I’m surprised just how quickly the year started. By Friday, it felt like we were already midway through the month even though the calendar told me it was just the third day. How did that happen?
Part of it, I’m sure, was the combination of having visitors throughout the holidays and also spending the last couple of weeks low level sick, with a cold that faded in and out depending on how little time relaxing I was allowing myself; they teamed up to just leave me run down and tired no matter how much sleep I was getting.
More of it, though, came from the fact that… well, the year just started quickly. I grew up with the Scottish holiday cycle, which ends with time off on January 1st and 2nd, if not a day or so after that as well. But here in the States, that kind of break is almost comically ludicrous, especially for a freelancer; I was back in front of my laptop by the morning of the second, and my workload was suddenly, somehow, overwhelming all over again.
(Part of that comes from one of my editors asking, out of the blue, if I could hand in a ~1000 word piece the very next day, adding, “Yeah, I thought I’d mentioned it before the break” in such a way that it was clear that they didn’t expect either of us to buy it. That was a fun Welcome Back present, let me tell you. Also a reminder that work in 2020 is going to be like work in 2019, but more so.)
And if January second seemed a lot, the third was even worse; on my second working day of the year, I produced about as much as one of my heavier days running up to the holidays, although a lot of that was future planning and things that wouldn’t be seen for awhile yet. The third was when everyone else had caught up with themselves and started emailing with questions and plans that needed a response immediately. It was a curiously exhausting, overwhelming day that left me glad that the weekend was around the corner, as if I hadn’t had time off two days earlier.
I like the old way of doing the holidays, with having an actual holiday from work being central to things. This brave new world leaves me craving time off, wondering how and why we push two days worth of work into one day of reality all the fucking time.