As I was in the shower this morning, a little wooden placard or sign I remember hanging in either my uncle's or my grandmother's house came to mind. It read "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get," and although the usage is likely to make prescriptivists cringe, there is something about the central message that resonates. Work continues, and in abundance, and I am doing what I can to address each of the tasks that lies before me. I am well into the current write-up, for example, with another project waiting, a tutorial to give tonight, stacks of papers coming in, family coming up over the next few days, and my daughter's birthday tomorrow (about which more then, obviously). As I do more, I find that I have more to do; the more I work to clear out my docket, the deeper it becomes. The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get.
Leaving aside the kind of whining I did yesterday--and, yes, I acknowledge falling into the "traditional" bloggers' trap of whining in pseudo-anonymity online--I do find the situation frustrating. How often have I been told "Work hard and you'll succeed?" I work three jobs at present, and I work hard at each of them, putting in long hours of dedicated, focused mental labor. And I like to think I am good at the work I do; I have several attestations to that effect. I am also struggling to keep my family in "decent" shape, with food on the table that is not so full of additives as might be the case and that encourages my daughter to eat a diversity of things (and she does, I might add, including quite a bit of fruit and vegetable) and a roof overhead that does not leak, with plumbing that works more or less well and walls that keep out much of the wind and weather. I would like not to have to worry so much about it, to see the 60 hours and more a week I work do more to secure my family's stability than they do. I would like to see fulfilled the promise that hard work will lead to success as the community defines it (because I am well aware that things could be much worse, and I appreciate that they are not--but that does not mean they are as they ought to be). And I am frustrated--justifiably, I think--that it does not seem to be. Should I not be annoyed or more at being lied to?
In the meantime, though, I continue to look for a stable employment situation while I work the three jobs (full-time, part-time, and freelance) that are mine to do, as well as taking care of Ms. 8 while her mother works her own job and looks for other work yet. It is all that can be done, so far as I can see, although I will admit that walls rise high around me and limit what I can look at.