It’s funny how the one thing you thought was going to change your daily life for the better can manifest in the completely opposite manner. Four months ago I was looking at a shift change and was preparing to move myself more into daylight hours. Working third shift was good but working NOT third shift is better. I’m a swing shift kinda guy and have my best hours right, smack in the middle of our twenty-four hour cycle. I was excited and looking forward to this change. I had high hopes of getting back to something more comfortable. Well, that didn’t happen the way I thought it would. The new shift was awful; management turned into demons, and my nerves shattered, making me combative and argumentative. Four months later I have a different job, a different apartment and a different life altogether! WTF!
Don’t get me wrong, here. I’m not usually hard to work with. My day job was my bread and butter; my entire life up until then. I have ridden out hard times in the past by simply looking past it and seeing that things would get better eventually. I put twenty-three years into that job and made a career out of it when I had no other career options; mostly because I hadn’t thought of any. I had been a goalless twenty-something when I went into that industry. In my mind it was just another stop on my non-existent travel plan through life, kinda like working at the local chicken-by-the-bucket place had been. It was something to do that made me better money than slinging greasy food at people and going home smelling like fried everything. I had no idea that I was going to fit so well into the new job and that it was going to become my employment Mecca for the bulk of my adult life.
I guess I’m actually writing an obituary here for my lost youth. The past few months have left me bitter and feeling more my actual age than I ever have before. My birthday was a few weeks ago and added a one to my half century of life. With all those years behind me, putting up with so much crap from a job that once gave me a lot of happiness just became something I wasn’t willing to do anymore. Putting up with garbage as you grow is a part of life. Those shovelfuls of shit that get dumped on you are things you learn to deal with and avoid. Everyone has to learn those things. I wasn’t born into a family that was bursting at the seams with money and influence so I had to pick my way along like the rest of the poor and middle class. Finding a job that was a good fit for me was really a surprise, and in many ways, a gift. I know in my heart that a lot of folks don’t get to spend their lives working at something they actually like. For me to find that job before I turned thirty was blessing that I can’t overlook. To have those shovels turn into dump trucks was not.
Now I’m drifting along on the tracks of self-employment. My car is my business. Sadly, a lot of other people have chosen the same path as me and the work is a little scarce right now. I believe business will pick up soon though. Once the holidays are over all the part-timers will fade back out and I’ll be able to get back to the business of making money. In the meantime I have resumed work on my novel and started blowing away the dust from my blog. I never meant to leave it, especially for so long, but the stress of these past few months was more than my writing could hold. Something had to fall by the wayside. It hurts to know that my deepest love is the first thing to get left behind when times get tough, but I understand. Survival first. Creativity comes later.
Stay sane during this most obnoxious of holidays and don’t forget to tip your Uber/Lyft driver. They gotta eat too. 🙂