I’m fortunate to be able to work at home full-time.
I’m even more fortunate that Large Financial Institution forecasts on the pessimistic side. Our C-suite has looked at the COVID numbers. They’ve also looked at our Q3 all-employee survey in which 56% of us said we’d be perfectly fine only coming into the office for special events. Based on these data, they’ve decided the soonest we can begin limited reentry to the office is June 2021.
While I am fortunate to be able to work at home full-time doing that has some unintended consequences. The days take on a certain sameness. The eleven stair commute to my office doesn’t quite have the same bounding effect as the walk to the subway, the train ride, and the walk to the office downtown. Rinse and repeat in reverse on the way home and you have a set work time and a set home time.
I’m rolling into the last month of the year with more vacation than I can roll to next year and with 20+ hours of uncompensated over time. I work too much.
The number of hours plus my shitty abilities to:
- enforce my boundaries
- prioritize my own pleasure
- grasp the idea that it’s okay I’m not getting everything done
plus the sameness of the days lead to weekends when I have too much to do (seriously, ask me about the shelves I’ve been trying to put up since April) and have no idea what do to with myself.
I am like Robin Williams freaking out in the coffee aisle in Moscow on the Hudson. Or Mr. Bean trying to get to the dentist on time. It’s too many choices of things I need to do, want to do, and must do.
It’s getting so bad that I may have to make an actual list of things to do for the pleasure of crossing things off and so I don’t get lost and discover it’s 6pm on Sunday and I’ve spent my entire weekend in front of the TV trying to find something to watch.
None of this is helped by the fact that I historically haven’t slept well. Drop in menopause and the dumpster fire that is 2020 and you get a stew of weird dreams, broken sleep patterns, and resignation to the fact that the days when I could go to bed at 23:00, sleep right through to 06:00 and wake up feeling refreshed are so far in the rear view mirror they might as well be in another time zone.
Last night I turned out the light around 22:00, fell asleep pretty quickly, only got up for the toilet a couple of times, and was able to fall right back to sleep when I did. I had weird, disturbing dreams and was wide awake at 04:00.
And I mean wide awake. Like no chance in hell I’m going back to sleep. So I watched a movie – Pride and Prejudice.
When I say Pride and Prejudice I mean the 2005 version with Keira Knightly as Elizabeth and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy.
I have not read what is perhaps Jane Austen’s most beloved novel. Why would I when I can enjoy lush cinematography and not have to wade through piles of description vastly necessary when the book was published because no one ever went anywhere but hardly necessary when I can get a live video stream from halfway around the world? And as I watched it I wondered, what is Mr. Darcy’s first name?
Turns out it is Fitzwilliam.
Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813. According to wikipedia, the tradition of royalty using fitz as a prefix for bastard sons dates back to the Stuart era (1603-1714). It was revived in the 1830s for the Duke of Clarence’s illegitimate sons.
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? The Jane Austen wiki says Mr. Darcy is the maternal grandson of the Earl Fitzwilliam, which probably explains why he’s so rich. But why would a peerage choose a surname that implies lack of lineage?
I could spend hours digging through the the internet but then I still wouldn’t have any shelves hung.