People often say things like "You don't know what you got 'til its gone".
Inversely, you don't know what you're missing until you experience it.
Since I began working at NECSI, I've held down a second, weekend job at Zinnia. In the long history of second jobs, I'm confident Zinnia is a very good one. I'm friendly-friends with the rest of the workers, the customers are for the most part pleasant, and the discount is an added perk.
However, clearly this puts a strain on my time off. I'd been doing Friday nights and "eitherSaturdayorSunday" since October 2010, making Fridays 11-13 hours long and giving me one day off per week (sometimes none because of volunteer responsibilities). A girl can get exhausted before she knows it.
This past December, I told the lovely manager at Zinnia that if she needed to cut hours in January (aka the slowest sales month known to humankind), she could cut mine. So this past weekend was my first 'real' weekend in a long, long time. And friends, it was glorious. Thank you, labor unions, for creating the modern weekend. To have Saturday AND Sunday AND Friday evening off? It was a little piece of heaven. The weekend before I worked Sunday, but had the MLK Jr. holiday off the next day, so in truth I had TWO 2-day weekends in a row.
Big deal, Clare, you say. Lots of people have that. Well, friends, it had been longer than I care to admit. So long that it reminded me of what loveliness it was to hang out with my fiance and do nothing all day - grocery shop, wander, read and draw (I read, he drew).
Now, I don't like to complain about my lot in life. There are people holding down 2+ jobs who are much worse off than I am. The economy is not great, to say the least, and people are struggling. I am grateful for the jobs I have.
But I was also very grateful for the break.