I gotta get this cartooning thing going. I think using humor is the best way to make a point. I guess I just don’t think I’m good enough at drawing, but I guess I never will know if I don’t at least try. As an old friend pointed out to me, it really doesn’t matter how well the art is made; “Just look at South Park” he said. True, I thought. Crooked paper cut-outs make me laugh and think and criticize just as much as bright yellow people with blue hair, or actual live people.
This morning of FB I saw a post that was about Bill Watterson, the cartoonist behind the famous Calvin and Hobbes strips, and this particular cartoon spoke to me so deeply it made me cry. Tears well up in my eyes now just thinking about it.
You see, I work ~50 hours per week. I used to have to work some Saturdays, and even now while I write this, my beloved man is there now, working, from 5:00a.m. to 10:00a.m. on a Saturday. I used to work at that shop, but a theoretically better position opened up at their facility 20 miles away. So while I don’t work weekends, I still have no time for a life. Since I’m up so early and don’t get home until so late, and my man is on the same crazy schedule, the simplest things like eating dinner and doing laundry have to be carefully penciled in…leaving little to no time for any kind of relaxing. Beyond that, there is the physical toll this job takes on me -and my man- and many of our co-workers.
The job I need just to pay my bills and survive is simultaneously the thing that is killing me. The worst part is that I feel like I might as well already be dead because it’s not like I’m really living! I don’t have the time to eat healthy, to see my friends, to do any of the many hobbies I enjoy. The worst part is that on these Saturdays I am still up at 4:00-5:00, and all I want to do is sleep. I can’t stay awake to hang out with friends on a Friday night! Even when I have the time, it’s not like I can spare the energy to do the things I enjoy.
My body aches. After screaming at me all week for using orbital sanders, and lifting heavy loads, and getting pinched and smashed and bumped and bruised and cut all day my body has had it. I need to heal. I need to eat 6,000 calories of nothing but pure nutrients and 3 gallons of water and I need to sleep for about 34 hours straight. I know what my body needs. But it’s not like it’s gonna get it. Instead it does laundry, and dishes, all through the underlying aches, automatically moving those little damaged parts out of the way. Doing dishes takes me forever because I have to stop every ten seconds and stretch and wiggle and more and more lately…just sit down and cry.
This wouldn’t even be worth it if I was doing something I loved. If I was a cartoonist, I would stop before my hands went numb and I had severe tendinitis, because after all, if you haven’t got your health, what have you got? Same goes if I had my own glass blowing studio, or sewing shop. I would not work myself so hard….so why am I now?
I told myself that I didn’t have the time or energy. But my logic is flawed. I don’t have the time or energy because of the current job I have, and I will never have the time or energy to live while I’m at that job. I think I need the job to live, but I really need to get rid of that job if I want to live.
So, perhaps I will lose my cynicism and it will give way to humor again. Someday I will look back at all of this and laugh!