As I noted recently, I’ve been working the Census. But as the
September 30 October 4 deadline approached, it became physically harder. The irony is that as my country needed me the most, I had to cut back. You can only do so much.
When the area I was covering was in my neighborhood, roughly Pine Hills for you Albanians, it was an easier process. I’d tool around on the bike for four hours. Then come home for a 30-minute lunch, while recharging my precious phone, then do another four hours. I’d be tired but it was manageable. One week I’d work Monday and Tuesday, take Wednesday off, then work Thursday through Saturday.
I always took Sunday off. From a purely monetary position. that made no sense. There was a bonus for working Sundays. And indeed for working up to 10 hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as the deadline loomed. Back in 1990, when the decennial Census was my only source of income, I would have jumped on that. But I was thirty years fresher. Now a relative of mine is putting in a lot of weekend hours, but he’s a younger man than I.
It was an obsession, actually
My understanding wife realized I was a bit on a mission. My share of housecleaning collapsed, as did the yardwork. Writing this blog and volunteer work fell off. Speaking of falling, the Census folks were always pushing useful information such as don’t walk while texting, and using three points of contact when using the stairs.
As I started working further from home, it came more difficult to get back for lunch. That wasn’t that big a deal, actually. Charging the phone was an issue, though. And, TMI, finding a loo in the days of COVID is trickier. I was near the state museum once; nope, still closed.
So on the penultimate full week, I decided to work six five-hour days. Five hours is as long we can legally work without taking a break. The phone doesn’t need a recharge, and the shorter day was better for me.
Aging is a process. And a mindset, I suppose.