26 September 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays (Thank You Karen Carpenter!)

The weather is changing here. I was at the grocery store today, rummaging through my pocket for my wallet, when I felt a chill run down my spine. It had starting raining when I came into the store earlier, and now that I was waiting to cash out at the register, a breeze from the doors blew past me. My first thought was, “how odd that it’s so chilly.” Then it occurred to me that it is the end of September, the autumnal equinox has passed. Where has the time gone? Only last Sunday I remember thinking that the a/c in the church wasn’t on and I was rather warm.

I work such long hours during the day at work from my home office. When my eyes have finally had it, my lids as sandpaper against the sclera, I merely transmit from one room to the next and my workday is over. By the time Friday comes, it’s as often as not that I’ve not even left the house for the entire week. I never notice the sun; I’m in artificial light the duration of my waking hours.

There are no reminders of passing time. Outside of phone calls on my office line, no one ever calls me. My doorbell never rings and I have no need to see what exists on the other side of my front door. The season has changed and I missed it. Again. Now I have to look at the calendar to see when I have to turn my clocks back. Was it that long ago I reminded myself that I needed to turn my thermostat down so I wouldn’t roast while I slept?

My life has become a winter river—frozen along the edges with slushing movement in the center. The passage of time becomes the function of my employment. I exist because I have a job. My weekends are barren gaps—forty-eight long hours of emptiness. I don’t watch TV or read the paper. I’m embarrassed to admit that Ted Kennedy had been dead for two weeks before I found out. At this stage of my life, the concept of time is taking on a new meaning for me. I make no plans, I go nowhere. There is no longer any sense of urgency or expectation of anything. When I log off on Fridays, I wish I could just close my eyes until Monday

Experts will tell you that who you are has nothing to do with what you do. In other words, your life is not defined by your career. I used to believe that. That must have been during a period when I actually had a life—you know—places to go, people to meet, thing to do. Now? I only have my job. I make note of only two specific days of the month: the dates of my direct deposit. It’s the only real time that I plan for in order to pay my bills.

This is an odd feeling now that I am actually trying to put it into words. I’m only 52. Essentially, my life is only half over. But, do I have the patience to wait out the rest of the years? There is nothing to look forward to. I have no goals left to attain. I’ve accomplished everything I thought I was supposed to do with this life. Now what?

So, here I sit on a Saturday evening…waiting for Monday.©2009

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