Have you ever been put on hold so long that you started pleading with the awful elevator music to just say something, anything, to let you know you weren’t alone? That was me most of this morning, trying to take care of some business.
You know business, that stuff that builds up when you’re busy and ends up leaving a scattered trail of tiny projects all over your living room when you slow down and take stock of your life. Seeing as how I’m currently warmly ensconced in my solid second week of time off, I figured I’d roll up my sleeves and start checking things off my list.
I re-did all my important filing, cleaned the dog’s outdoor kennel, filled out some forms I’d been procrastinating about, editing and added a chapter to my book, and made some phone calls. Most of said calls went perfectly fine, all save two. Both calls were to our heath insurance company and oh-my-sweet-ever-loving-peaches they took FOREVER to help me out.
Maybe everyone else in the whole world is off work right now and decided to call our health insurance company at the same time, maybe there was a surprise plague of E. Boli, whatever the reason, there was no one to hear my pleas for human contact.
All told, I spent about an hour on hold today. One hour. Now, this may not seem like a long time to you, but when you’ve gotten to (and failed) the eighth level of Tetris four times and also beaten three games of Solitaire, you come talk to me and tell me how long an hour can be.
The thing that gets me the most, though, is that when I actually did get to talk with someone, she had me off the phone in less than a minute. It was an important question, the answer to which I could not have found without her help, but still. An hour of waiting and listening to the same canned message about seniors getting their flu and pneumonia shots was a large price to pay for that tasty little morsel, wouldn’t you say?
The problem is, I have so much free time right this very second that the hour of waiting doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it should. I am literally awash in free time and rolling around in it like it’s the Fountain of Youth. That statement’s probably enough to make the over-worked among you see red, but for the time being it’s the truth.
To be honest, the first week of free time was spent in agony. Having no sense of purpose, an inflated sense of hurry-rush-I-have-too-much-to-do!, and no ability to leave the house, I gestated in my inertia and it nearly drove me mad.
Week two has been much more forgiving. I’ve devoted this week to taking on Projects. I have a long list of projects that I will seek to complete before I return to my (blessed, wonderful, completely necessary for my sanity) job next week. By the time I’m done, there will not be an uncompleted project in this whole house.
After that, I’ll return to work and life as normal. I have to admit, though, it will probably be very strange to return to work and find that I am no longer the absolute captain of my own destiny. I’m assuming my bosses will take none too kindly to a mid-afternoon knitting break or lunchtime showing of Braveheart.