How to Shampoo a Rug on a Work Day
I spent my teenage years living in a suburb of Boston. My dad worked as the treasurer for the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Massachusetts, a job that required him to commute in to the city each day.
He was typically out the door by 7:30 a.m.
Off to school I would go, then sports, then homework-avoidance, and it was time for dinner. Dad would reappear at about 5 p.m., take a nap as only he could (my father had a Superpower in this area: he was able to close his eyes and be asleep in under 10 seconds. Not kidding), before heading back out for some kind of a meeting. The guy was a machine.
While his work ethic was a blessing to me, it also created something of a problem.
His was a 9-to-5 world. There were strict rules and boundaries. It was more Mad Men and less Seinfeld. If my father was home in the middle of the afternoon, it was likely because he had a rare cold. The thought of him taking time off to, oh I don’t know, shampoo the rugs, was preposterous.
In my lifetime, I have seen the world change. It’s no longer about a 40-hour work week. Now, the job simply needs to get done. Big companies like Google and Facebook don’t restrict vacation time. It’s up to the individual. And besides, vacations aren’t really time off. It’s just working near a beach and fielding “Sorry to interrupt you” phone calls from coworkers and customers.
Dad, thank you for being such an amazing work role model. However, in addition to teaching me the value of a hard days work, you also cursed me.
Take this past week for example …
Allison and I have been absolutely killing ourselves getting The Sales Vault ready for launch. This past weekend, we quit at 8 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Monday came and I was a bit fried. Allison went to work updating websites for other customers. And I decided to shampoo the rugs.
There I was. Monday morning. First was the vacuum. Then the new shampooer I bought at Walmart. But all the time I was performing these personal tasks — things that should’ve gotten done over the weekend but were replaced by work — I was trying not to think about how guilty I was.
It was a work day. What the hell was I doing?
But the thing is, you CAN do all of it … both work and personal stuff. It is possible, but it takes preparation and certainty that you are doing the right thing at the right time. My father’s world is gone. Today, a new skill is necessary, one that balances but still follows some basics. That said, my father still lives on my shoulder and whispers in my ear.
Meanwhile, today is Wednesday, Jan. 13. It is 9:24 a.m. ET. I have content to create (I always block off Wednesdays specifically for this task) and rugs to clean.
Aaaaaaaaaand ... cue the guilt.
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