Pollyanna Ponders the Weirdness of Work

When did everything get so weird? And why?

When I’m at the Fabulous Temp Job, sometimes it just all gets to me. I sit in a cubicle. (Oh how I miss my little private office at Huge Educational Institution. But the tiny salary and bizarre coworker? Not so much.) I’m surrounded by other people in cubicles. Even the bosses have cubicles, although theirs have windows.

When did sitting in a chair for 8 hours a day become the best way to earn a living? My body hates it (and not only because it would rather be reclining on a divan while cabana boys fan me). My brain finds the work, well, mind-numbing. My spirit pines for my writing, for my art table, for my garden, for my cat, for my son, for my quilting and knitting. For a chance to let my creativity go and be who I really am.

I am not this woman sitting in that cubicle typing away on reports while wearing black slacks and twin sets.

I am a gypsy reading cards in a long colorful skirt and low-cut blouse, jewelry chiming with every toss of my wild hair. I am an artist creating for hours in torn jeans and a paint-splattered shirt, hair pulled up out of the way. I am a photographer taking shot after shot of things no one else notices, until they see my pictures and see the beauty they had missed. I am a scrounger, stopping at the curb and loading up discarded furniture, taking it home and turning it into something useful and beautiful again. I am a quilter, spending hours breathing in fiber as I bend over the machine. I am a knitter, and although a beginner, I already knit until my hands are sore. (Obsessive much?)

I am a teacher, reminding others of the wonders around them every day. I am a writer, taking words and turning them into my own kind of music.

That is who I really am. I want to spend my life being ME.

I know I am lucky. I have a job – and I know how awful it is not to have a job. My work place is comfortable, it’s clean, it’s safe. The work place does not compromise my ethics or my sanity.

My mother’s father worked in coal mines as a young man, and was in three cave-ins. Then he was a wildcat oil speculator, risking it all on every deal. Then he was a rancher. He and my grandmother worked hard every day. Ranchers don’t take holidays. Grandma cooked and baked from scratch every day, three meals a day, for the family and all the ranch hands. She made soap, she made jelly, she made quilts, she sewed clothes. Together they raised four children and who knows how many head of cattle.

My father’s first job was in a mill, where he was paid piecework (a small amount for each piece he produced) not by the hour.

My mother could not get a degree in mathematics (one of her true gifts) because of professors who refused to believe a woman could do math. (Seriously, ya’ll. This was not that long ago.) She got a degree in English instead, and was the first person in her family to get a college degree.

When my brother was born, he slept in a dresser drawer, because my parents lived in a friend’s garage with no running water.

But my grandparents created the life they wanted, owning their own spread. My parents were living their dream, working in theater.

I’m in school as a step toward living my own dream. But I get discouraged by the tedium of sitting in an office all day.

Sorry for the whining. Go look at the last post and enjoy the fabric and the cat. It will cheer you up. Promise.

And by the way, perimenopause and fibromyalgia make a suckey combination; don’t even ask.

But today, it’s the weekend. And I’m going to see “Harry Potter” with the Resident Sith Master and “Chuck Norris”. Hurray!


One thought on “Pollyanna Ponders the Weirdness of Work

  1. annaliza

    Holy midlife crises, BatLyda, I’m questioning my work schtuff too! (Cue “Twilight Zone” music). I have really enjoyed my job up until about two weeks ago, when suddenly things got way weird. Hmmm.


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