“You Can’t Slow Down Can You?” – Using Work as an Escape

My seven day whirlwind is coming to an end. Tomorrow I’ll have a day off where nothing is scheduled. I just need to get through tonight’s on-call shift.

In the past week, I’ve gone full-throttle working all three of my jobs, pulling 17 hour days and fill-in shifts for people. I’m getting sick, since I’m not sleeping, and I’m CERTAINLY not eating properly. My diet for a week has been  coffee, green tea, and whatever I’ve managed to wolf down at dinner time. True, a few times that’s been a good, home cooked meal, but a few other nights it’s been a pre-made gas station sandwich or something equally hair-raising- I’ve been literally at one meal a day for nearly a week.

Last night, around midnight, while I was still awake, my wife told me to go to bed and get some sleep. I told her I wasn’t yet sleepy- exhausted, yes, but not sleepy. She asked me “You can’t slow down can you?”

Truth be told, I don’t really want to slow down. I’m NOT looking forward to my day off tomorrow. Since bombing the interview for the job I very badly wanted, and getting the subsequent rejection letter in the mail a few days ago, I don’t WANT the time to stop and think about the ramifications of this failure. Staying slammed busy, or even actively battling the onset of my new cold, or taking care of Mini-Me in the middle of the night is all distraction. I’m not ready to face my newest failure yet, since this one has the potential to be crippling.

Not only that, but there are a host of other issues with the other jobs too. The IT job is getting harder to do the more I spent time in my chosen field, but my chosen field has problems too, which I can’t discuss in depth on a public blog, even with the steps I’ve tried to take for anonymity. But it has become a source of stress and frustration over the last few months, even though I LOVE the work and the people I work with, it is a brand new headache with each shift.
…I have nothing negative to say about the Ambulance though, even with the 6pm-6am shifts, that job is no source of stress for me at all. The people I work for are not only friendly and professional, but they have absolutely no qualms about giving me all the shifts I can handle. I don’t feel held back in any fashion there, and I genuinely feel useful and appreciated there…but they’re the exception, not the rule.

So if I step back, relax, and try to enjoy myself outside of a work environment, the host of personal and professional problems, none of which are paltry- come flooding back to me, and I’m worried about becoming damn near incapacitated by them all when they strike en masse.

Lots of people take vacations to escape from work and their troubles.

I can’t afford a vacation, so I use work to get away from the troubles. As far as getting away from work though, I don’t see it happening. Not now, not any time soon. None of the three jobs I work offer me anything that looks like sick, personal, or vacation time, so any day not worked is a day not paid, and that simply isn’t practical right now.

So I need to turn away from the idea that work needs to be escaped from, and that is something to escape TO for a while.

Things may change. There may be a full-time job lined up somewhere that would let me shed the extra weight of three part time gigs that don’t pay me enough to make ends meet…someday. Right now, nothing is on the horizon, and I’m stuck. Every time a ship comes in, rather than board it and sail away happily, I torpedo it.

So I’m  pouring everything I have into what I’m doing now to keep from being washed up in the anxiety and possibly depression that will undoubtedly set in if I focus too fully on my spinning wheels and continuous professional failures.

Being stressed, frustrated, and exhausted is a far cry better than being confronted with the reality of the situation right now.

It just is.

____________________

It isn’t all bad news though- I bought a bulk order of foam swords for the boys the other day, and our house has been transformed into what I can only imagine the deck of a pirate ship must have looked  like after a boarding party makes a raid. Apparently, with every thrust, parry, and swipe of the swords, one absolutely yell “HI-EYAH!”

Even Mini-Me has joined the action and runs in circles with his sword screaming “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
…ultimately though, the two of them just end up wailing on me with these flimsy and completely harmless foam weapons, and it is nothing short of hilarious.

Family. If that’s all I’ve got, I’ve still got it all.

 

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