This has been a terrible week; worse than average, but not nearly as bad as some. It hardly ranks in the top 40 of worst weeks, still, it has not been a good week. I have been stressed. I had a headache Monday through Thursday. I have not slept, but I had bad dreams anyway. I have been yelled at. I have cried. I have been sad and angry and humbled. I have not been happy and content and joyful. Nearly every day this week, I found it difficult to find something to smile about.
Yesterday, I woke up thinking it was Friday. It was on my way to work that I realized it was only stupid, no good Thursday, which just made me wither. And then, another few miles down the road, I thought to myself, “Well, why can’t it be Friday? There’s no reason that Thursday can’t be transformed into Friday with a little elbow grease.” Once an idea like that sprouts in your mind, it’s hard to shake, so, by the time I got to work, I made up my mind that it was Friday, dammit.
I walked into my manager’s office with a time off request form all filled out and said, “I’m calling in sick tomorrow. I just thought you should know.” She said, “Well, when you put it that way…”
Having been privy to the badness contained within working hours, which there was a lot of, she bore witness to the fact that I very much, badly needed a day off. I added, “The last day I took off of work was the day I found out my boyfriend died.” She signed the sheet and gave it back to me. “Enjoy.”
I never take time off of work unless I’m actually sick or there’s some reason to. I am pathologically at work. American workers take less time off than most countries in the world. Most Americans don’t even take the vacation time they earn; I am one of them. I am part of the problem. So, today, I’m taking a stand. Today, I put my foot down. Today, I am not at work for no good reason at all.
Normally, I would feel guilty. In fact, yesterday afternoon, during yet another work crisis, because not a day has gone by this week without at least one of those, I thought that maybe I should cancel the day off request. There are things I need to do today, issues that need following up, emails that need to be sent… No! NO, today, we are European. Today we are taking a day off, even if it kills us.
This morning, I organized my desk with this ridiculous new desk organizer I got:
I edited a post and pre-ordered the new Clutch album. I took my dog for a longer walk than normal. I leisurely drank coffee at my home computer instead of rushing out the door with a travel mug. I have given my dog approximately four hugs and scratched the cat’s belly about the same. I am writing a post that says FUCK WORK in it, without worrying about who’s peeking at my internet usage. I am not thinking about being fired or work crises. I’m not thinking about work at all, other than to realize that I should be sitting in a beige cubicle looking at the clock and thinking it’s only a few more minutes before I can clock out for lunch and have a whole hour to myself. It’s funny how, when you’re not at work, time seems to pass differently.
Instead, I’m thinking of all the things that I could be doing today. I could go to the library or visit the ocean. I could go thrift shopping, and I still might, but I’m really thinking that it’s nap time. Someone’s got to take a nap in the middle of a work day; it might as well be me. My dog and cat are saving my spot on the bed for me. Work work work.