Nobody rides for free

The title of today’s post is taken from the lyrics of the beautiful Jackson Browne, doing one of the things he does best: positioning upbeat, happy sounds against stark, somewhat ugly reality. Which is kind of what life is like here at the supposed “tail end” of winter here in NE Ohio, which shows no end in sight, not for a long time, baby, and keep that nose to the grindstone until I tell you otherwise.

Things at my day job have gotten really complicated and busy. It’s so fucking hard to get out of bed and come to the job every day. Each of the 10 years I’ve been here weighs on me, like 50 years instead of a decade. The hearts are hard and the times are tough, yes, indeed, Jackson.

2014 has been a “positive” year so far in terms of my freelance writing, which is a mixed blessing, hence the quotes. It’s great to be able to put my writing to work for me in a way that pays a little extra money, which I desperately need. But with all of these pick-up jobs and extra work, a big chunk of what little free time I have is spent researching, writing, editing, proofing; stuff I do all day long. Between the endless snow and cold and the long, long days spent in front of a computer, it hardly feels like a positive, though I know I’m lucky to get the work. Yesterday, for example, I had an incredibly complicated day working on a huge, month-long project at work, one that won’t be over until Spring is actually, really thinking about arriving, vs. when the calendar says it will arrive. I picked up my son from school and neither of us wanted the leftovers in the fridge, so I set about making spaghetti since I had some meatballs ready to go. Took me 40 minutes to get dinner on the table, then clean-up, then the D wanted to have a dance party. I let him select the music this time. He asked for “We Will Rock You,” which he apparently heard at school somewhere, and then “Can’t Touch This,” which I thought was a pretty funny combination. Can’t Touch This is a really long song to dance to, and we don’t fuck around, it’s like a high-impact aerobics/modern dance class when we have dance party (hopefully I burned off some of that pasta. Pasta for lunch followed by pasta for dinner=fat ass). When it was over, we were both panting and went into the kitchen to get our respective water cups. D was saying how it was a really long song but good to dance to, and I could suddenly envision us doing this in a real dance class somewhere a few years from now. I hope I’m still in decent enough shape to do shit like this when he’s older.

After I finally got him into bed, I immediately had to sit down at the computer and do some detailed research on things I don’t know much about, to compose a letter for someone like I’ve never written before, about aspects of life I know nothing about (financial investment-related stuff). It took me an hour and a half but I thought I did a pretty good job. One thing my day job has taught me is how to research and write about just about anything, so that’s a plus. Then I had to lift. I really had to, I haven’t done any strength exercises since Sunday when I attempted an hour-long, advanced yoga class and had to give up after 40 minutes as my tennis elbow was starting to wake up and yell at me. So I spent 45 minutes lifting and then foam roller and stretching everything out and finally, at 9:10, I was able to actually just sit down in a comfortable chair and relax, with a cup of ginger chamomile tea, to stave the continued nausea from the antibiotic I’m on, and wash out the metallic taste in my mouth from same. I barely made it to 10pm before my head hit the pillow and I was off to my dreams, where I have nice clothes without stains on the front of every shirt or holes worn in the elbows from working in front of keyboards for hours.

I keep slogging away. As we must.

“Nobody rides for free
Nobody gets it like they want it to be
Nobody hands you any guarantee
Nobody” – Jackson Browne, “Boulevard”

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