Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | March 24, 2010

All Work and No Play…

There is a reason that people like me end up running small businesses. It’s not just because we have ideas or plans or desires that lead us to running a business. Far from it, I’d say. It often has more to do with seeking an income without having to punch a clock for someone else.

When working for myself, I find I spend more hours working than when I’m on someone else’s clock, the work is just as much of a chore as when I’m working for someone else (sometimes more), and there are so many more forms to deal with — government bureaucracies and landlords and banks all kinds of tedium.

But there’s such a different mindset. When you run your own business, you decide how you spend your time. It’s a kind of freedom that changes everything about how you perceive your decisions. As when you work for someone else, there’s always more to do than there is time to do it, but You. Own. Your. Time.

I don’t own my time right now, which is funny, because all the money I’m making will simply end up going to bankruptcy lawyers for the most part and divorce-related expenses, as well. But I’m focused. I’m in another world; one that I’d left behind several years ago.

Here’s what I learned on my first day at my new gig, which was this past Friday:

I learned that it was Friday.

Every time I met someone new, the first thing they had to say was, “It’s Friday.” Why, yes. Yes, it is.

I haven’t had a weekend to myself in years, and I reckon it’ll still be months, at least, before that ever happens again (assuming I still have this full-time gig once Penny and I are living in separate quarters). So the concept of Friday doesn’t really mean anything to me.

Because of my new work situation, Penny understands that she ought not call me frequently. She has, in fact, only called me once in these past four working days. I get home, we put the kids to bed (separately), we fall asleep (separately). This means we have not really spoken to each other more than, oh, maybe ten minutes total this week so far.

That, my friends, is surreal. And probably not a bad thing for either of us.

We get along, Penny and I, but it’s time to acknowledge that the Separation is coming. It’s time to start acknowledging that this is going to change everything. I feel like the fact that we don’t even see each other much at all any longer further eases us into the inevitable Apart-ness.

But it’s also, for now at least, leaving me feeling like I have no life at all. Nothing. I work at my day gig. I come to my office and work for my database clients (who I need to keep happy, lest my day gig go away at the end of this contract). I go home and put kids to bed. I sleep. I wake up early and go back to the day gig. And the weekends? What weekends? All this past weekend was spent working.


I am reminded of the manuscript that “Jack” was typing in the movie, The Shining. I am becoming a Very Dull Boy. No, I’m not becoming a raging, murderous alcoholic like Jack. But I’m very, very numb right now.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’ve been underemployed for a very long time. I’m glad to finally find a good source of income, however temporary it may be. And in the end, this temporary gig may well be the source of money I need to help get me into a new apartment, pay for the divorce, etc., and move on. This is not me complaining, “Oh, poor me, I have a job, boo-hoo.”

Rather, this is simply a statement of the frame of mind I’m in right now. I have no marriage, but I’m not divorced. I have kid-related obligations, but I don’t get to actually spend any real time with them. I have work, but I don’t have any disposable cash. My time is not my own.

I know it’s going to get better. I know my life will resume. I know I just need to get through this phase, and maybe the diversion of this job will help distract me while I heal from this marriage, as well.

But damn, I could use a hug. A good kiss. A conversation with someone who looks me in the eyes, and whose eyes I want to look into.

And instead, all I feel is… used up. Like I’m going to be alone for a long while. I’m not sad right now. Just… feeling a little empty.



  1. Thinking of you…

  2. All I can say is… Welcome to the Rat Race 🙂 lol…

    Don’t worry, things will settle down. Be patient. 🙂

  3. I’m sending you tons of love, lots of hugs. Know that I’m thinking of you…constantly. Miss our talks. Things will level out and we’ll get back to it. I’ll be here. Whenever you are ready. I’ll be here.

  4. Aw…well put, and I don’t think you are coming off as boo-hoo now I have a job, I think you are being honest and sharing how you’re feeling – pretty empty…which is very sad, and it’s a tough feeling. I know. But you can only go up from here, and that’s what kept getting me through, as much of the worst part of the whole thing is actually getting through the shock of “wow, I’m getting divorced.” At least it was for me. Sending you virtual hugs!!

  5. Sounds like you’re using up more than you’re filling up. Remember to take a few minutes every day to do something that fills up your tank. Think of it as a pit stop on your journey to the end of the rainbow 🙂

  6. Things will get better for you. I feel it. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  7. Things will get better – we all go through tough times (cliche, but you know it’s true.) Try and stay positive and look at the good things in your life when you feel a little down. And remember you always have us. 🙂

  8. Super Hugs to you INRIS! Life will improve. You MUST think positively. -Pip

  9. I remember feeling this way, and it does sound like you’re right on track. And the best part is, you can acknowledge that it won’t be this way forever, but it is what it is for now. If you ever need to just vent, feel free to email me. No judgments, I promise!

  10. yeah, i can empathize with that feeling. kinda been there myself for the last year or so. but it’s funny. i’m close to the end of the tunnel. i graduate from law school in two months. i’m moving away for the bar exam in six weeks or so. i’m starting my master of laws program in five months in a brand new city. i’ll be on my own so soon it’s not even funny. and the numbness is sloooowly leaching out of my bones. i’m starting to feel things again. so if your experience is anything like mine, it’s coming sooner than you think. i’m thinking about you, though, while you slog; it’s not a fun place to be…

  11. I share your pain, both regarding employment and regarding adult recreation. But I can tell you from experience that you will discover the proper partner for you when all the detritus of this marriage is cleared away and your new life is established. You have far too many female readers sending you positive energy for events to develop any other way.

  12. It’s no wonder you feel the way you do – you have a lot of complex issues on your plate right now and they are all in a state of flux. I’ve heard experts say it takes three to six months to transition to a new job so working full-time for someone else is going to be HUGE adjustment.

    It isn’t all going to fall into place immediately – it all takes time. I would urge you to spend some of your weekend time on recharging yourself and being with your kids.

    We all need hugs – OOO

  13. It’s an interesting fact of life that just when things seem hopeless, they can suddenly (and often do) get really good. Nothing stays the same, so no matter how good things are, or how bad things are, things will change…and likely, in your case, for the better and sooner than you think. It’s also (almost) March 30…your birthday, and your deadline. SO. How goes it?

  14. A lot of what you wrote…it’s familiar. I do hope for you that you find–SOON–some affection and affirmation.

  15. Hug Hug Hug Hug Hughughughughhug. I’d look you in the eyes while having a conversation, if only we weren’t 3000 miles apart! (Just now catching up on blogs, sorry if this came a little late for when you needed it! But, hey, we always need hugs, so there’s no such thing as too late, right?)

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