very limited access to the outside world for the next three months, and we had a very nice morning and afternoon together. The air was cleared between us weeks ago' this was just enjoying each other's company without worrying "where do we go from here." I don't know what's going to happen in the future. But I do know that a lot of the stuff that has been an issue in the past isn't going to be anymore, and regardless of what eventually comes to pass, the fact is that right now, I'm about all she has that is an undeniably positive factor in her life. Apart from any romantic entanglements, we like each other, as best and somewhat better-than friends. I'm not going to abandon her at this point in time. You never know, but I'm pretty sure that's not what God would like to see out of me at this point in time.
And as I start to get ready for my normal equivalent to Saturday, I have a lot more to do than I would like to on a day off, But I do feel like a cactus must after a downpour in the desert--refreshed, refilled, ready to deal with a lot more heat and dry conditions. I've been trying to focus on small-picture stuff since the election, mostly because there really isn't a lot that can be done about big-picture at this moment. Sustained hibernation is not in my nature, and I am going to start to rejoin the world today. But it was nice to have an opportunity to get a paid night off and do what I needed to do to refresh my spirit.
And that was the point I was trying to make. Sometimes people bury themselves in work trying to get through--or avoid--measures of turmoil in their life. And I've done that at times in the past myself. But burning is a one-way process; past a certain point, you can't get restored. And when you have the means to do so--and I am fortunate to have a decent benefits package that includes paid time off, after six months on the job--it's best practice for yourself to take it, not hoard it for a day that may or may not ever come.

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