Posted by: Sally Ingraham | February 20, 2008

To Work or Not to Work?

Somehow, I have gone from having no job, to having two jobs and working seven days a week, from ten in the morning until almost ten at night. How did this happen, I wonder?

I overdosed on helpfulness, I guess.

I never really mind working a lot, because I fall into a rhythm and the work becomes what I do and what is interesting to me. Except now, after picking up my writing again and getting really into taking pictures, not to mention taking on the training involved in preparing for my marathon and a half in May, I find that I am resenting the work. Or at least, resenting the fact that I don’t have the energy to work two jobs and then go home and walk five miles. I don’t even have the daylight…

At least the jobs are interesting – a fairly unique movie theater with a laid back working atmosphere and minimal stress, and helping my friend clean and organize and build things in her gift shop. Today I got to play with power tools, drilling large holes into the backs of her bookshelves and cabinets so that we could feed plugs through them and light up the shelves. My ears are still ringing, and my right forearm is going to be sore tomorrow!

It’s been busy at Reel Pizza since the movie Juno arrived. I am told the crowds we had last Friday and Saturday night were summer-like. It was somewhat satisfying to watch middle-schoolers trample each other in their eagerness to get into the theater. Although part of what I like about the job is the chance to interact with people, there are of course people I would rather not deal with – teenagers and middle-schoolers being at the top of the list. They are just so damn annoying!

Ah, customer service.

Hopefully the job at the store won’t last much longer, although I am expecting to work there during the summer. I want a little more free time to play and write and take pictures before I buckle myself fully into the working girl seat. My month and a half long vacation to Australia depends upon my making and saving money by any means necessary, even if that means forgoing summer in Maine so that I can have summer there. I don’t want to have to give up the rest of my winter too though!

So, I work because I need the money to live and play and write, but while working I have no time to play or write, and the living isn’t as much fun as I would like it to be.

Why are the choices we have to make always compromises?


  1. I think it is your choice to see them as choices or as compromises…but you are discovering one of the grim realties of adult life. We have to work to live…but then we have no time to live. I have the best of jobs…since much of the time I am working I am at home unsupervised, and the rest of the time I am at least in places where the major occupation is play…and I can generally get a day here and there to play while working, or work while playing…or whatever. The only wasted time is time in airports…even the plane time is redeemed listening to music and working on my tiny laptop these days.

    Hang in there and remember you are working jobs you took just to work…some day you will take a job because it is actually what you want to do…that makes a difference.

  2. Hey!
    As your co-worker I am compelled to reply. First, I think you should know that I have not once sensed a bit of resentment from you. You are a pleasure to work with. Second, would you like Saturday off to move? I owe you one. Or two. OK, three or more. Let me know.

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