163 // Saturdays

I’ve forgotten that for some, perhaps even most, of the world, Saturday is considered the end of the week. Working for a school district has conditioned me to consider Sunday the end and Monday to be the official beginning. As such, I know what Sundays are for, and I dread what Mondays mean, but I’m never quite sure what to do with a Saturday.

For the most part, I consider Saturday to be my day, but the designation is vague and subject to whims and cravings. They are the days I sleep in. The days I spend on the couch, binge-watching shows, and eating snacks rather than meals. They are days I go hiking, visit friends, or get a little retail therapy. They are the days I do nothing that could be considered constructive at all, and there is nothing wrong with any of that per se except that at the end, I’m left with guilt and regret.

The guilt I chalk up to capitalism and the culture of productivity and dismiss it the best I can, but the regret is more personal. The regret comes from wishing I’d made a little more use of the day for me.

I’ve decided what’s needed—and what I have the time and energy for—is reflection. That is, time to take stock of wins and losses, successes and failures. Time to make cuts and make changes. Time to make a plan.

I haven’t been so great at that lately. I haven’t been present in my life for a long while now and what little gets done gets done without thought or awareness. Sure, I’ve had moments of clarity and flashes of motivation and resolve. I’ve had nothing more than a few fleeting moments of focused energy and passion. Most of my day—too much of my day—is spent in dense clouds of near unconsciousness. Nothing has been coming in and less has been coming out.

Starting today I’m taking stock of my week and looking back there is much to be proud of. The truth is, I have been making great strides for months now, building confidence and facing many small fears and for the first time, I’m ready for more. It will take some clarity and forethought and I can do that from the bed, from the couch, and all the while I’m watching my shows and enjoying my snacks.

There can still be time for plenty of nothing too.

164// I’m Hurt

I thought today was going to be a good day. I got through my first CPR class as the official instructor yesterday without any major mess ups or gaffs and I figured today would be even smoother but almost from the beginning it has been awful.

I don’t want to say too much about what happened because it may result in an awkward HR battle and some serious consequences but I will tell you at least that during my class today while trying to enforce our workplace mask policy, someone who doesn’t believe coronavirus is a serious or even real threat and was infuriated by having to wear a mask vented his anger, frustration, and quite possibly disgust by spitting near me.

The incident happened quickly and I’m still processing my emotions. I’m furious. I’m afraid. I’m sad. I’m hurt. I blame him. I blame my superiors. I blame myself. I feel sorry for myself. I think it’s a big deal and I want to believe it’s nothing. I want to let it go and I want to take this is far as I can.

Most of all I’m shocked. I’ve read about this happening to other people but most of those stories were about customers, not fellow employees. I’m shocked too because I do my best to always be professional and kind when I’m training people. I’m hurt because too often my kindness is taken for weakness and between my male coworkers and I, I’m always the one that gets the push back and has to work harder for respect and compliance.

After work I sent an email out to just about every one of my bosses across all locations to explain the incident and to establish my boundaries. For my part I will be much more firm when explaining the policies and the consequences of our precautions and I will not tolerate for a second anyone skirting or refusing to adhere to them. I also ended by asking that the man who did this to me be reprimanded in some way. I don’t need an apology. I need documentation and consequences at the very least and I won’t let this go until that happens. I need him to know he didn’t win.

But all that will have to wait until Monday. Until then I’m going to order my favorite Mexican comfort food, drink a couple of hard ciders, and spend time with the one who makes me feel safe. I’m going to take time to take care of myself and prepare for a war.