What goes down …

… no, the answer isn’t “Goddess for $1,000, Alex!”

What I’m trying to say is that what goes down, eventually does go up.

Today’s been busy-busy so far. In a totally good way. I’m trying to shift my work hours and, ultimately, my overall mindset into something much more manageable. I’ve given up the 7 a.m. project that I’ve had for 2 1/2 years and “enjoyed” (can’t think of a more-appropriate word) a week of starting my mornings much later, to accommodate for the later-night schedule. Today I came in at 8 a.m. (a rarity for me) because there was some unfinished business left from Friday night.

Now, it’s not like I skipped out early — although for me, it was early, but for anyone who had a date or a dinner to go to, it really wasn’t. But god, it felt good to be a gangsta. I was thinking how much I loved it that the decree came from way above that the schedule I was working was mind-bogglingly ridiculous and that things could wait till Monday.

So Monday came and I had so much energy, I didn’t know what to do with it all. I don’t know that the new schedule will stick, because I get the feeling that the contractors who need me to be available at 10 p.m. on a Friday aren’t thrilled with the new arrangement. But what everyone either is realizing or needs to realize is that I am just as important a member of the team as they are. Just because I’m cheaper labor doesn’t mean that I’m the least valuable player.

It’s hard for me to value what I bring to the table because I’ve spent my entire career doing all the grunt work and getting none of the glory. And I realize now that I don’t need any glory — I just need to do a little more than meet my rent payment, especially given how much money I had to dump into car repairs this weekend.

I love to work hard. I get more than just a slight rush from it. I love results. I love kicking ass and KNOWING I kicked ass. I enjoy the occasional “atta girl” but what I love more than anything is when someone says, no, stop killing yourself.

That’s all I ever wanted. A simple “go have a life, like a normal person” mantra. That’s worth its weight in salary gold, believe it or not. Well, not that I’d turn down extra money for extra projects, but because exempt employees don’t have that option, we tend to take on more because we’re good people. Or masochists. But I’d like to continue believing we’re not totally crazy for taking on more because we’re capable of it, not because we HAVE to.

Anyway, I’m feeling rather accomplished and energetic right now, as I’m eating my sammich at a proper lunchtime instead of my usual “wait till 3 or 4 p.m. so it breaks up the day better.” My goal is to start earlier and get out earlier. I think, with having my early-a.m. project for so long, I got accustomed to rolling in for the second shift at 10:30 a.m. and then having to stay till the bitter end, whenever that may be.

But now that I can jump right into the rat race, maybe I can finish it at a reasonable time, too. Now, we’re not asking for miracles here, ’cause my life’s still contingent upon others meeting their deadlines, but I’m fairly exhilarated at being encouraged to stand up for “my” time. I might do it again someday! It’s amazing how much better my work is, and how much enthusiasm I have for it, when I feel like my time/efforts are valued equally with others’.

Now if I could just rastle everyone else into submission, I’d be as good-to-go as a Taco Bell commercial!

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