The show is over, and I lived. We all did! Which is no mean feat, as we all showed up at Arisia pre-infected with something horrible. I was personally medicating our tech director, and pretty much anyone else who turned up coughing their little brains out.

Other people keep telling me that I sound very busy. I don't know that I am; it's hard for me to really tally up the hours I spend at things. I had a time clock app for my phone which I never successfully made myself use, mainly because the phone is a bear of very little brain that runs a few things very well and most things slowly and grudgingly. And also I found it depressing to see how much time I spent on trains.

One of the problems there is that I get the nagging feeling that things I enjoy doing don't really count. I can spend ten hours a week in rehearsals for a show -- which I am paid to do, to the best of the producer's ability and budget -- and I still have trouble bringing it to mind when people ask what I do with my time, because that's "fun" and it exists in a different continuum to things that I "should" be sinking all my waking hours into. Same thing with the hours I spend dancing, and working at the dance studio to bank my rehearsal hours. I like doing that, so it's not really "work", even though part of the point of spending all that time on it is to develop some workshops and curriculum so that I can transition into teaching people for money.

I am unsure who to blame for these ideas. I'm sure at least some part of it is the national culture. The American work ethic is heavily rooted in Calvinism, the movement that produced sayings like "idle hands are the devil's playthings". The general philosophy there is that you should be doing some sort of grinding work every minute of every day, because you were born into sin and depravity and deserve to suffer. And this back-breaking labor is supposed to bring you some kind of satisfaction, although not joy, because if you enjoy it too much that's just more sin. You'll have your chance to be happy in the afterlife. Although probably not, because God has chosen a bunch of people totally at random to be saved, and if you're not one of them then you're just out of luck.

Charming people, the Calvinists. They're pretty much the reason Americans hate fun.

Part of it is probably also my parents. They never actually said "you deserve to be unhappy", they just acted like hating your life was pretty normal, and smacked me down for suggesting it wasn't. I remember once, during a severe depressive episode in college, I called my mother begging for an appointment with a psychiatrist, because she had my insurance card hostage and I couldn't make one myself. I told her I was appallingly miserable, to the point where I couldn't get out of bed most days. She told me that everyone was like that, and I should suck it up. Which was pretty much the end of me asking my parents for help with anything, really.

Another unfortunate aspect of this whole "work should be unpleasant" thing is that most normal jobs are brutal on me. For whatever reason, I find that dealing with people face to face is exhausting, and if I had to do it for forty hours a week I would have an honest to God mental breakdown. It doesn't matter who or what or how nice they are. I couldn't even spend that much time with my friends. Even if it's not a public-facing position, going into an office means having to put on a lesser sort of public face and interact with a bunch of coworkers. There is a reason I do my absolute damndest to work from home. I can do a lot more if I can do it from a small dark room in my pajamas.

Now that I have some down time, I can get around to actually making some New Year's Resolutions. One of the few that have ever stuck was the year I resolved to not make any long-range decisions during a month where I am doing forty-five million things and also potentially spending a lot of time upset, depending on what I have going on and how many people are asshats about asking why I don't travel to be with family. So I give myself until the end of January to figure out WTF I am going to do with the next 11-12 months.

Comments