When you realise what exactly you’ve been working for.
Wake up at 4 a.m., drink coffee, don’t fall asleep.
Get washed and dressed in 15 minutes, take the dog out, run to the bus at 4:50 a.m., drink coffee, don’t fall asleep.
Get on the bus to the airport and pray that the journey is smooth. Jump off as soon as it arrives to catch the first train to Tel Aviv, stay alert, don’t fall asleep.
Change platforms at HaHagana and move along so that you will board at the front of the train leaving you perfectly positioned to exit within 2 minutes at your final destination, run into the office a few minutes before 7 a.m., get straight to work, don’t fall asleep.
Fueled by caffeine and sugar to counteract the side effects of my chronic pain medication, these were the steps I took just in order to earn a steady paycheck.
And I miss it.
I miss not worrying about paying my bills like I did when I was being paid by the hour. Yes, in the past I cooked and cleaned and collapsed in exhaustion daily to pay my way. Yes I’m willing to do that again, but even those jobs are thin on the ground (and available to those who are far more qualified).
I miss having purpose, I miss certainty, security. I miss many things.
I’m not alone. We’ve all worked long and hard, thinking that we can rely on our institutions in times of crisis.
When we find that we can’t? We will find cause to protest. We will find ourselves in Paris Square. Find that we are not alone.
Wake up, realise how things really work, don’t fall asleep.