In 2010, I worked three jobs simultaneously, driving from one job and one Key to another, back-to-back with only an hour in between, to get these jobs done. I abhorred one job’s customers while I shook my head at another one’s fourth inept manager in as many weeks. The third job, however, I loved–both the management and the customers. It ranks up there as one of the best in the Keys.
In 2010, I had three days off in September and two days off in October. I am not complaining about this. I am, however, still marveling that I actually survived the grueling schedule marked by double upon double. That I face a two-week stint without a break as I transition from one Keys job to a new opportunity off the Rock, bothers me not at all. Been there and done it pretty well–like a multiple-mile run you think you can never finish, but always do, and always feeling energized by the sheer effort and fact that you did.
In 2010, I lived with and loved my great guy, I fretted a lot and worried more than is healthy about money and jobs. Always, I wondered what was next of any value for me in the Keys.
On January 1, 2011, I say farewell to this strange, beautiful, churning azure water world I have called a home of sorts for two years. On January 1, 2011, I take on a “real” job–as real as tending bar can be. “Real,” in this case, means benefits, paid days off, 401k, and all the other employment trinkets we all used to take for granted and now eagerly covet–the trinkets that used to be called golden handcuffs in a grander job on a grander scale in a work world that is no more.
On January 1, 2011, I will wish I had done the following while living in the Keys:
–Taken in the show at Theater of the Sea in Islamorada.
–Perused the Diving Museum in Islamorada.
–Visited the sea turtle hospital in Marathon.
–Eaten roasted chicken and sipped Cuban coffee at the Sunshine Market in Tavenier.
–Fished beyond the reef.
–Caught a big fish anywhere.
On January 1, 2011, I will miss the following about the Keys:
–Watching sunrise steps away from my front door.
–Watching sunset steps away from my front door.
–Knowing the most local of locals on several Keys–their drinks; their smiles; the variations in their gray ponytails; their bad moods; their snickered gossip; their masked former, incredible lives; their acceptance of me as one of them–but only and understandably, just so much.
No time is wasted time. All time is time that allows you to grow even when you are past grown. 2011 is just in time.
I wish happiness and prosperity and peace for my newly connected siblings; for my former, excellent manager who deserves so much more; and for my great guy as we hold near to our hearts the best of all we had in 2010 and look forward to 2011 together, again.
Happy New Year to all.