“Emma, we get it, you finally have a job, would you shut up about it already?”
My apologies, disgruntled reader, but I’m bringing it up again.
In case you haven’t heard, I FINALLY HAVE A FREAKING JOB.
I have so much job, in fact, that I barely have anything else. I have a job from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. most days right now. I probably have a pretty good idea what Santa’s assembly line elves feel like during December. My office even celebrated Christmas in July last Friday, so it’s a pretty authentic comparison. I took this video from the party, so you could get a visual:
They warned me that it would be like this during “Fall.” (Apparently, the marketing industry is very seasonally confused). Anyway, they warned me, but I didn’t listen to them. I went ahead and joined the company softball team anyway. I rummaged around in my closet for those old cleats, chose my jersey number, and I even bought some softball appropriate clothing from TJ Max. You could say I was invested. All of this was, of course, at the very precipice preceding the Fall season. I felt the impending doom, but was optimistic that I would be able to carve out one evening a week for some mediocre “athleticism.” Yay sports! Yay camaraderie! Yay making up for a two season losing streak in high school!
WRONG. I went to two games. Two Monday nights of witnessing my coworkers in their stretchy pants. By the way—I won more games during those two games of company softball than I did in TWO YEARS of playing the sport in high school.
By week three, I was fully suffering under the weight of the Fall season. Monday night’s game came, and went, and I was still stuck in my cube while my teammates were slapping hands and mumbling “good game” to complete corporate strangers.
Week three was followed by week four, five, and six, and I eventually just gave up all hope of ever swinging a bat again. I avoided running into the team’s captain at the copier—anxious to avoid disappointed looks. I dreaded the weekly emails about the team lineup and game timing, knowing that I would have to press decline again.
Last week, a meeting request came through for the team, but I skimmed enough to realize it was for a pre-game team dinner. I absentmindedly declined, without giving it another thought. That is, until HR-lady came over to my cube around 5:30.
“Hi!” she smiled.
“Hi?…” I questioned back.
“Are you coming?” she inquired.
“Oh, to the dinner? No…I…have to work.” I nervously laughed.
At this point, HR-lady smiled and laughed, awkwardly wishing me speedy work as she sidled her way back towards the boisterous cluster of my former teammates.
LOL. Like I would ever go to the end-of-season celebratory team dinner after only participating in two games. I wouldn’t dare be so precocious, even if it was free food. Everyone knows I’m not really on the team—I’m just on the email list. If you don’t wear sliders, you don’t eat sliders: that’s what my mom always said. (It’s right up there with, “You gotta risk it for the [chicken] biscuit,” and other food-related quips).*
To be honest, the softball team isn’t the only area of my life that has been completely sunk by my tidal wave of work. Obviously, I’m sure you’ve been severely peeved by a severe lack of blog posts on my part. In all seriousness, though, I’ve been lax in my relationship with God and His people. This past year, I struggled with too much time and not enough work. In the past few months, the problem has reversed. Distracted by deadlines, I’ve dodged my real duties and become distant from what is dearest to me. While still searching for a church home, I’ve done the bare-minimum in terms of communing and finding a Christian family. I’ve put my spiritual life on pause because I haven’t had time to invest.
But I can’t do that anymore—because if I don’t show up for the games, I can’t expect to be a real part of the team. How can I expect to be comfortable at the end-of-season dinner, if I’m not at home in the dugout? While the softball team might be able to slide down my priorities list in a pinch, my time in fellowship and the word just can’t. I need to be on the team, not just on the email list.
*My lovely mother has never actually uttered either of the aforementioned slogans. It’s okay, though, she was still a decent parent, I guess.