She looked at her Schedule one time and again. A week schedule. Other times, she would look at the monthly report. Lately, she would afford to be able to plan by semester. She managed it with strictness, a lot of dedication. Some days, she would start early, without knowing how they would end. Her account wasn’t always the way she wanted, but there was a special taste for freedom and for being a self-assured woman she would never give in for anything in this world; of taking the day off just because; of time being hers according to her needs. This is Constança.
She woke up, as usual, around 7 a.m.. She listened to the news very quickly while she took her morning shower. She mentally reviewed the daily chores: several reports, as usual; a debriefing in the end of the day, as usual; two predictable exits to talk with two potential clients. I liked this good feeling of knowing what to count on. One surprise or another, but the certainty of knowing exactly what to count on in the end of the month, in the end of each semester, in the ensemble of annual activity report. This is Joana.
As usual they meet on Friday night. The warm days would foresee even better nights: a jug of sangria, sometimes two (…), a lot of tidbits with the grandma taste of other times. “Peixinhos da horta” (fish tempura), “chouriça assada” (roasted chouriço sausage), meat pastry, a cheese that you will eat and beg for more and more. One more jug. Giggles were heard, cheerful conversations. A lot of confidences. Sharing one more week, one more week of work. Sharing a lifetime, of those who know the other just by listening to them breathe. Joana and Constança wouldn’t switch their ways of working for anything in this world. Neither one of them. Each one in her own way.
The times are uncertain
Times are uncertain. There are no jobs or the ones that still exist are in extinction. There is work, a lot of work. With and without a timetable. With assured wages in the end of the month and others… don’t know when or how, where money sometimes comes on time, but other times not really. With more or less respected rights and where those rights are also conquered with a lot of patience, persistence and knowing exactly the price they cost, earning them.
Both really love what they do, even if this thing about working on what you love takes time, to rise on the stock exchange of a firm, an institution. Wake up every day with that taste, so difficult to describe, where you just want to do a lot of good things. Even those you don’t really like doing. You do them because they are part of the whole package. To feel that blessing on a daily basis has no price.
I am a Constança. There is no week like the other throughout the whole year. Sometimes I don’t know how the following month will be. The diversity of what happens during the days and weeks are comparable to a roller coaster: it’s dizzying, it brings a tightness in the stomach and, in the end, it gives you that good feeling of getting to a safe coast. Well, it hasn’t always been like this and there isn’t even any certainty that it will always be like this. Sometimes, it would be good to just go for a ride on the big wheel. To go round and round with the safe feeling of one more loop and then another. To know exactly where the loop starts and when it will end, with paced and adjusted movements. To be a Joana.
But there is something really good about this roller coaster thing. Each day is a new day. There is freedom of choice, diversity of people. A very rich human geography. The professional areas aren’t always fragmenting themselves into the same activities. Day after day. There is an uncertain schedule that makes you be very aware of what is going on around you and to be aware is good. Time and profit are valued. They’re ours. They depend on us. Even if it’s tiring and sometimes there is some discouragement and wear-out. I don’t know how long one can carry on like this, either a lifetime or just for a year or two.
To value and savor what we have is learned with time
One thing is for sure. To value and savor what we have is learned with time. Constanças learn how to do it. Constanças, who want to be happy, even if they dream with the uncertainty of their working days.
To enjoy accepting the days and, that done, turn them better and better, is something one can learn. To feel the daily blessing to be busy with a handful of things that make the difference, to surrender in heart and soul to what one has in hands. It is a conquest of a way of being and feeling. Stop complaining. To change what is possible to be changed. To be aware of our value, believe in it and start from that point. Believe with faith what lies in our soul and heart, that all these moments are part of a whole. Even if there are crying days with a lot of yelling with our life. Even so, to know that it is all part of this path. Constanças don’t believe in charming princes, neither in soap-operas. The charm depends on what they want to give or recognize without any great special effects.
The path is long already. We learn how to breathe. A good acceptance of what is changeable and what isn’t. To understand that the mistake is part of the process. It can only be. When we accept several things as being part of this path, a lot of things start decorating it and not stopping us from going on. Yes, it’s true, I would rather not work so many hours. I’ll get there. With time. But it’s a blessing to be able to spend them on what we like. It is also true that we are always in a fuss. In any same day, any Olympic athlete would consider this marathon too rough to accomplish. But every second makes the difference, it is thought and filled in. And we are grateful for it. With no exaggerated laments, nor dumb heroisms. Just acknowledge the many daily blessings.
To live in the present is an art with no hurries
We are always living in the past that was so nice (it always is, isn’t it? The ex-boyfriend who was good after all, now that it’s over, in a platonic love, without any flaws and what was that about picking his nose during a family lunch…) or that left unhealed wounds. There are also those who live in a remote future, by that time everything will be pink with green polka-dots. And in this present, full of things, we forget to give them some flavor.
To live in the present is an art with no hurries. A cream and hazelnut ice-cream that we slowly savor, understanding its texture and the daily challenges of those who know the difference between the velvety and the bitter of days. It is practiced with sacrifice. Knowing that that the thousand colors of the days vary according to the way we are willing to see them. The shades.
I am a Constança who smears ice-cream in her face and is grateful for each opportunity that is given to her. With pulse and a firm walk, we learn and learn again, in a daily effort, to discover the blessings of each day. In a thousand colors Constança, in a thousand colors.
Ana Bela Lopes, the author of “Blog Penso Rápido”, is a psychologist and shows us a different way of finding ourselves “dressing the cape” of any character we intend to assume, to deal with our life and our emotions. www.p-pensorapido.blogspot.com