Avalanche. Earthquake. Big, huge, giant wave. Earthly elements to imply upheaval. Such is my world right now. Upside down. Wrongside out. Blind sided. Blank stare. Blink. Blink.
I am not one of those people who counts up the working hours so I can accurately fill in the blank of “I worked —- hours this week.” I do know that I haven’t had a day off since December 5th and that the workload has had me taking things home at night and talking in my sleep. It’s annual staff review time. Because merit is attached to everything I say every word weighs a ton. I think back to last year when there were tears, a missed dinner date, and a call to 911. It chills me to think I could face those exact same situations again because nothing has changed. The fact that nothing has changed implies nothing has improved. The fact that nothing has improved says only one thing: I’m a horrible manager.
For the first time ever my boss wants a mid-year report. A mid-year what? I want to scream. It takes me 3 weeks to write an end-of-year report. What makes you think a mid-year will take half that time? Because that was my deadline – 10 days. I struggle with the accomplishments and sail through the goals. It’s easier to think of what I would like to get done than what I really did. I hate that look-in-the-mirror, self-evaluation crap. What I’m really tempted to suggest is burning it all to the ground and starting from scratch.
For the first time ever my boss will be giving me a review. Please list your goals, accomplishments and challenges. Aren’t they all the same? Here we go again. This time the mirror is full-length and I’m supposed to stand in front of it. 500 words or less, please tell me how you have succeeded and failed. Oh joy. Due in a week, if you please.
I work on sending Christmas cards while ironically ignoring email. I haven’t seen my phone in five days. I only hope my mother hasn’t been on the other end, waiting for me to pick up. A friend assured me she is okay and for three days straight all I could do was cry in relief. I know it’s exhaustion getting the better of my emotions, but my worry was like the pressure of a full bladder, constantly bothering me; not letting me think straight.
We haven’t vacuumed the floor from Thanksgiving. Bits and pieces of dropped cracker crumbs lie camouflaged in the pile of the carpet. I have yet to properly thank the people who made the day a success. With each passing day the strength of my sincerity pales and becomes less bright and meaningful; Like the wedding gift that hasn’t been mailed by the Emily Post code of an acceptable time-frame.
Packing for Monhegan consists of piling clothes in a chair. I don’t intend to leave the comfort of sweats for anyone, even the house of worship on Christmas Eve. I have no one to impress, no one to answer to except the All-mighty god of Tired.
My tsunami has crashed around me. I am ready to stop drowning and breathe again.