How can the shortest week for me seem like the longest? I think my Mom hit it on the head this morning when I called her, as I always do on my way to work, and she said how awful it is that we have to spend the bulk of our lives going to jobs each day that we loathe and dread, counting the hours there until it’s time to leave, and then repeating it every week, for about 40-60 years depending on how long you make it and whether or not you get to retire. She tried hard to get me off of that train, in encouraging me to pursue the career I really wanted, even though we both knew there was little chance of me being able to support myself comfortably with a career in theater. And I’m glad I got the training that I did, and went to school for it, and am lucky enough to continue to work in it, however tangentially and temporarily that work is. But fitting it in around endless years of day jobs that sap my soul, crush my spirit and turn my body into a stagnant mess has been pretty hard, and grows harder each year. “TGIF!” someone invariably says at work on Fridays. Yet Friday doesn’t mean what it used to, when I was very young and free and had a lot of debt and endless credit and lots of time to have fun and sleep and do what I wanted. Now Friday means tomorrow is a different kind of work day, as that’s when the cable guy comes, the taxes must get finished, the food should be cooked and stored for the week ahead, and the chores and cleaning need to get done. Sunday is mostly Dread Day, as whatever good mood I achieved on Saturday while Doing All The Things is shot to hell by realizing I have to go Back There tomorrow. So Sunday is prep – my clothes for the work week, any “special” days at D’s school for which I need to plan (this week was Crazy Wednesday in honor of Dr. Seuss so I had to come up with a crazy outfit for him to wear; week before there was a pajama day somewhere), etc. With basically no disposable income, whatever “fun” things we used to do on the weekends have all but disappeared until it warms up at least a LITTLE bit more. It’s very hard to convince the boy to go out for a walk with us in the freezing, blowing snow, and it’s really too cold for the playground. He’s too hyper and loud for the play areas at the library, and I’m so sick of the playground inside the mall I could smack the other parents who sit there on their phones the whole time just to make something different happen. And we have to have “learning” time each day on the weekends where I am trying so hard to get him to have even the slightest bit of interest in learning how to recognize letters and numbers in hopes one day he will be able to read and write, but he is just not interested and it’s frustrating for both of us.
I lay awake last night trying to figure out how to get into the next lower tax bracket last night, wondering how much more of my income I can divert to various pre-tax accounts so that we won’t owe as much tax but can still have enough to live on. It makes my head hurt to try to think about things like this. I hate math and I hate figuring and I hate that I have to obsess over money this way. It makes me paranoid and angry in other areas of my life – well, more paranoid and angry I guess.