Yeah, so fine, I already blew it with the “have a different hot chocolate every day.” I’ve also not been writing in here much.
Largely because I’ve gotten to realize that I’ve bitten off way more than I can chew at my day job. Partly because I’m in an extended audition for a better position, but…partly because I can just be too damn conscientious. It’s a holdover from the stage manager days – where I was responsible for absolutely everything, and if there was no one else to take on some task, the solution was to roll up my own sleeves and do it myself. It’s the kind of thing that makes me a great stage manager and a reliable employee and team player – but it’s also the kind of thing that leads to me being overworked and underpaid, and wrung-out exhausted at the end of the day, way too exhausted to write here.
This kind of overwork is actually why I started stepping away from stage management – and noticing that I wasn’t writing well any more was what prompted me to make the move then as well. I had been working a 9-5 job in the day, and then going directly from work to my rehearsal or performance. Each show usually had a two-month commitment, with a day off each week built in – but I would string things up going from one gig to the next with only a couple weeks off in between, to the point that I basically was working eighteen-hour days for two and a half straight years. Towards the end of that stretch I was getting strangely moody and forgetful, to the point that I googled the signs of depression and early-onset dementia a couple times.
But I wasn’t depressed, and I wasn’t losing my memory. I was just exhausted.
There are some signs of hope, though. I’ve been brave enough to insist louder and louder to my bosses that something has to give soon – either the job lessens up, or I get paid more, or I get moved to another position. I’m not quite at Norma Rae here, but it’s worth a talk – and while in the past the thought of such a talk would have made me break out in hives, I’m starting to get grumpy enough to go through with it.
And then there’s the new roommate. A was lovely, but she was just as overworked as I was. That was her breaking point – the commute to her office from here was just too much, so she found another place literally next door to a subway station, and only has a 20-minute commute now. (Luckyyyyyy!) I absolutely understand her move – I could tell that her research fellowship was starting to wear her out and the 40-minute commute home at the end of it was just wringing her out. This would be even better for her.
The new roommate, however, works from home. Sam works in software developing, and has been working out of the office in the living room. He’s also just a few years out of college, and has a raft of college friends who also settled here in New York as well – and they’re all still in a lively, explore-the-city mode. A bunch of them came by last night for a holiday party, and I ended up leading everyone on an expedition to see the light displays in Dyker Heights – and then they lead me on a pilgrimage to a Thai place in Bay Ridge for dinner. I was completely wiped out today, but their enthusiasm and curiosity was infectious, to the point that I’m thinking of other exploring we could do.
And it also reminded me that that kind of curiosity is a state I want to get back to – and that will require taking better care of myself, and that means getting some of my time back or getting a better price for it.