It’s time to refocus. Why are we doing this again? This job is hard. It’s a lot of work, a lot of hours and we don’t get much time off. And even though we’re in this truck together, “together time” is actually pretty hard to come by. The majority of the time, one of us is driving while the other sleeps. Then we switch. Switch again. Repeat.
We work until we burnout, cry, feel angry and want to blame the world for our poor luck. We make plans to restart ourselves over our “weekend,” which rarely works. These “weekends” have been consisting of a Monday afternoon and a Tuesday morning, and that’s it. Our plans are made with just enough time to fit in laundry, grocery shopping, sleep, and if we’re really lucky, a movie and ice cream.
God forbid we make “real” plans. “This weekend, let’s just get a hotel for two nights and relax.” Or “this weekend, let’s hang out with friends.” Or, “this weekend, lets tell our family to drive three hours for a visit.” Then the truck breaks down. Or our back haul is a late pick-up with a Monday delivery in Milwaukee shortening our already short weekend. Our “real” plans are cancelled and we’re back to the basics – scramble to get laundry done. Shopping. Shower. Sleep – maybe. And back to work.
It might seem like we’re lucky because we get this special “home time” every week, but I’m not so sure. Normal over-the-road truckers usually get their 34-hour resets on the road somewhere. They park the truck at a truck stop, wash laundry, shop, relax in the truck with a movie, go for a walk, shower… in a place where that’s all they can do. Being home every “weekend” for us means do all that and try to see our family and friends on top of it all. Because we love them and miss them and we really, really want to. And then we just pray they all understand when we can’t. Or just don’t have the energy. Or choose to hibernate in an expensive hotel room by ourselves instead. And appear to be anti-social hermits.
Yeah, it’s a really tough job. Again I ask myself, “why are we doing this?”
Refocus, Robin. There are reasons.
• First of all, we are no longer living paycheck to paycheck. For the first time in our lives. This feels good.
• We are paying off our large amounts of credit card and student loan debt the responsible way. By working our butts off to pay back what we spent before we had the money to spend what we spent. (We take a lot of pride in this and have learned a huge lesson in all of it… which is a whole other subject.)
• It’s an adventure. (I think this is my favorite reason.)
• We might not be “together” every moment, feet on the dash singing road-trip songs in unison while flying down the road in the sunshine blaring the air horn at all the passing kids pumping their arm at us (although, we will pull the air horn when it’s safe to do so). But we are together. We’re working as a team, and we make a damn fine team, might I add.
• The scenery. I love this scenery. This “office” window is pretty much the coolest and beats out a cubicle wall every day of the week.
• We’re mobile. We’re moving. Literally – and more importantly, figuratively – forward.
• We’re going somewhere. Besides to California to deliver palettes of paper. We’ve got a million plans. Fun plans. Some we’ll do, some we won’t, but we’re working towards bigger things. (Maybe this is my favorite reason.)
It’s so incredibly hard. I constantly try to stay positive and focus on the good times and fun parts, and usually I succeed. But sometimes, like now, I fail and wallow in comfortable negativity. To be honest – damn. It’s difficult to keep doing this some days. Weeks. I like to think that I’m a pretty mentally-tough chick, and I guess that’s a good thing, because I have to be out here.
So, as burnout chases us down the road, gains on us at light speed, we run. We trip. We fall. We slowly get back up with tears in our eyes, scraped knees, bruises and a splitting headache, then brush ourselves off, find a way to take a damned vacation more than a half day, and hit the road again until we can do it all over again.
We’re going somewhere.
Enjoy the good parts, no matter how insignificant they seem, or how short-lived they are, and keep brushing off the crap and moving foward.
Sigh. Right now we could just use a couple of weeks to run smoothly to keep us from going insane.
Or I could find a cheap teddy bear and rip its fuzzy little head off. That might work, too.
Tonight I love humor. ‘Cause sometimes that’s all ya’ got. Onward.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!