12 September 2008

Change Is Good?

I'm having a bit of a freak out. And I need to put this into perspective because, unlike the Gulf Coast of Texas, I'm not having to pack up my belongings and loved ones and head for the highlands knowing that I will return to a life changed. This, so shortly after the anniversary of Katrina and September 11th when we all saw our worlds altered into a "new normal" (and some are still suffering through that change). No. I'm not dealing with anything that catastrophic. I'm simply starting a new job and will have to commute for the first time in about a decade.

This is a bigger deal than you might think. I will be working an hour away. Not an hour-stuck-in-traffic kind of way. An hour to get there on a good day. The only route to work is PCH. PCH is a beautiful stretch of road overlooking the Pacific where the slightest disruption causes a major fustercluck...and you are going to be there for a while. You are basically trapped. There are very few outlets to help you get back to civilization. We are heading toward mudslide season. This is going to present many obstacles. (And I'm not talking the standard boulder-in-the-road.)

The first challenge for me is morning. I have to be in the car, engine on, by nine ayem, no later. (Yeah, I was able to swing a ten ayem start time...they know it's a sherpa-requiring schlep.) I'm generally still at the gym at nine ayem. And this week of test-driving the new schedule proved to be a huge failure. I'm scared.

The next challenge is having to think about lunch. Lunch is not something I generally obsess over, but delivery isn't really going to be an option in my remote location. I'm going to have to pre-plan that. So, not only am I going to have to be up, dressed and in the car much earlier than I have been in ages, I'm going to have to be dressed (including hair done and makeup applied...must make that distinction, as it wasn't really required working from home), in the car with lunch prepared. This is going to be hard.

Now, I can hear most of you saying, "Hello. Welcome to the real world, honey." I know. But I've always tried to avoid the real world. I'm a misfit for it. I am astounded at the people who are able to do this kind of thing every day and have actual families and pets and they all remain alive and functional. My hat is tipped in your direction. Me...I'm stressing out because I'm having TiVo issues and realize I'll never make it home in time for happy hour. And dry cleaning. I'm going to have to deal with dry cleaning on a regular basis again. That's just another ball for me to juggle, schedule, plan. Ugh.

Remember, I'm a writer. My head is perpetually surrounded in a creative fog and I prefer to keep vampire hours. This makes "real world" life an unnatural thing. But, I am determined to master it. Rise to the challenge. After all, I'm a grown up. It's time I started acting like one. Or putting on the facade of one. Proper full-time job. Direct deposit. Dialing 9 for an outside line. I think I can handle this. I'm buying a backup alarm clock this weekend, though. Just to be safe.


Melanie said...

Yes, change is good. Keep repeating that mantra. (Even though at times it feels like it sucks...really really sucks.) Here are a few tips from someone who has had ten years of hour long commutes in her past. Pack your lunch the night before, or pack many and freeze... depending on what you eat. Find a dry cleaner near your office. Drop off after work and pick up the next day after work. Or on your lunch hour. Use your lunch hours to run errands. I know you really like your gym, so I may not be able to persuade you to find one close to your new job to visit after work, but things really will begin to fall into place in a few weeks. They will. And Tivo is a miracle of modern science. Here is hoping the best for week one next week. You are a star.. shine on woman!

RUAWAKE said...

Thanks, Mel! Sadly, where I will be working, there isn't anything close to make it easier. So, errand running, lunch grabbing, gym hopping aren't really in my cards. Sigh. It's going to be great, just a huge change for a creature of habit and ease. I'm going to have to be really, really organized...and in bed at a decent hour so I can give up my vampire ways and become an early riser. Super sigh. ;)

Andrea said...

Wow - no happy hour? What is life if it's not the occasional happy hour? I'm in mourning for you. And yes, PCH is evil- sometimes the view just doesn't make up for the hours of your life lost because of a mudslide or two. I hurt with you, having tried to be a "normal" worker many moons ago, it just did not sit well with me. So here I am now with a love of working weekends and weird hours while everyone else is standing in line at Costco.
You will find your routine, though, and it will be great once you get "settled in" :)