I work all week, nights. The job that I do is demanding, times that by ten for someone who is counting the paychecks to retirement-age. There aren't enough hours in a day and however much a person achieves, although no-one is ever really criticised for their efforts and ultimately their output, it's never enough. " Could you stay on for a couple of hours? Or " Could just finish this one and get him out of the yard? He has early bookings and he's late already." Seems to be the company mantra and so we stay on, we do a few more hours, the backlog lessens and one sorry wrecked arse drags itself home and then,after an estimated ninety minutes of travel time slumps into an easy chair with a much craved mug of hot tea, climbs those thirteen steps and falls into bed. zzzzzzzz!
Times that by five and you have a view, a snapshot, of my "Monday to Friday" with the one exception that on Saturday mornings there can be no falling into bed although, strangely enough, it doesn't seem to matter. It as though there's a moment where, and maybe it's a survival mechanism, the mind goes into overdrive, a kind of mental auto-pilot if you like, I would willingly keep going until I fell in a heap, find my absolute physical and mental tolerance threshold and cross that line and maybe at that point I some how manage to not think about it. I've read about this phenomenon with regards to endurance-training, " to simply push-on ". My life, some training huh!
Well anyway, with the Saturday morning-shopping to do weekend just has to wait a few more hours then finally, having done the rounds in Stugely, Lidl's followed by Asda's, loaded with shopping, lotto ticket bought, well one can dream, eventually, ascending that hill that is the street where I live home in sight, yes yes yes and finally, finally, turning the key in my front door, the feeling of relief at that moment cannot be over-stated. I repeat...with capitals... YES!...... deep breaths...... YES!.....and long exhalation....... YES! But it's not over yet.
There's my shopping to stow, some of it frozen and/or chilled, ahhh now there's a word, chilled. Spuds to cook and when I say spuds they may be in one of a variety of forms, chips, mash, wafers, waffles, jacket bakes, whatever, just something that I can snack whilst playing online enjoying a slurp or three pop until I really do hit that wall, cross that line, and it's as much as I can manage to log-out switch off and hit the sack.
Sunday morning arrives, as it must , those damned doves coo coo cooing and my head, god my head, ding ephing dong and this is when I find myself asking that question. Why do I do this to myself? But the awful "please let me die" feeling doesn't last for long, as long as it takes to drink a cup of hot tea followed by a mug of coffee and munch through a plate of yesterday's chips. Then, it's time for a hair of the dog, the hours that follow are just the sweetest moments, and the amber nectar never tasted so good. Hilary and Everest come to mind, such satisfaction is felt that here I am, another week, a mountain climbed, I made it.
Because it's who I am... It's what I am... And it's what I do.