The end of shoulder season's shoulder season

When you haven’t gotten your first summer paycheck and you fear for your life, your rent, and your bank account.

The bases on all of my skis have turned white, my lease is almost up, and my ski pants are so dirty and faded that no detergent can save them from their thrift store fate.  Spring is definitely here.

And with that, I am back to the work grind.  I, like so many other devoted skiers who are trying to do something/anything in the world of this sport, spend the spring and summer months working multiple jobs and capitalizing on the spend-happy tourists that visit our mountain and national park rich homes during the less rugged, warmer months.  My anxiety has been high.  The month of May is scary.  Winter is gone, and with it the memories of snowy months full of travel and adventure and my own spend-happy moments.  There is this two week period during May, between when I just spent most of my savings on doing happy adventure things, and when my first paycheck after starting up work again hits my bank account.  This is a terrifying two weeks.

During these weeks, I walk on eggshells.  I scrape the bottom of the peanut butter jar and pull the bladder out my almost empty box of wine and squeeze the last drops out by hand.  Every dinner invitation is accepted, no matter the company.  Only very calculated risks are taken for fear that something costly will go wrong.  This is the time of year that you really don’t want to bring your car in for a routine, end of winter oil change and end up getting a phone call from your mechanic who tells you that your drive shaft is fucked and you’re going to need to replace that because your Subi is, straight up, unsafe.  You guessed correctly, this is a real life situation.  This is when my anxiety really skyrocketed and I started volunteering for extra shifts even though I was already working 60 hour weeks.

Now let me tell you about that, the going back to work thing.  It is hard to spend 5 months playing every day doing the thing you love most in this world, and then suddenly, spend every day doing something that you love a whole lot less.  Disclaimer: this is not a plea for sympathy.  I’m just saying, it is a rude awakening, and one that haven’t fully adjusted to yet.  It is however, what I have to do to do what I want to do.  You feel me?

I choose this life.  I love this life.  I spend every day in the winter doing amazing things.  I am acutely aware that I am alive.  I know that I have a pulse and that my lungs and my heart and my body all work.  I speed down mountains, fly through the air, and slash pow turns like a boss.  But this girl has gotta work to keep that dream on spinning.  So, get to work work work work.

Of course, the end game is to spend the not so snowy months doing something that I love too.  I’m working on figuring that out, and it’s ok that I haven’t yet.  I’m still having a pretty great time, and I sure do love my life.

The drive shaft is fixed, there is food in the oven, wine in my glass, and my paycheck goes through to my bank account at midnight.  I made it.  Goodbye anxiety, see you next year!