Friday, February 2, 2007

Mi Vida Loca (Take 2)

Incredibly whiny blog ahead!

Is there ever a time of the year when I'm NOT incredibly busy?

I just got 5 hours sleep after being up for about 21 hours straight and working for 17½ of them. Money's crazy tight right now, so I'm picking up extra shifts at Blockbuster. I'd pick up extra hours at Custom Music (it pays almost double what I make at Blockbuster), but the place is only open 38 hours a week and I'm already there for pretty much every one of them. So this means that pretty much every day this week, I have virtually every moment booked from top to bottom. I'm working both jobs 3 days this week, and one or the other on 3 other days, giving me about 61 hours this week. Sunday is my only day off, and that will likely be spent on chores.

On top of that, my Barbershop Chorus has its annual show coming up on Feb 23rd & 24th, and as I'm in the front row, have missed several rehearsals through the fall marching band and holiday seasons, and one of the few tenors, I kinda have to be there and catch up on the songs and choreography.

The only respite I get is occasionally in the mornings after dropping Liam at school at 7:30 or so. I head to a Caribou Coffee in Royal Oak until Custom Music opens to sit, organize my planner, and maybe read a few pages of a book. Usually gets me about 1 to 1 ½ hours to either relax and/or think (rarely both, because if I think about things to much recently, I can't relax - I start to panic).

So far, to give you an idea, this is what my life's been like this week:

So far…

7am – wake up, shower and get Liam ready for school
7:40am - Drop Liam at school
8am - Head to the coffee shop and read for an hour
9:45am - Work at Custom Music
3pm – Pick Liam up from school
5:30pm - Home for dinner
7pm – Off to Barbershop Chorus rehearsal
10:45pm – pick up some groceries
11:30pm – Arrive home, clean cat box and surrounding piles and refill, mop back room floor and replace papers, tidy living room, empty garbage, clean cat vomit off of stove and sterilize surrounding area
12:30 - make snack, go to bed.

7am – wake up, shower and get Liam ready for school
7:40am - Drop Liam at school
8am - Head to the coffee shop and read for an hour
9:45am - Work at Custom Music
5:30 – Work at Blockbuster
10:30 – leave work early, as Sonya has been called to a birth
10:45 – Arrive home and do some minor chores
11:15 – go to bed

10am: Wake up and shower after forgetting to turn on alarm (Sonya got Liam to school on time, thankfully, and I got a little extra sleep! Yay!)
10:20am – get to work late and get crap from annoying coworker
5:40 – get home and help with dinner
7pm – Sonya is called to ANOTHER birth
7:30pm – give kids a bath and ready for bed
7:45pm – Cresta pops by for a visit (Some actual socialization time for me!)
8:15pm – kids in bed (yet awake and whiny for another hour)
10pm – after a nice long conversation and much-needed catching up, Cresta leaves.
10:45 – after making myself a sandwich and a White Russian, I catch up on my e-mails.
11:30 – Sonya gets back, fills me in on the birth, and I go to bed.

7am – wake up, shower and get Liam ready for school
7:40am - Drop Liam at school
8am - Head to the coffee shop and read for an hour. Lou shows up the last 1/2 hour, we catch up a bit and I play Dr. Phil to him about women.
9:45am - Work at Custom Music
5:30 – Work at Blockbuster
Midnight – picked up a few extra hours doing inventory at Blockbuster
4am – home and bed
4:30am – actually fell asleep

Friday (Today):
10am – Wake up and shower after hitting the snooze alarm a few too many times (Sonya agreed to get Liam to school so I could have nearly 6 hour sleep)
10:45am - Sneak out of work (so as not to get docked ANY time) to pick up Liam from school and drop him home after an increasingly rare bad day in class
10:15am – work at Custom Music
5:15pm – run by bank and deposit paychecks, replenishing it from the big Goose-egg the mortgage brought it to
5:30pm – Work at Blockbuster
11:30pm – Home, chores, and plan weekend
12:30am - bed

8am – wake up, shower
9am – All-day rehearsal with the Barbershop Chorus
5pm – Work at Blockbuster
10:30pm – Home..

The kids will hopefully be in Ann Arbor all day with their grandparents, so we can get some cleaning done and maybe even shampoo the carpets like we've wanted to do for months now. Most likely the day will be filed with chores, with a brief diversion to watch the commercials during the Super Bowl. We usually have a few friends over for it, but we're flat broke, so no money for munchies, and the house needs a lot of work before we can have guests (well, maybe Leigh, since she's seen our house at its worst plenty of times). I dunno – we'll see. Don't be surprised to get a call from around 6pm saying, "The game's on in ½ hour! Come over and grab some beer on the way!"

Even my commute time is spent listening to the learning tracks for the chorus songs on my mP3 player in an attempt to get the few remaining notes in my head and wipe the bad habits out before the next rehearsal.

Next week has much the same schedule, without the inventory shift, all-day rehearsal, or Super Bowl. I'd like to say this will have me rolling in money, but Blockbuster pays just over $8/hr, so it doesn't add up quickly, if at all. Usually it's just enough to pay for the insurance premuims for the family on the company health plan. It will, however, help us barely claw out from the financial pit we're in, just before the gravedigger would cover us in the soil of collections litigation.

I'm exhausted, but keep going on pure panic, adrenaline, caffeine, and the hope that it will all calm down eventually. Getting the taxes done early and getting our (hopeful) refund may ease my mind a bit, but it's a band-aid on the problem. It doesn't solve the problem of being over employed, underpaid, immersed in debt and projects to be completed, and financially strung-out.

Realistically, this winter is going to suck, but I have little choice but to do what I have to do to keep the lights on, food on the table, and the heat pumping through our under-insulated house. However, I will maintain my hopeful and optimistic attitude and press on with the knowledge that "this too, shall pass".

Coming up next: "Professional (if you can call it that) Frustration" and "Not everything sucks – Honest!"

PS. If your wondering where I found the time to write this blog, it took me a week of lunches to complete it!

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