Today I spent eleven hours at work. Today was also Sunday. Yesterday I spent a good four or five hours at work, and Friday was another eleven and a half.
Today someone asked me in a way that I hope was at least partly in jest: "Do you hate your life?" And I said, "I don't hate my life." Seeing an opportunity, my interlocutor said, "Do you hate your job? It's ok if you hate your job. You can tell me you hate your job. I do sometimes." But I wouldn't say it.
The thing that gets me, though, is that work has effectively demolished my weekend. I came home tonight a little after ten, after walking forty blocks in the rain to get home, but I was still tense and angry and frustrated. I hate feeling this way. And as I was leaving work, I thought, hey, in twelve hours you'll be back here, and it will only be Monday!
Today in my office I was listening to music, and I turned it up louder and was singing along and dancing in my special ergonomic office chair, since work is the only place I've been able to do that. During James Taylor's "Mexico," I realized that I felt like Rapunzel, imprisoned in that tower. Do you think Rapunzel billed by the hour? I kind of do, because I do, and it seems like she and I have a lot in common, as far as being imprisoned in a tower.
I'm trying not to be bitter or frustrated but it's getting increasingly difficult, when I can't plan my evenings, I can't enjoy L's good home cookin' and I can't even enjoy the nice evening time with her I've taken for granted for so long. I don't want to get used to this lifestyle because it sucks. There comes a certain point in the workday, once the day has turned to night and I don't even realize it until I turn around in my seat and see that the view of midtown has been cloaked by darkness, that I look out the window and wonder how I got myself in this situation, where there's an expectation of such unrelenting availability and devotion to work. Is this my life? Is this who I am now?
(Today I was walking the halls, knowing I was alone, and the tune to "Damaged" was in my head, since the song has been a blight on my soul for like five months now, and instead of singing "how you gonna fix it, fix it, fix it," I was singing, "I think this is bullshit, bullshit, bullshit," and it's an indicator of the way we live now that this was a major victory in my day.)
My goal for the week is to reclaim myself, and to be less angry and more happy. I need to see my wife, read more for pleasure, get some more exercise, and write more. The thing that kills me about legal writing (or at least the legal writing I encounter) is the overwhelming artlessness of it. I'm going to try to update this old blog every day this week, with at least something. It will probably not be very profound or artful, but it will be a part of me that is not watching time slip away in six minute increments.