I’m so happy to be home. And I don’t just mean the place, though I am really happy to be there, too. But I also mean I’m happy to be here, writing, where I belong, where I’m me and among friends. Among people who know my innermost thoughts. Where my heart is. You know, home.
Friends, I know most people don’t jump out of bed with joy each morning and head off to work with a skip in their step and a smile on their face. Even those who are living the dream and doing what they love. And I don’t want to become one of those awful, stereotypical office workers who exclaim things like “TGIF!” and “I hate Mondays!” and “I’m just waiting for this long day to end.”
I used to cringe when I’d hear people saying those sorts of things in the hallways or, worse, when I was stuck in the elevator with them. I was proud to work for the government, thrilled to have a job and put off by those who took all that for granted.
I don’t want to become like them. I don’t want to be jaded.
I don’t want to follow all the above up with a “but.”
One four-hour stint at work was exhausting, but I did it. Returning for the next four-hour stint made it all seem so never-ending, so interminable, so depressing. I could see the days ramping up and stretching out before me. One meaningless, monotonous day after another. Full of people in my face – people I wouldn’t normally choose to even speak to – and meetings in which nothing of any value is discussed and little is accomplished.
To make matters worse, the Director I thought I was returning to has moved on. One of the two files she had promised me has been reassigned due to whining which turned into a turf war I wasn’t even present for. No one thought to find me an appropriately-located desk. Or a computer. Or a phone. No one knew they were supposed to reactivate my email account. No one knows I don’t have access to my email account. I could go on.
Luckily, I was able to keep my head down and, since I didn’t have any tools to do my job, spent much of yesterday’s four hours writing (ok, and talking to two very wonderful friends; that was great). I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth but I do still have a work ethic. So as much as I couldn’t really do anything else, I was still disillusioned by how much of a waste of time the whole thing seemed to be. Even when I become busy again, I still think much of what I do is fairly pointless. Unlike some, I have no false illusions about my own importance in the big machinery of government.
Yes, it pays the bills. And yes, I get a pension at the end of it. So I should quit complaining and do the time.
But, man. Am I ever glad to be home today. A little oasis of a day. I’m back where I belong, at my kitchen table where I’ve sat for months, beside the open window with its damp breezes and sunshine and showers and blowing leaves. Writing.
This is fulfilling.
And this is what will get me through tomorrow’s four-hours.