I've slept 5,739* nights since the divorce, most of them alone. And despite my efforts to switch sides or move to the center, I cling to the edge. Of my bed.
Last night I stirred, started to turn over, and realized that if I moved even a hair, I'd fall off the bed. I had to move the dog and my pillows to adjust myself in the slightest. This morning, I woke on the edge again.
One of the things I do for my major freelance client is review the work of the 110 editors assigned to me. Writing each review is a laborious process that often involves making retroactive corrections and emailing various people on various matters. When I started in this position, my manager explained what needed to be done and how. I had no idea how many reviews I was expected to complete each week. I did some calculations and came up with what I thought they would expect. I've stayed up half the night, night after night, meeting this expectation that I made up. Earlier this week I discovered the rest of the team had been given a target. And that target is exactly half what I'd been driving myself crazy to accomplish each week. Half.
For this same company, I sometimes edit when the backlog gets too big. I'm not required to do this, but things get complicated for everyone when the system backs up, so I pitch in when I can manage it outside my usual hours. In an attempt to encourage editors to catch up, the company promised a bonus to the top 50 editors in terms of volume for a 30 day period. Yesterday I received auto-notification that I would receive the bonus. My "help when I can" habit put me in the top 50 producers out of 1200 editors--for a job that is not mine.
So often, I plug along, trying to keep up, only to discover that what seems normal to me appears excessive to others. Could this be why I've slept alone for 5,739 nights? The reason I'm on the edge? It's truly something to think about.
*No worries, folks. I don't keep track--I did the math just for this post. I'm working on my writing, and 5,739 says so much more than "a long time."