Our Lady of Perpetual Calendars

I am overwhelmed.

I know I said I was getting overwhelmed, but now we’ve crossed over into overwhelmed territory. First, there’s my regularly scheduled job, and let me tell you something: Being a single person with four pets and a full-time job is really enough.

Do you have a regular office job, and then do you have friends who do not have regular office jobs, who clearly have no idea what it’s like to have an office job? Let’s hold hands and commiserate, except I don’t have time.

Text From Friend Without Office Job: Hi! Just seeing what you’re up to!

You: Um, I’m, you know, working. At work. It’s 11:14 a.m., so.

FWOJ: [Yawn] Is it? I just got up. Hey, you wanna meet for lunch? I can’t get ready till 1:30, though, so is that okay? I wanna do yoga first.

Sigh. The FWOJ also wants to meet up at 6 p.m. a lot. Oh, sure, let me wrap up my work, commute home, feed all the pets, walk the dog, commute to a restaurant ALL BY SIX.

Anyway, so I have my regularly scheduled life, which is enough with the whole I-have-to-do-everything singleness of myself and all, and then there’s the part where I took on freelance work.

On New Year’s Day this year, I had a bunch of New Year’s resolutions I wrote out and put in a bowl, and then drew one out as my Chosen Resolution. One was “No relationship for a year” and who’s kinda pissed she didn’t select that one but ended up doing it anyway? Okay, we’re in month eight, and I guess I could fall passionately in love in September or something, but I doubt it.

Anyway, what I DID select was, “Fix finances.” So that’s when I started looking for–I didn’t even have to look, really. My boss’s boss’s boss sort of randomly gave me the name of a woman she knows, who hired me as a freelance writer, and please don’t ask me to hook you up with her, as I already have had requests for that, and I already granted those requests, and I feel like if I trot one more person out she’ll bitch slap me. Also, run-on sentences are desirable. They’re the Joan Collins of sentences.

But not only did I start doing freelance professional writing, then also too (I try to write “then also too” a lot when I do that corporate writing) I got a text from out of the clear blue sky, which is annoying since I pay a lot of money for text features on my phone. It was from Tank, the Miracle Angel Baby, a guy I used to work with. His department needed a freelance copy editor all year long, for a huge project that’s pretty much ongoing (there are sometimes maybe five days between assignments).

So I took that on, and then there were some changes at work which meant sometimes I’m helping out two and three other teams a day, and mother of god.

Then yesterday I got an email from ANOTHER place I used to work, in LA, and they need their calendar proofread. I do this every year, and you’d think a calendar wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Here’s where, when people say, “I LOVE to read! I could be a proofreader!” I’d like to smile fondly and pat those people’s hands. But I don’t have time.

Because here’s how you proofread a calendar.

  1. Make sure the months are spelled correctly.
  2. Make sure at the top of each month you have SMTWTFS correctly.
  3. Make sure it’s not (or that it is) a Leap Year.
  4. Make sure when, say, January ends on a Wednesday, that February starts on a Thursday. And so on.
  5. Go online and check out 2018 to see that this calendar is starting and ending on the right days.
  6. Check that each month has the right number of days. So, June. That’s one of those 30-day months. Is there a June 31?
  7. Then go through each month and look at every single day and make sure they’re numbered correctly, that there aren’t two August 17s, for example.

Oh, you love to read? That’s nice.

So that in and of itself takes two hours. It’s slow, methodical work. You can’t just go “OneTwoThreeFour…yeah, this looks numbered right!” You gotta make sure the same font is used, the same font SIZE is used, and so on.

But we’re not done! Oh, no! Because on the BACK of this particular calendar? (It’s a magnetic one.) There’s a perPETual calendar!

Oh, ho ho. Yes. A perpetual calendar. “I love to read!” You have to look at EACH CALENDAR, 00daecfb7b543f1ba2ccf94ceff3282b-1.jpg

and do all the things I just told you, with the starting and ending days, and the MTWTFSS checking, and so on, and THEN you have to check that all the years are right. So, see the index above, where the 1800 calendar corresponds to year 4? You have to make sure that’s true. And that 1960 corresponds with the 13 calendar. And so on.

Do you love to read? Do you? You’re about to read your eyeballs out.

So, anyway, I got all that this week, and it’s, you know, a lot. But the good news is I’ve paid off a ton of my debt this year, and my credit score has shot right up, and I’m looking into refinancing my car because my credit score is 60 points better than it was when I bought my car, and also I’ve finally paid off my expensive lawn guy and that was hanging over me like Damocles’ sword and yay. I feel a lot better about all that, so all this work is worth it.

FOR NOW.

So I’m really busy just trying to get everything done right now, and the stressful part is my phone and computer. Seriously. Because, for example, I got done with my regular day yesterday, and then I had to get home and feed everyone and walk Edsel and feed myself and by then it was after 7:00, so I sat down with my freelance work and I promised myself, If you just get done at a decent hour, you can eat something terrible, like an ice cream sandwich, because I had enough WW points left over to do so.

And sure enough, I worked as hard as I could and got to the page I wanted to get to at about 9:20. Yay!

The second–THE SECOND!!–I put that work down,

RING!

It was the goddamn phone. And I answered it, and listened to the person on the other end, and ALL I WANTED TO DO was have half an hour or so of just streaming something bad on TV and eating my goddamn 7-point ice cream sandwich, and while this person talked to me, I could also hear my phone making the text-y noise, and I knew someone was out there tapping his or her foot, wondering why I wasn’t answering their pressing text about a kitten video “DID YOU SEE IT? DID YOU SEE IT? DID YOU WATCH IT?” and my bedtime was looming closer and closer and

I JUST WANTED TO EAT MY GODDAMN ICE CREAM SANDWICH AND WATCH JANE THE VIRGIN.

Does anyone watch that show? Does anyone notice they say, “I get it” in every episode. “Yeah, I get it, dad.” Every episode. Now that I’ve pointed it out you can be irked with me.

So I think what I need to do, during this working 14 jobs, Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were time, is not, you know, answer every IM or text or email or phone call. Is what I need to do.

Oh my god, it’s 20 to 9:00 and I’m in my robe talking to you, still.

Overwhelmingly,

Joooooon

44 thoughts on “Our Lady of Perpetual Calendars

    1. If you would like a couple weeks of vacation from me , I am willing to not contact, comment or bother you for that long, or will it take longer? I am sure no one wants to help overwhelm you. Is there an auto reply on your cell phone and other ways to contact you ?
      Auto reply… dear friends..I am taking some time for myself right now, thanks for calling, I am fine, just need a break to get caught up on my life. I will be back in circulation in 2-3 weeks. Thank you . Namaste.

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  1. I hate that overwhelmed feeling. I can deal with it for just so long and then BAM! I’m done. I refuse to answer my phone after 8:30 and people who know me know not to call unless it’s an emergency. I need a half hour of unobligated alone/reading/ice cream/whatever time before I go to bed.

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  2. Wow. I am a champion proofreader after 28 years of working in Litigation; however, I just don’t have that kind of patience to proof a calendar. Pretty sure I’d go into a coma by March.

    My family has a knack of calling me the second I finish something that I’ve done for hours and want to reward myself with relaxing (or a smoke). It’s like they have a video feed to my house. I’m sure that it’s my Mom, trying to keep me from smoking. Either that, or she’ll call every single time I’m in the bathroom. She’s trying to keep me from peeing as well.

    I am the only woman in my whole family who has worked a full-time job my whole life (yay, me), and the other women in my family are always perplexed and disappointed when I can’t go to a fun Friday lunch with them for 4 hours. They take it as a personal insult, like I’m rejecting them. Uh, it’s not that I hate you; I’m working! I know you don’t get that concept, but I don’t have a man paying all the bills in my life. It’s all me, just me. NOT THAT I’M BITTER OR ANYTHING.

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  3. I felt the overwhelmingness many times when I was working. I was the executive secretary for an office that included approximately 80 people. One of my duties was to proofread every document that left our immediate office. This included every letter, memo, report, investigation, manual, etc. Many times I had to bring home work to complete it by a certain deadline. All this to say, I feel your stress. Is it feasible for you to turn off your phone while you’re working? Maybe give Edsel a little job to keep him busy so he doesn’t bother you?

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  4. I hate that overwhelmed feeling – well, OK, that was dumb. No one actually LIKES that feeling. What I meant to convey is that I understand where you’re coming from, even though I don’t have a fraction of a fraction of a percent of people clamoring for my time that you do. And even so, I get irked by my phone ringing or making the text noise.

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  5. and? family gets hostile when you don’t answer them RIGHT NOW. i also have people who im me on facebook. you know what’s wrong with that? they know when you look at their comments. “i didn’t hear from you but i saw that you read my message”.

    the best thing about all of your busyness is your credit score. that is awesome.

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  6. I got overwhelmed just reading about your worky-work life. Why is it those of us who work the hardest don’t make the most money? Something just doesn’t add up.

    I love me some Jane the Virgin. Although a recent plot twist made me really not happy – no spoilers!

    Hey June… wanna have lunch?

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  7. My eyes would be killing me with all of that proofing. My husband was semi-retired and played golf three times a week, plus not one other woman in our circle of friends worked. But I worked, so I can feel the pain. When the gals would invite me to one of their 4-hour lunches and I could not go, they would look at each other smirking “oh yeah, she has a job and actually works all day!” But now I’m retired, finally!!! After 50 years, I deserve it!

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  8. I’m supposed to get off work at 6:00. I rarely actually leave the office before 7:00. My mom is well aware of this. When my mom visits and stays at my house for a week every couple of months, she starts calling my cell phone at 6:00:01 asking if I’m on my way home and what do I want to do for dinner and do I want to play cards the second I walk in my house and how was my day and, etc. She tells me I shouldn’t eat dinner at 9:00 every night even though I don’t normally get home until 8 or 9. And I have the friends and family who don’t understand why I can’t meet them for a birthday celebration dinner at 5:30 or 6:00 when they live 40 miles away which takes about 2 hours to drive in Atlanta rush hour traffic.

    If my mom wants me to take a day off while she visits, she doesn’t understand what a pain that is because I have to get 3 legal assistants to cover for me, then I have to herd them all to sign off on my PTO request, get all four of my attorneys herded to sign off on it, then get HR to sign off on it, get my work to a point where the poor 3 legal assistants won’t actually have to do much, and mom says, “But you have vacation time. Just take a day off now and then.” It’s a whole day of work to try to take a day off.

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  9. I knew a lotta English majors in college and after hearing about their classes right then I knew that I liked to read (read!) and so should never become an English major (or copy editor apparently).

    Jeez oh Pete.

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    1. That proofreading is truly mortifying.

      I would imagine anyone who knows how hard you are working would be just fine with you cancelling out on them for the foreseeable future. If they still insist you get together with them, they are not very considerate. You deserve a break today. So get up, and get away. To McDonald’s. [12 pts]

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  10. On a completely different topic, so as not to overwhelm you, I just watched the best miniseries on Amazon. It’s called Thirteen and is a BBC show about a girl who was kidnapped at age 13, and 13 years later she escapes. It’s all about how everyone in her life has to adjust to her being back, and it made me cry in all five episodes. Generally, I don’t consider that a good thing, but it was amazing! I highly recommend it to everyone.

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  11. My hat is off to you and I’m standing silently in respect, out of your line of vision, so you won’t be distracted. You won’t even know I’m there.

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  12. Good grief! I feel bad even commenting and making you read it.

    We went to a church once where the preacher said “Now brothers and sisters” 23 times in his sermon. We were convulsing after about number 15. It was weirdly hilariously embarrassing. I don’t think we’d be welcomed back.

    You really are a beautiful person Miss June.

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  13. Stabby lines: (I)”Gotcha” from every single doctor I go to as soon as I BEGIN to say why I’m there. (II) “I’m on it.” in every single show that has an assistant to anybody. (III) “Gotcha. I’m on it!”

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  14. I was in a constant state of overwhelminess when I worked. I often get overwhelmed in retirement, because retirement can be way too busy. My husband never worked at an office type job where you had to be at work a certain time and work until a certain time. He had a LOT of free time between calls, which I called recess. It irked me to no end that he was out at the mall while I was stuck in an office with people I didn’t like, mainly the boss.

    Congratulations on the higher credit score. You have worked incredibly hard for that!!!!! You deserve an ice cream.

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    1. What you’ve described is the stabby feeling I have now that my husband retired June 30th and I am still working (have to for several more years). I swear, if he says “Everyday is Saturday!” one more time, I’m going to knock him upside his head.

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  15. P. S. I used to have one of those calendars. I don’t know what happened to it, but I did use it as a reference for what days certain dates were on, especially writing letters of discipline where we had to be very specific with times, dates, etc. I might have trashed it when I retired, the first time.

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  16. I feel that same way a lot about friends not understanding my work hours, but I even have that problem with people that have normal office jobs and never have to work late or on weekends. Even though my job is technically 40 hours a week, I have deadlines that need to be met, so I can’t just leave if the work isn’t done. Ugh.

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  17. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Do not ever call me because you are bored. I’m too involved in things to hear about your uninvolvement. Do not ever call me because you are making a long drive and you “just want to talk”. I’m not making a long drive and I do not have time to “just talk” for an hour while you keep putting the phone down because you see a policeman, are in heavy traffic, somebody just flipped you off, a hawk nearly hit your window, etc etc. etc. Signed, Crabby Appleton

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    1. Calling because you are driving and just want to kill time is on my list of don’t evens. I cannot tell you how many times I have ignored calls from people who I knew were doing just that – nope. Ain’t got time for that. If it’s a roadside emergency, you’re gonna have to dial me again and hope for the best.

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  18. Congratulations on your debt reduction! Great work!

    I hate that feeling of being overwhelmed and I’m sorry you are experiencing it. I exist in a perpetual state of it. I’m just glad that you haven’t put blogging, or whatever this is, on the back burner. It would be easy to understand why you’d need to. But, you haven’t, and we are grateful.

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  19. My 56-year-old sister, who hasn’t held a job in over 30 years (married to a doctor), is very fond of saying “just take off next week and let’s go to [insert destination here]!!” or “call in sick tomorrow so we can go do…” When I tell her I can’t just “take off” on a whim, she doesn’t understand it. She doesn’t understand that I have responsibilities and can’t just come and go as I please. Back when I was in college and working at a pizza place, she even used to offer to pay me for the time I would be off work if I would just go with her. She just didn’t understand that it wasn’t about the money – it’s about being a responsible employee! Irk!!!

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  20. Jane the Virgin is some excellent t v.
    I don’t function well when I feel overwhelmed. I’m feeling anxious on your behalf after just reading your schedule.
    Here’s something I have just learned about and am trying to implement in my own life: boundaries!
    Those of us who need them should use them because the takers out there won’t.

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  21. I work at a business primarily located on my property. It’s shocking how many family and friends call during the day and think Ima chat with them and get offended when I don’t. No. I make less money than you do and I have to work all kinds of crazy hours that you do not. My work is never turned off (which is FINE). I do not have the luxury of chatting at work when I am perpetually behind and working to make money to pay the bills. Oddly the only daytime call I don’t mind is my MIL or SIL, cause they are never offended if I don’t pick up or return their call and they keep conversations short and sweet during the work day. I am much more inclined to actually pick up when they call.

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  22. I used to be a world class people pleaser and it made me miserable. If I am not in the mood to talk I do not answer the phone anymore. Forcing myself to do that made me resent the hell out of the person calling sometimes, especially if they went agsinst boundaries I had set. People were pissy about the boundaries at first but they got over it. You need to do that for yourself. You really needed that TV and ice cream sandwich reward. You earned it.
    I do not work so people think I should always be available. Not so, and sometimes I just do not want to talk or listen.

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  23. I would never expect you to talk to me when an ice cream sandwich was waiting and you had the points for it. Not that I call you, but I just want you to know, that I too prioritize ice cream.

    Whenever we have to advertise for freelancers here at work, I get the “I used to love to write in high school” applications and I mentally pat their hand and put them off to the side because it’s not the same. Not even the same zip code as freelancing, but thanks for trying.

    I love every Edsel portrait so much – he just looks so fluffy and huggable!

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  24. Your how-to-proofread-calendars instructions make me appreciate my wall calendars even more. May I include your instructions with the calendars I give my family each Christmas?

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  25. Reducing debt ain’t for sissies. That’s hard work. Way to go! I’m proud of you!
    I’m sorry you are overwhelmed. I hate that feeling. Know what pairs exceptionally well with feeling overwhelmed? Insomnia!
    Raise your hand if you think there’s no better scenario than worrying you don’t have enough hours in the day to get things done, then having your thoughts race around your brain in circles all night long. Yeah, I don’t see any hands.
    sigh.

    Like

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