My two-job gig is winding down and I have some mixed emotions about that. I have loved working at the store but it is grueling for my 50+ legs and the pay is one grade above crappy. Through these last few months, though, I have met some lovely people and I will miss them a lot.
All of us working there are so tired. The pace has been relentless and while that is fabulous for business it feels like Groundhog Day every single morning. The vacuum comes out, the candles get lit, the Christmas music comes on, the glass is cleaned, the bags and tissue get restocked, the door gets unlocked, and then jingle jangles open a hundred times an hour. Every single day.
This morning before the day started the manager gave me a card and note and I got a little weepy and then she got a little weepy. I adore her. She is the ying to the owner's yang. She is steady and funny and thoughtful. She is kind.
"I cry all the time lately," she said.
"Me too," I said. "Yesterday we were opening gifts before Maggie and Nate left town and I could barely talk. Then Will said that next year they'll be a baby in the house and he started crying and Maggie started crying."
And I started crying when I was telling her the story.
"What is wrong with us?"
"It's all so fragile," I said. "We all know that especially this time of the year, and yet the background noise of our times is meanness. It's wearing me down."
"I watched my nephew this weekend," she said. "I was so tired that as soon as we got on the couch to watch a movie I started to fall asleep. I had all these fun things planned and I kept dozing off. When I laid down with him at bedtime to read him a story I told him I was sorry that I fell asleep."
"That's okay, he said to me. You didn't do anything wrong."
She cried. I cried. Then we finished our vacuuming. Another day of selling was minutes away and there were a few things left to do.
Rest will come soon and I will take the word of a little boy that it is okay.