Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Finish Line

Just keep pushing through is the only thing running through my mind. After years of struggle and hearing "Oh, everyone goes through these rough patches early in their marriage" we might actually be getting to some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.

Six weeks of 12 hour days start doing weird things to humans. My body is programmed to run on no sleep. A foggy mist follows me wherever I go. I don't think about what I'm doing, I just know the beginning and the end.

I don't really sleep. I like to call it more of uncomfortable light meditation. My eyes are permanently red, outlined by the dark black sacks of stress that hang lazily below. Coffee is my blood. Tuna and peanut butter and jelly tell my stomach to hush. "Don't worry friend, you'll eat something else soon."

The paycheck comes in and I get my second wind until I realize that money is already going to pay taxes and for this house. "This glorious house. Just remember that. You will be your own boss in a week."

For a while we'll be living on a shoe string and if some scissor comes by to cut that shoe string, we're done for. Clear some space, I'm coming to live in your basement.

Aren't we coming out of this recession? Shouldn't we see progress? Somehow, again, at the end of the first quarter, rumors of layoffs are everywhere. Some friends have already received their notice. Young professionals glare enviously and frustrated at the older generations that merely keep their jobs because of seniority and because of the severance packages companies don't want to pay them. Its creating an unrepairable rift between the age groups. In thirty years there's going to be an entire generation of retired people in nursing homes that get no visitors because my age group will always remember the recession of 2008-2010 when they greedily kept doing mediocre jobs in their positions and as the hungry and broke college grads struggle to stay in the mail room.

My gut has been burning with nervousness for three years. Can I take care of myself? Can I take care of wife and kittens? I know my parents have similar stories of struggle and self-abuse, but when did our great country turn into this entity where the 40 hours work week feels like a vacation. When other countries in the world consider a 35 hour work week full time.