Sunday, January 17, 2010

Easy Like Sunday Morning ...

One of the quasi-happy outcomes of being un(der)employed is that Sundays no longer carry for me the same measure of dread.

In the yin and yang that is life, I love, love, love the feeling of a Saturday morning and correspondingly hate, hate, hate(d) the feeling of a Sunday morning.

Because Sunday inexorably leads to Monday. And, well, Mondays. Talk about bad PR. If any day of the week needs an image makeover, it's Monday. Friday and Saturday are the A-listers, of course. Sunday has the weighty paper and pots of coffee to recommend it. Thursday is the new Friday. Wednesday is Hump Day. And Tuesday succeeds simply by virtue of not being Monday.

But Monday. Oh, Monday. You are the hair shirt of weekdays.

For most. Not for me. Not lately. Now, Mondays bring with them the sensation of "You should be working," not the sensation of "Oh, God, I hate my job."

Granted, the Dread Formerly Known As Monday has been replaced by worries about cash, there, in the background, the sustained note in the soundtrack of a scary movie that keeps you on edge.

But aside from that, Sundays are better now. I wake up, boot up the computer, put on a pot of coffee, pour a sunny glass of orange juice and pop a Centrum onto my tongue, check e-mail, run through my morning browser routine, and then set up on the loveseat in the living room, my favorite afghan folded in quarters and laid across my lap, coffee in my Sunday Love Mug (a birthday gift from Angela, named by me) within arm's reach, laptop on my lap, jazz wafting out of the computer in my office, and I write. And sometimes, I even hit Publish.

Ideally, of course, I want to work and look forward to Monday. That is the dream. Well, a dream. I have others.

But to wake up on Monday – and every other day of the week – and feel excitement for the day ahead? How great would that be?

Granted, I can do that now. It's all a matter of choice. And every day brings with it 24 hours of possibility. But it would be even greater if somewhere in that plan were paychecks. Or checks in general. If I work for myself, I don't expect to receive paychecks, per se. Paychecks are the province of The Man, food-pellet rewards after two weeks of pressing bars and stepping into the break room or kitchen only to discover that someone drank the last of the coffee – again – and didn't put on another pot.

A week or so ago, whenever it was that all that snow fell, I was outside as darkness descended, shoveling yet again. When I was done, I trekked across the street, through the slushy ruts, to help my neighbor clear his snow. The snow nearest the street is always the most offensive, thanks to the plows, the wettest, the heaviest, the most likely to induce pain. So we'd shovel a bit and then rest for a bit, but we chatted all the while. And I told him how much I'd love to be working on a book, to wake up and put on coffee and sit down and write.

And then I chuckled and said, "Well, that's exactly what I do right now. I just don't get paid for it."

So that's the piece of the puzzle that I need to place. To date, that piece of the puzzle has been of the 1,000-piece variety, the cornflake-sized bit of cardboard that is easily lost and which renders the puzzle incomplete. Instead, I'd like my life's puzzle to be of the pressboard variety, the pieces of which don't fit into each other, but which fit into obvious individual spaces. I'm quite sure I could fit the fire truck piece into the fire truck-shaped space.

Yes, I know that would be too easy, and that the fire truck piece doesn't relate to any other piece of the chunky puzzle. But for the moment, that would be OK. I'd be happy just to feel like I've found my place again. Then I can work on puzzles that are more complex.

But in the meantime, I have Miles Davis to keep me company, and hazelnut-flavored coffee, because we like something warm to drink in the morning. And between the laments of Miles' trumpet, I can hear the ticking of the clock on the wall. There's a serenity to this Sunday morning.

I hope it lasts.

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