Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feast Famine

For some reason, it’s feast or famine when it comes to social and work events. There will be a week or a month (or even and entire quarter) with nothing much going on, then bam! -- a weekend, an entire week and sometimes even a month,  jammed with stuff.

This week has been one of the full weeks, with recurring events and some special gigs that have me busy every night after work. It's shaped out like this:

Monday: Soiree and chamber ensemble concert (special)
Tuesday: Dance class (weekly recurring)
Wednesday: Photography group meeting (monthly recurring)
Thursday: Hairdresser appointment across town (every six or seven weeks, but usually on a Saturday afternoon) and an artist event back downtown (special)
Friday: Heather’s birthday dinner and girls’ night out downtown (annual recurring)
Saturday: Yoga class (weekly recurring) and a bridal shower (special).

While all this is going on, I am also getting ready for the next Underground 9 group show in Nashville, which goes up on the walls December 1, and which I have to finish before Thanksgiving. I need seven (or so) pieces of work matted, framed and delivered on time, some of which are not even printed yet because all my time seems to have been absorbed with other things. Besides, I work better under a tight deadline so I kind of let it all slide for the two months I've known about it.

Thanksgiving week includes a heating and cooling company energy evaluation and system estimate at the house on Tuesday (which also features a dentist appointment and a day at the office). It is entirely possible there will be a heating and cooling system installation beginning at the house on November 30 that will require a major organizing of the embarrassing basement or there is no way the installers will be able to move. Shoulda had that yard sale I thought about last spring. And summer. And early fall. Woulda delayed the estimate appointment, but there are certain rebates involved that expire, you guessed it, November 30 (and the estimator has been at a conference for the past week). Coulda seen it coming if I'd just removed my head from my derrierre.

Last week and the week before that and probably the week before that were much more typical – arrive home from work (meanwhile, Boyfriend is headed to work), graze on a sumptuous repast of crackers and chips, write and goof off on Facebook. Unfortunately, after a spell of several months where I was hitting the gym maybe once or twice a week, and a review of the budget and slowdown in the rate of savings, I scaled back to a weekend membership (Fridays after 4:00 through Sunday night) -- which of course means that lately most Mondays and Thursdays my schedule is free for me to go there. Except now I can’t. Timing is still not my forte. Or I want what I can't have. Feel free to discuss.

There are weekends where I am tossing the mental equivalent of a dart to choose between social gatherings, art events and dance workshops. A couple weeks ago there was a Halloween Burlesque show in Nashville (annual event) the same night as a performance by the famous tribal belly dancer Rachel Brice in Kentucky (rare event).  When belly dance workshops hit the area, they seem to be in two or three or more locations all on the same weekend (and all teaching something different I want to learn), followed by a dry spell of four or five months with no workshops. And lately, any musician or band I might want to see is playing locally on the every-other-weekend schedule – as in, the same every-other-weekend Boyfriend has Junior at the house.

The feast/famine principle also applies at work. It's either neck-deep in major projects tracking with the same deadlines or horrible stretches of unbillable time cleaning out paper files and reading trade journals. It's either scrambling like a gerbil in the Habitrail or slipping into a coma in a cubicle. We don’t get to leave the office early and go do something crazy like have a life when there is no real work to do -- there seems to be a minimum face time requirement.

This week I'm pulled like a rag doll in a childhood fight between writing content for a web site for one client and planning a script and images for a video for another client. Both are great projects worthy of dedicated, singular focus, but for the next couple weeks, they are tracking on a deadline collision course. The three-day Thanksgiving workweek opens with an all-day sechedule of video taping for the video project and closes with a content development work session at the website client's office, which is followed by four days out of the office to totally lose compression (along with all memory of what was done). The ‘no overtime’ mandate of June 2008, plus with the new timeclock software, mean the option of staying at the office to finish things is just a memory.

The time-space continuum is not always my friend and there are some days I really need another one of me. (Of course, many days, one of me is more than plenty. Ask Boyfriend and my coworkers.) Life is about choices, some days there are just more of them to make, and the famines help to inspire appreciation of the feasts. Or something like that. As one of my Grad School professors said: "When the poop hits the fan it is never distributed evenly." True dat.

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