Friday, August 3, 2012

The Working Woman: Console Me, Please

Every night this week, I've done that thing you see in movies and on TV shows that tell the tale of the hardworking career woman.

I come home after 9 p.m. after a 12-hour workday, put my keys on the hook by the door, unload my bags on the table, kick off my shoes, start to take my earrings and watch off, get rid of my "work" clothes -- black pencil skirt and nice top -- trading them in for comfy lounge pants and my Boulder Startup Week T-shirt. I look at my living room, look at the kitchen, realize that my entire apartment is in need of a huge scrub-down, stare blankly into my fridge and pick a random something that's been in the fridge too long to warm up, plop on the couch, pray that Hulu has something mind-numbing in my queue to watch, find out otherwise, start working -- again -- and consider how I'd kill to have a husband or kids to serve as an excuse to step away from work more often than I do.

The nonprofit world isn't gentle on a working girl these days. I've been complaining -- a lot -- this week on Social Media about the mind-explosion-inducing level of work I've been enduring. I love my job, and I love my coworkers. It's the kind of work where I know I take on and commit to more than I can possibly accomplish in the 30 hours a week I'm paid for. The work amounts to more like 70 hours a week, putting me on my computer and throwing together some newsletter or graphic or social update or website fix or email list or ... something ... from the moment I wake up until quite literally the moment I close my computer and go into my bedroom (although I always check to make sure something didn't come up at, you know, the ridiculous hour that I happen to crawl into bed).

This week, my comfort-before-bed was in the book In Black and White by Dov Haller -- an Artscroll tome. I know, I know. Chaviva's dipping her toe in the Rabbi Artscroll pool. But the water is good, and I really, really enjoyed this book (mad props to Mrs. Z for letting me borrow it all those weeks ago). But it was the kind of reading that put my mind at ease and gave me some food for thought and Yiddish to nosh on while dozing off. (Word of the week: Abishter -- the Yiddish word for HaShem.)

And yet, I feel exhausted from too many nights of bad sleep, not making it to the gym at all this week as a result (I was set to go today between work and the work event tonight, but, well, I ended up working) didn't help either. I. am. beat.

So this Shabbat is Shabbat Nachuma. Baruch HaShem! In a nutshell:
Shabbat Nachamu means "Sabbath of Consolation." Shabbat Nachamu is the first of seven haftarot starting with the Shabbat after Tisha B'Av and leading up to Rosh Hashanah. These readings are meant to console us after the destruction of the Temple and reassure us that it will be built again. As with Shabbat Hazon, the cycle of Torah readings is structured in such a way that these readings will occur on the appropriate weeks.
I look forward to being consoled, to knowing that yes, the Temple will be rebuilt. After weeks like this, where I feel worked to the bone at a Jewish educational nonprofit, where every moment I spend working plays a role in tikkun olam and filling Jewish souls with the nurturing of knowledge, I have to believe that Mashiach is not far off. And -- puhlease HaShem -- rebuild the Temple soon, in this lifetime.

And, you know, a nice relaxing Shabbos would be nice, too. Please HaShem?