There’s a saying in writing that you’ve buried the lede. It means that you’ve taken too long to get to your point. Perhaps you don’t know what your point is. Or maybe you just can’t bring yourself to say it.
Here it goes: Recently, I accepted a job.
It’s not only this week’s lede, it’s the five hardest words in the English language. (Second only to “I’m cutting back on butter.”)
I had sworn off working. Happily. Thrillingly. Then the one person in the world who could coax me back into the workforce offered me a job doing the one thing which fascinates me.
It felt like karma, so I accepted.
I was encouraged to set a schedule that I could live with. I thought through what makes me happy:
My morning routine.
A well-prepared meal.
Time with friends and family.
I’ve committed to work part-time from 9 to 3 Monday through Thursday. Since I’m a very early riser, I still have plenty of time to read, go to the gym, meet my friends at the coffee shop—which I do every single day.
At 3, I relax. Take a walk. Make dinner.
Pat and I will still go away for long stretches. In two weeks, we’re embarking on a cross-country road trip to Montana for Christmas. Come spring, we’ll be off to Paris for two months. During these times, I won’t work—or at least not much.
As my manager said, “I want you to keep living your life. I want to read about it in your blog.”
Yet truth be told, my current life—and especially my life during Covid—is a bit staid. A job is one way to spice things up. (Becoming a full-time nomad would be the other way, but for lots of good reasons that won’t happen anytime soon.)
It’s early days, but I seem to be enjoying this. My brain feels zippier than it has in a while. In the midst of structure, my time has expanded.
All of this has me wondering if I should reconsider my list of things I’ll never do again: Ski. Own a house. Marry.
(While I was creating this list, Pat woke up and I asked him, “What are some things that I’ve sworn I’d never do again?”
He said, “work.”
After capturing this list, I thought my next point was going to be a brilliantly worded soliloquy about the artificial constraints of the word never. I’ve changed my mind. The list is solid. I will never do these things again.
Instead, I’ve realized that clarity on my nevers has opened up an infinite world of why-nots. (I’m fairly certain that I’ve buried the lede in here somewhere.)
What I bristle at are avoidable constraints. I no longer ski because I don’t love it enough to risk an injury which impedes my mobility. I don’t want the headaches—or the permanence—of a house.
As for remarrying, I won’t tempt fate twice. Pat has signed on for this ride, made peace with the suspicion that I’ll swing into his funeral on my way to the airport. (I’d never do that, right?)
Pat is one person who accepts—no, encourages—my quirks.
And now I work for the other.
I never saw that coming.