I wish there had been some way to know, back in December, how I would feel about my job in August. Welcome to life, there, little human.
Tom’s acceptance to school has been put on hold, for entirely
bullsh*t paperwork related reasons. Some administrative snags, delays, and miscommunication will likely mean that he will begin classes in January instead of, you know, next week. I know he’s disappointed, and I’m disappointed for him (and maybe just a little irate on his behalf — not helpful, Rabbit).
Meanwhile, my job has become even more of a rat race. Or maybe it’s just that my perspective has shifted, I really can’t be sure. Six new cases landed on my desk yesterday, but only after I asked for them. Our division partner was gently critical of my billing in June when our litigation calendar was slow (and you know, my private life was mid-explosion — thanks again to the jerkwad askhole extrovert bombadier brigade for that one!), and I know I’m more productive with a big backlog. The fact that training a new paralegal to bill (and bill well, she’s doing great) has not been mentioned, appreciated, or rewarded is sort of sticking in my craw, as those hours were not billable hours but definitely added value to our firm. I’m expecting something of a shite review in December, and I wonder how much of that is me over-emphasizing anything less than glowing feedback (like I do) and how much of it is that it’s probably a bit apparent how emotionally burnt-out I feel.
I’m so tired of my sort of impressive amount of brain power being devoted to cramming more billable tasks into six minutes blocks, indefinitely, for at this point, close to nine hours a day, five days a week. As it is, I’m coming in early and lying about it to try and boost my billable totals to maybe justify a bonus that’s big enough to make the last three months feel like they’re worth something. I haven’t taken a day off in five months. I don’t anticipate taking one off for another three and a half months. I haven’t even made time to go to the doctor, figure out my car, or get my teeth cleaned, because: Billable Hours are God, or Something.
I’m doing what I can to stave off the tide of decay. I have plans to tackle the English/Language Arts curriculum for eighth grade and provide a comprehensive analysis of that list of books, probably here on this blog. I also want to see if I have the chops to develop a reading list and syllabus for a critical thinking course that would be appropriate for grades 6 through 8, potentially using a work of Agatha Christie’s as a backdrop. And Then There Were None seems like an excellent place to start. I will also be researching puzzles, games, thought experiments, and riddles for that course, I think. I’ve modified my somewhat aggressive tabletop game schedule to give myself more time to hit the library, devour books, and crap out thoughts about them. I also need to bone up on, I’m assuming, MLA citation guidelines (which I have always held was a racket set up by High School English teachers, and prefer the Chicago Manual of Style, but whatever, no one asked me).
I’m glad I’m coming up with projects that make my hopes and dreams feel a little more present, tangible, and fortifying. It feels like I’m squinting pretty hard down a long tunnel, hoping that the light at the other end is real.