It is Monday and you are again back at your desk, working, working, working, always with the excessive working, although, when you consider the alternative–with the government cheese you would be eating, and the hand-her-downs your youngest daughter, “The Complainer”, would be wearing–it is not that bad.
So, you lower your head and soldier on, for the benefit of those you love, and because the job is not all that bad, not really. The bit boring at times, the bit frustrating, the bit exasperating, but not bad. You’ve had worse. Like, for the example, that first job you had just out of college, working as the paralegal in the fancy Wall Street, white-shoe law firm.
It was 1984, and your big teased hair, winning smile, and extensive collection of Laura Ashley print dresses made you the Belle of the Paralegal & Temp Ball. You were popular and cheerful, and at that age, you did not mind working your end of the tail off, filing the files, forming the forms, filing the forms and forming the files, and always doing the incessant, never-ending, hurry-up-and-get-it-out-the-door FedExing of forms and files.
Yes, there were plenty of late nights, and free-take out food, and much flirting with the handsome young lawyers. But mostly the job was files and forms, and forms and files, and FedExing and FedExing, and sadly, with almost no chance at the advancement.
And as the first year turned into the second year, and then third year, you began to notice that the bloom had begun to go off your rose. You were slowly but surely turning into the “para-slave”, one of those long-term employees whose horizons had shrunk to encompass the area exactly the size of the FedEx delivery slot. The worst of these were the embittered artists, middle aged men whose dreams of becoming the great writer, or sculptor, or painter, were crushed by the numbing necessity of having to earn the living. You shudder even now to remember the pathetic resignation with which they greeted each new work day.
Thus, what had started as the good job, one that you enjoyed in your first burst of enthusiasm, staled over time, until it became intolerable, each day the misery of thwarted ambition. And so you quit, and returned to school, and reformed yourself into something that took you as far away from the world of lawyers and para-slaves as possible.
And now you are mostly happy with your life, with your man and your children, and even with your job, despite its frustrations. For you have at last discovered the great secret that is hidden from the young, that life can be good even when it is not perfect.
Of the course, employed life has other gratifying consolations, such as the Padrino, the beautiful Christian Louboutin ankle boots, from the Saks Fifth Avenue.