For many, many years Memorial Day weekend has been the beginning of a long, hard season of work, crowds, stress, and not enough fun. It’s what working in retail in a summer resort – particularly in this one, the Hamptons – means. I did it, cheerfully and willingly, for almost eighteen years.
But this year, I’m free. Unexpected unemployment is no fun, but I’m discovering the bits of light that it’s affording me. I’ve gotten used to having Saturdays off. I get to shop in the middle of the day, when the grocery store is less crowded. I don’t go home each evening wishing that someone would fix my dinner because I’m to tired to think about it. I have time to walk, and to take better care of myself.
And I get to welcome visitors on a big holiday weekend without arranging things around a crazy work schedule. My niece Rebecca is arriving on the Jitney tonight, and we’ll have almost three delightfully unencumbered days together.
It doesn’t matter what the weather forecast is, or that there’s not much food in the house, or that I’m not sure I’ll finish the cleaning I want to do before Becca gets here. All that matters is that for the first time in forever I can spend a little time with my family on a holiday weekend while the insane summer season begins without me.
I’m making progress on the job-hunting front, too. Last week I found a position that’s worth applying for, and the process is moving along. I have an interview soon. I’m not going to jinx things by saying any more yet. All I will say is that it’s not retail!