Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"No Rest for the Weary"

I caught a glimpse of myself in the future ...         
And it wasn’t pretty.

The saying goes “there’s no rest for the weary.” The wise soul who proclaimed this avowal must have seen something similar to what I saw today. Work and school keep a girl busy, but in this life that’s just the name of the game.

So a short hiatus from school for a couple of months is a relief, but it’s not like the rest of life is taking a backseat. Work doesn’t let it, it just returns to the 8-5 form – only I’m not quite back in the swing of things. Four out of five of my mornings usually include: sleeping through alarm, waking up minutes before I need to leave, running around cursing myself for not buying a louder alarm even though it’s been on my to-do list for months, and sprinting out the door.

Worse yet, my co-workers do not seem to know these issues of mine. By the time I meet these girls they’ve already had their morning coffee and met with their personal trainers for some daybreak water aerobics. So each morning while I’m drowning out the sound of alarm clock church bells, these girls are burning off more calories than I’ll eat that day. These are the girls with carefully applied makeup and hair fixed perfectly straight or bouncing with flawless curls. It goes without saying that their desks are lined with touch-up foundation and lipstick, while mine is packed full of food. How about another expression … I stick out like a sore thumb.

Bear with me, the last six months have been tough and I’ve got the battle scars to prove it. Regrettably, these aren’t the “cool” scars you get from dangerous feats. Nope, my scars are the unavoidable dark circles permanently painted under my eyes. But since those aren’t going away anytime soon and no amount of concealer hides them for long, I’ve decided I might as well embrace them like my own beauty mark. Unfortunately, the beauty mark concept only works for Cindy Crawford and a selected few others.

But I’ll get with it … eventually. For the moment I’m still living in the unattractive aftermath of the semester. And if I needed reassurance of this, it came today in the midst of eating lunch alone. I really enjoy our weekly colleague lunch dates as a department, but sometimes I just want to indulge myself with a bowl of soup and whatever book I’m reading in peace and quiet. For those of you out there who don’t mind stepping out solo on your lunch break, heed my warning.

On a side note to myself, on days when peace and quiet are the goal, avoid any table in proximity to the one of women with pink binders stretched in front of them, praising each other on how stunning they look.

I had literally opened my laptop and turned it on when one intrusive female was hovering over me asking if I minded if she interrupted my lunch because, and I’m quoting here, she’s “been trained to pick out professional women.” Well-played lady, well-played

She introduced herself as Vickie, and went on to tell me that she owns her own beauty consultation company. Vickie “would love to offer me a free microdermabrasion.” A micro-what? Vickie says she’s certain that I have “a few glamorous friends who would love to join me at her home studio for a makeover.” “Beautiful people run with beautiful crowds,” Vickie says to me with a wink. Oh Vickie, you’re good.

And “as a professional woman,” she’s “sure that I know the importance of a professional appearance.” Clearly Vickie is not so sure of this. But not to worry, my new friend here is more than happy to help me “by simply accentuating my natural features.”

In my mind I say to this woman: “Look Vickie, I’ve been living in a world of hell for the last few months working seven days a week and going to school full time. Yes, I know I look tired, that’s because I am tired. 8 am is brutal, I used to sleep ‘til noon and now they want me to be at work, looking professional and functioning like a professional before the sun rises. While I’m buried under a mountain of paperwork, my friends are poolside or day drinking, enjoying their summer vacations. And all I want right now, at this exact moment, is for you to return to the Pink Ladies over there and let me write in peace. This is the only break I get until 5. Ok? Thanks.

But instead, I smile and say “That sounds wonderful”

And make a mental note … tonight set more than one alarm, and at least an extra hour early.

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