I typically get up about 2 hours before I have to leave for work. People look at me funny when I tell them this but I found through the years that this is the best time for me to read. I live alone so it’s not as if I have screaming kids from whom I need to find sanctuary. But I do have to have my “me” time or I get rather cranky (and nobody likes me when I’m cranky, especially me).
During these 2 hours of quiet, I start by brewing coffee. Since I drink 2-3 cups before work, I brew almost a whole pot. (Hello. My name is Liz and I’m a coffee addict.) As it brews, I ignore the dishes piling in the sink and instead dive into one of the books I’m currently working on. Sometimes my cat, Albert, will hop on my lap and demand my attention. Other times she* ignores me like I’m her sink of dirty dishes. Other times, like today, I will write my blog. If I’m really tired and don’t think that any amount of coffee will keep me awake while reading, I surf the internet. Rarely do I go back to sleep, as I will only wake up more tired and I will not have drunk my 3 cups of coffee needed to get me through the day.
After my “me” time, I get ready for work. Nothing exciting there, just the typical shower and brushing teeth.
For those of you new to my blog, I work at a bookstore in the receiving room. Sometimes I am called to cover the book floor, which is fine because it’s a change of pace. Even though I work in the back by myself, I still interact with people all day, mostly delivery men and coworkers but sometimes customers as well. The boxes come in, I open and unpack them. If I have time at the end of the day, I pack some books up to go back to the warehouse. It doesn’t sound terribly exciting but I enjoy it because I get to see all the new books when they come in. I’m also the first to open the Advanced Reader’s Copy of not-yet-published books. Most of the time they are of no interest to me but every once in a while we’ll get a good one** and I call dibs. (Okay, so there’s not typically anyone back there when I open those up, but I can’t go rushing to my locker every time we get something I want. Instead, I claim it with a Post-It with my name.)
The unwritten job description of someone in my position is psychologist and sounding board. Because it is one of two rooms off the selling floor, receiving acts as a shrink’s office to the workers. It’s a place where they can get things off their chest without worrying about offending a customer. And I’m their shrink. I listen and nod, all while still working (it’s not easy; sometimes I lose focus). Sometimes I give advice, or try to make them see the other person’s side. Mostly, though, I just listen, which is what most of them want when they come back.
I don’t mind it most days. There are times when it is too much, in which case I’ll just clam up. Sometimes hearing all the negative comments, especially from the same people day in and day out (you know, those people who are always negative and rarely have something positive to say), gets me down. But depressed or happy, tired or energetic, I still have to do my job, written and unwritten.
After work, I go home and make dinner. I consume it while on the couch, the TV turned to whatever show. When I finish eating, I either craft while I watch/listen to the TV or I hop on the computer to check my email (and to see how many hits I got on my blog). Once my legs have stiffened from sitting, I no longer have the motivation to clean or do laundry that I thought earlier about doing. And so, it is time for bed.
*Yes, you read that right. Albert = girl. No, I didn’t name her that. The man I adopted her from liked boy names on girls. I’m just glad his wife named their daughter.
**In the past we’ve gotten Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin, some of my favorite fiction authors.