Ah! Saturday morning. It’s the weekend, right? My life is so topsy-turvy that I have lost the compass that gives meaning to the idea of a “weekend.”
Saturday and Sunday are my busiest days for work production, primarily because my clients all want to meet beginning of the week deadlines and pay cycle cut offs and my pinging partner has obligations that don’t include me. These are my quiet workdays spent toiling to stay ahead of the raging tsunami waters.
Perhaps the weekend is really my Friday. I have this improbable prospect of some small respite come Monday and Tuesday, so they might be like your planned, quiet and restful weekend that you’ll spend cleaning leaves out of the gutters, pressure washing the house and reorganizing the garage, right? (Football? What's that?)
But in an ironic contrast, the weekend might also be my Monday. I have to organize, plan and triage my queue of work to assure timely deliveries on each of those other days that end in “Y” or is that supposed to be “Why?” All of my days seem to end in Why?
I must keep my topsy-turvydom (real word, look it up) organized. I have two long term writing projects, a couple of young talented writers to mentor, a half dozen private instruction students, I maintain a blog, took on a partner, started another site that has so many facets that no one outside of my warped head seems to know the full extent of my goal, and still answer 70 - 80 emails a day asking for advice, direction or help, requesting a schedule opening for an editing project, proposing new joint ventures, and occasionally containing a friendly hello from some shadow of memory that crossed my path at a distant place in time. It all runs like clockwork (yeah, right!).
Day to day, I keep this delicate balance by standing on a faltering foundation, afraid to look down. I keep my head above my phantom stacks of comforting work with my face painted in sun-filled smiles and broadcasting the raucous laugh and inane humor of an impetuous jokester. But beneath my carefully constructed façade, no one is allowed to see the dread and fear I have of a future bereft of the false hope that a thousand yesterdays foolishly held.
The saying goes that when one door closes, another opens. My world is a place of familiar discomfort, a room where I know every piece of furniture and discarded hope. I can navigate here with my eyes shut and never stub a toe. My great fear is of a room unseen, unfamiliar, with barricades and obstacles to bruise and batter my limbs, with unknown rules that carry frightening consequences handed down in words I have yet to learn. My tomorrow is that unknown place. In my youth, that would have been exciting, but instead I am terrified and worried.
Bottom line is this: If I throw a joke at you at an inopportune time, or seem distant, withdrawn or depressed, if I lose myself in work while taking on even more jobs with urgent due dates, or if you catch me smiling with eyes that are dark and empty, don’t take it personal. I am scared as hell right now.