I awaken to a request for reference from the city of Raytown on a woman whom I know professionally and greatly admire. At the computer keyboard, I struggle to fit my answers into their little boxes which my eyes cannot actually see. I have not yet shaken sleep or stretched but I feel a sense of urgency. I know this woman’s situation; her agency lost a major contract and what colleagues have not abandoned the ship will soon drown. I give her the high marks and heavy praise that she deserves and then begin the rest of my day.
I have not excelled as a self-employed person. But my mornings belong to me if I need them. I can schedule coffee, tarry at home, or do a load of laundry. Unless I have court, I usually set my first appointment no earlier than ten. Trade-offs have plagued me. I get no paycheck and weeks, sometimes agonizing months, can pass with barely enough revenue to survive. But I cannot complain. No one will ask me to clean my desk and take myself off the premises.
The radio blurts a story about art fraud and another about the discovery of an old Spanish colony. I don’t see the connection; nor do I care about either. An earlier interview talked about the desirability of having an African-American Supreme Court nominee. I don’t think that should be the question of the candidate named by the President and considered by the Senate. I want a Supreme Court justice with intelligence, knowledge of Constitutional law and precedent, and a firm dedication to equal protection. The idea of a deadlock on the high court disturbs me. The gridlock in Washington haunts me. But I control neither, so I push those worries aside and turn off the radio. I close my eyes. I begin to stretch, to let the tension fall from my shoulders.
It’s the seventeenth day of the twenty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. The world might not be sane. But my life continues.