The early morning light today was royal blue above me but magenta pink on the horizon. It looked dense, low and heavy. I couldn’t tell you the temperature, just that at 7am the tarmac beneath my feet was frozen over and I’d have been unsurprised by snowfall by the end of day.
Of course, there was no snowfall, and as always, the possibility of it was just wishful thinking. The fact is that there is nothing that makes me more miserable than being cold. Today I tried to fight it: two pairs of tights layered beneath jeans; a long-sleeved body top under a three-quarter sleeved top under my uniform t-shirt; two pairs of gloves. Still, sitting on the bus, writing this blog post into my notebook at 7am (there are over a dozen blog posts in this notebook I’ve had neither the time nor the energy to write up of an evening!) I was uncomfortably aware of my every breath forming in front of me. My hatred of the cold can only be tempered by my love for the magic of snow. Hence the wishful thinking.
My being so cold probably wasn’t helped much by the sleep I lacked last night. Having worked til 7pm I got in about 9pm and set about some chores. About midnight I turned in, only to lie awake, cold, sweating and nauseous, until gone 4am. I got up twice, turning my computer on at 3am to do some MORE money-related chores, doing endless sums on bits of paper, the numbers of which never added up any better. I eventually resorted to an old trick, leaving Pride and Prejudice playing on the timer to keep my brain occupied as I dozed off.
The truth of the matter is that money and I have never been great friends. I am fantastic at making money, but even better at spending it – especially at Christmas. It suddenly occurred to me last night that my rent comes out of my account on the “last Friday of the month”, which, thanks to some clever planning on the part of Christmas this year, is next Friday – before my first payday from Waterstones. Because technically the hours I’m working are overtime, and so paid at the end of the following month, meaning that although I’ve been working almost two months now, I haven’t yet had any pennies! On the positive, this means I’ll get two pay cheques at the end of January. On the negative, it means I have very little cash actually available to me when I need it…
In hindsight – and financially speaking – taking on the Waterstones job was not the best choice I could have made. If I’d known back then how much freelance I’d be offered, how many contacts would surface with contracts, I should probably have forfeited the security of a daily job. But at the time the 9-5.30 seemed more sensible – after all, if the work dried up I’d have been left high and dry. I had no way of knowing how quickly I’d find a job, nor how much in demand my services would be.
Of course, had I refused the hours, I’d never have had such a lovely time selling books! And I guess if I do look at it as a well-deserved career break of sorts I can forgive myself for making the wrong decision.
We live, we learn!