“Much is lost through the want of asking,” as the man said, so last week I asked. I got advice from trusted managers at work, found a proposal template online (comfortable in the knowledge that my boss would not read it; he never does!) and, after two days of scoping out his office for an opportune moment, bounced in there, made my case and bounced out, triumphant. Starting next week, I am working Monday through Thursday and I am off on Fridays. This is all I need, apart from your continued health and happiness, to make my life perfect. Because of various irons in various fires, I will not be any less busy than I am now, but I will have more time for the more important irons.
I will keep my health insurance, my paid time off and all my other benefits and perhaps I can make up the lower pay by organizing myself better. Some of the veteran readers can guess what happens next… That’s right, y’all, a Spendless Month starts on Tuesday, so get ready! I asked MyLove if he was okay with going No-Spend in May and he hesitated and said, “Well, not really. I had plans to hit that foreign language bookstore in Harvard Square.” So, here and now, I’m declaring that Michael gets a free pass in Schoenhof’s Foreign Books in Cambridge.
This change is a major triumph for me and it is possibly a permanent change; no matter how much I may like my job (and I do), there is so much else that I like much more. Travel will be easier because vacation days will go further. Ditto for spending time with friends and family. Errands can be done on Friday, leaving my weekends intact. If we have children, it goes without saying that less work is better than more.
I’m sure I bore you stiff with my constant harping on my desire to work less and just, as Zhivago says, live. But I can’t help it. Now that I’ve realized it’s possible, I can’t justify anything else. The same goes for living in major cities. Growing up, I would never have thought that I could live anywhere but London, Paris, New York, Gotham, Metropolis, etc.; I am an urban girl in taste and temperament. But then I lived in New Orleans and learned, among so many other lessons, that I can have a top-shelf life in a beautiful, interesting dive for the same price as a well-liquor life in a fashionable, over-priced club. Tastes and temperaments, to my surprise, can change. Am I still an urban girl? I’m an adaptable girl and my goal is to be a happy one. This wouldn’t work for everyone, but I think it will for me.
Anyway, next week is the first step to living in my ideal world, my utopia, where this will play in the background (and if you want the guitar break down, which you do because it’s Johnny Marr, go here; each of the three lines is stand-alone gorgeous). See you soon, my lovely friends!