Sunday, November 18, 2012
The Sabbath Blues
The rabbit replies, "This is a Westinghouse, isn't it?"
"Well, I'm just westin'."
After you stop groaning, we can go on. All done? Okay.
For a long time I scored the idea of a Day of Rest. I figured that Jesus said the the Sabbath is made for man, not vice versa, and having seven days in which to work meant that I could get seven days' work done.
All very true, and for a long time I fancied myself as being very effective. What I didn't realize was that people were starting to avoid me, because I had become a humorless, rather Prussian caricature. While I didn't force anyone to match my pace, someone eventually told me that I looked like I expected them to, and was perfectly capable of finding a way to enforce it.
I thought this was a compliment.
It wasn't until I married that I became aware that another way of life was actually an option. And, typically, I resisted it. God knows why Barbara put up with me! She tried to convince me that taking a day off wouldn't kill me professionally, and that I might actually be more effective if I would spend the day with her, relaxing, and go back refreshed on Monday.
Okay. I can still work in my head. Obviously, this was a nonstarter, and Barbara eventually gave it up.
Fast forward to now. I'm no longer the humorless Prussian...at least, I hope not. I've learned to take time off, mainly due to a ferocious illness that doesn't give me a choice. My teaching/research career has been prematurely ended, despite the fact that I was known to be one of the hardest workers in the business.
And I'm left with the memory of the 500 weekends of my marriage, sacrificed on the altar of a self-imposed work ethic, to a career that no longer exists.
Don't be me.