It’s over, and I made it to shore. There was a strong undertow, though. I had a long week. A long, long week. And no day off in the middle. The rainy forecast meant it would be a busy weekend at the bookstore, so I planned for almost everything. But I couldn’t plan for half the staff falling ill, struggling to come to work, or being unable to make it at all. Everybody gave all they had. On Saturday afternoon, as I was beginning the mental countdown to the hour when I could get in my car, go home, and not set foot in the store again till Tuesday, I realized that I was going to have to come back and work the closing hour and a half. Yes, it was a looonnnng week.
I found out something interesting about myself, too: allowing those moments — of whining, of numbness, of confusion — made it easier to stand up to the challenges of each day. I needed those five minutes in the back room to cry into the box of books, so I could move on. I was glad to have Judy to complain to, and glad that she let me. I needed to the reality checks from C, my amazing coworker/buyer/wise guy (His mantra by Friday: “Gonna do?”). I treasured those emails and cards from Rho. A little wallowing is not a terrible thing. And another thing I found out: I had a stash of stamina tucked away somewhere. Who knew?
The middle of the week contained a Big Lesson. Of course the last thing I wanted was another Big Lesson, but you can’t control these things, and I suppose that’s the point. I lost my phone and internet on Tuesday, when the landlords switched to the cable company’s phone service. The cable guy, better known as The Doofus, removed all traces of my phone line. Dead and gone. It took two more technicians till Thursday night to restore it.
What did I learn? That I do, indeed, prefer the predictable. I do like to be in charge of certain things. And if I sit just right on my couch, lean toward the window and over to the right a little, I can get two bars on my cellphone that last for about ten minutes before the call is dropped.
This was a situation that I could do nothing about. I had to wait. I didn’t need to be patient, because it was a total screw-up from the very beginning, but there weren’t any irate calls for me to make, no threats to the cable company, no demands or ultimatums. That was someone else’s job. I just had to wait. I was beside myself, so what did I do? I spent more time at work. The current had me by then.