September 29th, 2020



The thing is, I know almost exactly what I'm yearning for--I've tasted it a handful of times during my post-college life, and it's fairly straightforward. It's a life where I work 15-20 hours per week and spend the rest of the time being domestic. Not that you could tell by looking at the current state of my house and yard, but when given a week off or several weeks of part-time, I very quickly start to spontaneously do things like scrub windows, weed the garden, and bake. And it feels really good when I do. And if it goes on long enough, I also start drawing and writing and other forms of creating things--sewing, decoupaging, etc.

My mom and several of my friends have said I should try my hand at doodling for money--collect everything and turn it all into a book, sell T-shirts, etc. But I just don't have enough reserves to take on that kind of project. I don't have the reserves to do more than occasionally doodle in the corners of the Sudoku book my mom keeps in her bathroom.

I asked some friends earlier today, only slightly joking, whether I could just take the rest of the year off so I could spend it raking the yard. But just typing out the question made me realize just how fundamentally exhausted I am when it comes to work. Last time I had a part-time stint was in 2014, and I requested it because I was so burned out I actually burst into tears when someone at church asked how I was doing.

Not quite at that stage, but not all that far off, either.

Anyhow, it's been a long year. I'm sure I'm not the only one struggling a bit more than usual. I won't tell you to keep your chin up, but do try to remember that this too shall pass--all of it. The divisiveness we see around us, the deep-seated exhaustion that creeps up on you and then seems to never leave, the slow slide down into the cold and dark. The desire to throttle your puppy after he disturbed your work yet again and demands to be chased around the yard only 30 minutes after the last time you did so. Puppies grow up into mature and settled dogs; spring comes; there ill someday be a true and lasting rest, when all of this will disappear from memory like the childhood worries I can now only dimly recall the barest outlines of.

...Maybe I've finally tired the dog out enough that I can go back to the work I don't really want to do; adjuncts who refuse to use the standard formatting for their syllabi and course pages may not actually be the worst, but some days they feel pretty close to it.