Saturday, December 18, 2021

Chains

 After the third week in a row of 10 hour days, I began to hear that we would, once again, be working Saturday. 

I was tired. Just plainly tired. Tired of trying to fit everything into one lone Sunday. While I'm grateful that I am an early shopper, still, there were the little things that I was not able to do. I haven't sent our Christmas cards. I have not baked one Christmas cookie. William and I have a tradition. He and I go out to do the Christmas shopping for his mother and Don together. We come home and we wrap those things, and it makes him very excited to sneak them under the tree when he thinks that no one is looking. 

But this year, I just haven't had the time. 

I kept thinking, 'only one more weekend...if it doesn't get done this weekend, it's not going to happen', and that made me determined to (at the very least) get our shopping tradition done. It's a big part of William's joy. 

But then, I heard them regretfully discussing the fact that we would be required to work Saturday again, on top of those 10 hour days, our third 58 hour week. I mulled it over and then I went to talk to my supervisor. "I'm sorry," I told her. "I have plans and I cannot work Saturday. Truth be told, I don't think I'll be working the two hours overtime Friday night." 

She didn't say anything, but she did not look happy with me. To be honest, I was beyond caring. I'm tired to death. A little boy (he would hate to hear me call him that...he is almost a teenager in his mind) would be missing out. I went back to my desk and returned to work. 

Later that day, she let me know that my time off request was approved. In my mind, their approval was merely a formality, but I thanked her anyway. 

So I left work Friday on time and I came home. William got dropped off and he was excited to do his Christmas shopping. Quite surprisingly, Grandpa even joined us. William carefully selected his presents. We also got the makings for our Christmas cookies. 

Saturday morning, I slept until I woke up (8AM) and then made french toast and sausages for breakfast, and we quickly got that cleaned up so that we could begin our baking day. We made four batches of cookies: iced sugar cookie cutouts, molasses cookies, date filled cookies and chocolate chips. 

Once that was done, William and I sat down and wrapped his gifts together, and he curled the ribbons, tied on the candy canes and carefully filled out the labels. He lay across the carpet when we were done, dreamily watching the bubble lights. As he played with some gold garland, it reminded him of Jacob Marley who wore the chains he forged in life and he explained to me what that meant. 

I listened, acting as if I never properly considered it before. 

I'm glad I put my foot down. I didn't lie. I had plans. Important ones. More important than work.

Because one day, I too will wear the chains I forged in life. 



12 comments:

  1. Good on you. I am bemused that not working overtime is considered taking time off. Time with children at that age can't be caught up with later.

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  2. I'm so glad you decided to do that. Work is work, but life and relationships take precedence. No matter what bosses think! What wonderful memories you've made with William!!

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  3. Family is much more than overtime work. Well done Debby.

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  4. Well done - and you've made another memory for William - worth more than any work

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  5. Good for you! I wouldn't take a permanent contract at my work as it would have meant working Christmas - it was a Hospice - and not to spend Christmas with my children would have been a memory I didn't want them to have. I know amazing people DO sacrifice family occasions for work but I'm afraid I'm not one of them. Happy Christmas to you and your family.

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  6. Good on ya! And french toast and sausages sound good to me, especially sausages since no one else wants them. Sue will eat the high quality maple ones at the sugar shack, but that's it.

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  7. Glad you took off to make some happy Christmas memories! Good for you!

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  8. It'll be a long time before you forget this day with William. Kids are only kids for a very short time.

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  9. You did the right thing, some times things are just to important to not do. William is just to important, making memories and cookies are just to important.

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  10. OK, I know they're trying to finish things up and are pushing you all, but expecting you to work on the Saturday before Christmas is pure insanity. I'm glad you said no. They're out of their minds.

    And you made memories with William, which, as you said, is much more important.

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  11. Very nice post, Debby. I'm glad you took off the time.

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  12. Good for you.. memories are more important than 58 hours slave labour!

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