The great pumpkin/haribofest of 2012 has been and gone, birthdays, anniversaries, bonfires, barbeques (yes, you can get away with that sort of thing down here in October), fireworks, playdates, commitee meetings and more overtime than I ever care to do again.
Most of these things are good things. I literally look forward to halloween all year. Electronic zombie door chimes on sale in August? Well there's a form of gratuitous consumption everyone should get on board with! I like bonfires and fireworks too. But good god did it all get a bit much these past few months. I feel like I have lurched from event to housekeeping crisis to event to work crisis, day in and day out since September. The clocks going back just after a run of night shifts brought things to a head and I still haven't quite recovered my rhythm. The ridiculous thing about all this? It was partly by design.
Money is time for most people, me included. For every hour of overtime I do, the wispy threads of my daily routine snag and break. The rest of life falls apart. I have written entire posts over at The Simple Green Frugal Co-op encouraging others to manage their time wisely and to see that paid work can actually cost money not only in terms of transport and other overheads, but how much you spend trying to catch up on all the cooking, cleaning and domestic productivity. 10 days straight and I am spinning, and not in a nice producing yarn sort of way. £40 in taxi fares where I failed to wake up at 5am and get my rear into gear on time for the bus. £15 in nice comforting food for my shifts, beacuse I sure as hell couldn't turn my bodyclock around enough to prepare anything from scratch.
Still, I can do better; and in the light of all of these fails, I am grateful. I have job to go to, many others don't. I have a job where I can take on a few extra hours as needed, again many people would dearly love that opportunity. I have family and friends still with me whose birthdays and anniversaries are to be celebrated whilst we are all still together on this earth and for that I am truly grateful. This past halloween, I lit candles for the few who have left us during this past year; and those who vanished long before whose influence reverberates down the years as is they have merely stepped out of the room for a moment - and once again my habit of losing touch and not quite getting round to sending that email has left me smarting. A lesson for this year.
For those of you across the pond who are celebrating Thanksgiving, I wish you a lovely day and hope you have much to be grateful for. I hope the same for all of you home here too.