For those who have not reached the ripe age of 50 plus, you likely will not understand. Those of you in my shoes will definitely know what I speak of. Summer has been on fast forward. I spent all winter planning the wonderful things I was going to do once that season ended. My buddy and I chatted daily, we spoke how we are not going to waste the up coming warmth on work. We toil daily, with the plan to cut back once we get into "old people" weather. Weather the aged spend outdoors, because we realize our time is limited. We will camp, all the time. We will only show up at the job 3 days a week. We will devote more time to our homes and our loved ones. Our furry friends will have all our time, they deserve it, they suffered, shut in the house all winter. Our homes will sparkle, and we will be basking in the sunshine, eating fruit, and drinking margaritas.We firmly convince each other that this time, we will not devote every single waking moment to our job! Ahhhh...the time arrives, the geese return, the snow melts, the yard work commences. WTF!!! The yard work is limited to the usual few days off every week or so. The housework is slap dabbed after a long day of cleaning up after others. Once again, we have flushed our plans down the toilet, and spend the lion's share of the summer trudging in to work.
In fact, this summer, I have spent far more time working than I did in the frigging winter!! Now I stumble out the door hours before I used to go in, because we have shift workers. I have worked on average 9 days in a row, and then had 3 days to clean the house, mow the lawn, and....relax?????
Neither one of us has had the opportunity to drive off hauling our trailers behind, to the peace of the wilds. Not once have I woke up to the stillness of a lakeside, clock, TV and phone free. The margaritas have become Grandkid slushies. The dog remains stuck in the house day after day, while twice a month I attempt to convince him, I need to spend all this time working, so he can enjoy his meals.
My car has not been washed once, by the garden hose. Each day is the same hamster treadmill. Each morning begins with a check of the schedule at work. What days are convenient to take off? How many will be in? When is crew change, who is going to come back at night to do those guys who sleep all day? Holy Crap, July is almost over!!!
I know, the weather is hot, there is a whole other month to summer, but....somehow, already, we know that is going to pass just as quickly.
My honey is on a shift job, he works 12 days and gets 6 off. The plan was, I would work 10 of his days, and then take the whole 6 he is home off. Hah!!! I think that has happened once!! Then I was down to 5, then 4 and now it is 3. How does a person stop? Sure the pay checks are fine, but, they disappear just as quickly, and really, what is a person left with? Nothing but regrets, as they climb back on the wheel. Away goes my beloved for another 12 days, and back to the grind I go.
All the big plans of quality time together, dog devoted days, gleaming floors, and me time, never materialized. I feel ripped off when the 6 days are over, and 1/2 of them were spent working. I tell myself that next time, work can stick it. Oh, but then suddenly something comes up, and I commit to covering. I see my buddy doing the same thing, and she is older!
Problem is, we were raised in a time when ethics were expected. We are not stupid enough to think that is still the case. Cripes, we see the lack of ethics on a daily basis. What do our ethics get us? A tiny bit bigger pay check, and a loss of home life! Will we be rewarded for giving up summer, after summer? Yeah, not likely! When the snow flies, will we sit back and tell each other that we feel it was all worth it? No, been there, done that, and the sad fact of the matter is, once again, we will know, we wasted yet another summer, and those are running out.
I just recently was told that I had to step up to the plate and do my share at work! Helloooo...This was apparently something Nurse Rachet came up with. The nurse apparently did not realize that for weeks, I had, in fact BEEN stepping up to the plate. I had been heading in, long before anyone else, to cover the rooms that guys were in during regular hours. Hey, I was awake, and it had to be done. So, did I get a prize for that? Nope, instead in the midst of a heat wave, I went in early, worked, and then had to return at night, to do my share!!!If the nurse had taken a moment to check the time clock, she would have seen this, but, instead, I was singled out, and gave up even more of my time for my job.
The world will not stop turning, if I do not work 12 of the 14 days. I realize my job will never make me wealthy, so putting in the extra days may allow me to buy the dog a couple of bags of jerky, but, he would likely rather have me home, and suffer without the treats. I understand, if I don't work days that my honey is home, the job may be short handed. Well, because Nurse Ratchet thought nothing of my work ethics, and decided I was NOT doing my share, when I had given up 1/2 of my summer for my job, I am now about to commence battle. The battle will be with those ethics that have been with me a lifetime. I have to fight them, and take back the remainder of the summer. I have to accept that smaller pay, for the better life. I have to decide that, if I am once again told that I need to do my share, I will simply explain the share has gotten smaller with age, and commitments.
Wish me luck, been there said that, at least a hundred times before. I am going to attempt to make the best of August. The grand kids will lose the margarator, the weeds will disappear in the flower beds, the house will gleam from top to bottom,the dog will be thrilled, and when the snow flies, I will not be filled with regrets that another summer has been fast forwarded!