Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday evening

It's Sunday evening, and I'm sitting out on my deck looking at the western sky.

Tomorrow I've requested the day off, and although I've been immersed in planning tomorrow's activities - some sightseeing with an old friend who's coming to town - it's only just this evening that I truly comprehend that I don't have to get up and go to work tomorrow morning.

What a relief, to be able to wake up, laze around in my pajamas, and ease into the day. I'll be able to take a longer walk with Jack. I can run errands. I can miss rush-hour traffic. I can see my neighborhood during weekday, daytime hours.

I've only been working a 9 to 5 schedule for ten years. Before that, for the past 25 years of my working life, I worked a varied schedule. The only regularity came while working a theatrical run - 8 shows a week, two matinees - Tuesday through Sunday nights and weekends. And rigid though it was, that was a schedule that allowed you to grocery shop during the day, bank during off hours, and wash your car without fighting the crowds.

When not on a show, I was at the whim of the dispatcher. I could work a twelve hour day, or I could go without work for a week. I lived to hear the phone ring. When I got a call, it was a joy - I had work! - so I never felt less than happy anticipation the night before going to work.

Working when they need you means you actually have work to perform, but being in a salaried position taught me for the first time about the tediousness of showing up daily. Although some days are fast-paced and urgent, requiring missed lunches and extra hours, other days are grindingly slow. And even when you've been assigned a task, sometimes it's a pointless task - researching a report that will never be read or preparing for a meeting that's subsequently cancelled. You know when Sunday night comes around that Monday morning will dawn, and you're going to be in the same chair in front of the same desk, staring at the same monitor and hearing the same phone ring.

 I'm grateful I have a steady job, because I have security. I've also been given the opportunity to learn new skills - if you're on salary and there's a vacancy or a need, you'll be asked to fill it. However, I think even the most rewarding job can have its boring moments, its periods of dull resignation. The trade-off is being shackled to a regular schedule. So at the end of each weekend, I always feel a sense of disappointment. Vacation's over. Back to work in the morning.

But this evening it hit me while I watched the sun slowly go down and the sky change - I've taken tomorrow off.

It's silly to be delighted by such a thing, and it's also a fleeting pleasure. I've only postponed the resignation to Tuesday morning.

But it was still lovely to watch the sun go down on Sunday without anticipating work the next day.

What's your work schedule like? Is it varied, unpredictable? Or regular? Are your days shaped by the clock, or free-form? How do you feel about it?


Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

I hear ya! That is the best feeling. Being a teacher, the early morning is something I'm quite familiar with, and being a night owl is something that makes that early morning so so hard. I have meetings the next three days and will have a sub in my classroom. Even that, makes my Sunday night attitude better - don't have to be up as early AND don't have to be "on" like I usually do. Heck, we have to take what we can get, don't we? Have a wonderful day with your friend.

Anonymous said...

Oh, such a gorgeous sunset!
My day begins with getting kids off to school and then exercising with my husband. Then I either have some time to myself (aka, blog time) or I do some grocery shopping.
The thing I miss about pre-retirement days is the opportunity to call a pajama day whenever I needed one (schedule allowing, no doctor appointments, etc.). There are no more pajama days now. *sigh*

Enjoy your day off! :)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

golly, whatta sky there in heavenly SoCal!
I am a self-employed artist and my schedule is my own...I was a teacher before that and the first weeks self-employed I felt like I had stepped off a cliff. No external schedule! But I make my plan every day and week and work through my list. I think that for the kind of hyper-organized person that I am, I really stick to the work schedule every day, and would feel crummy if I did not get things done :)

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Love those pictures!

Deborah said...

I've worked some variation of the 9-to-5 schedule for 36+ years now, nonstop. You're right, it is tedious. Can't tell you how much I look forward to stepping off this merry-go-round someday and living life the way I want.

smalltownme said...

What a glorious sunset! I chose to stay laid off this year, so I am enjoying the freedom of almost no schedule at all, other than the drop off/pick up of one rather tall child.

Janet said...

oh, that next to the last picture is particularly breathtaking to me! Hope you're having fun today :-)