We didn’t break a record for heat yesterday, but according to the Boston Globe, the city reached 100 degrees for the first time in eight years, only the 24th time in the last century that temperatures were recorded that high. At my non-air-conditioned house, fans blasted. The thermometer recorded 99 degrees in the shade outside the family room and it was over 90 in my kitchen before I high-tailed it out mid-afternoon. Driving across our sweltering town, I staked a newly acquired beach umbrella and planted myself in its shade as the tide rolled in over the smooth stones and seaweed rags decorating the sand.
In spite of the fact that I was up and writing at 7:00 yesterday and didn’t stop until 1:00, after so many years in which an employer called the shots, years in which my schedule wasn’t my own, I can’t get used to this freedom. I twisted and turned in my beach chair, cognizant of the fact that even though I spent the morning writing, it wasn’t paying work. Freelance jobs seem to have dried up in the summer heat and for the first time, I’m the only one in the house not earning a pay check. My husband commutes to RI each day, and the resident sixteen-year-old heads off to her cashier job at a pizza seafood joint located in the next town over, where the kitchen temps hit well over 100 degrees yesterday, and she is now being trained to cook.
I’m trying to overcome the notion that a sense of value must be stapled to a number with zeros following it, but after so many years of experience in that regard, I struggle. In light of the lack of paying work, I’ve given myself writing goals and am achieving them. This helps in bolstering the old confidence level, and offers a certain sense of accomplishment.
But, sorry to say, I have yet to get to the point where it makes me feel worthy of a day at the beach.