Friday, June 18, 2010

How to fill a day

How do we fill our days? Up until a short time ago many of my days every week were jam packed with things to do for at least a 14 hour stretch. During that time I would rise at say 5AM, putter around the house until 7, take an hour to get ready for work and then drive 30 miles to my job, excuse me, "my career". Very rarely did I stop once I arrived; not for coffee, not for lunch, not for breaks with the exception of the occasional cigarette. At somewhere after 6 that afternoon I would again get into my vehicle and drive the 30 miles home, sometimes stopping for dinner, gas or maybe something that I was either out of or that was running low at home. By the time I drove into my driveway, went and picked up the mail, did the obligatory waves, pulled into the garage and climbed the few steps into my home, the time was usually around 7PM; often times later.

Every other week for five days straight my career deemed that I was on call from the time I stepped out of work until, well, until 5 full days later. On call in this job meant of course working each full day and then continuing by answering the business telephones when necessary all night. Not a week would go by when I wasn't out of bed, putting on a suit and heading to a family's home or to a hospital to pick up a deceased person; this would sometimes happen several nights in a row, sometimes more than once a night, and very rarely was it ever anytime but between the hours of midnight and 6AM. So during this five day stretch I would get in at 7, quickly eat something, jump on the computer and check my email and maybe if I felt adventurous that night play a game before I hopped into bed and forced myself to sleep in anticipation of having to get up and get out some time during that night.
So were my days full? HELL YES!!!

This stretch of work days and on call nights would leave me physically and mentally exhausted and it would take my body the next several days to get back to being somewhat rested; I was still putting in the 14 hours during the day. Then, thankfully, I would be off for 4 days and during that time I was able to clean my house, wash my clothes, visit the dry cleaners, iron my shirts, shop for my food, pay my bills, and even squeeze in some enjoyment before it started all over again. This was my life. Literally filled to the brim with things to do, but there never seemed to be enough time to do anything but work; was THIS what I wanted? As you know, THAT was not what I wanted.

Today I got up at 5:30, (still haven't broken the habit but I'm working on it!), gave myself some time to actually wake up and spent it out back watching the sun come up with a big glass of milk and of course my cigarettes. I then decided I would write a blog post this morning, hence "How to fill a day". I've gotten to read a few blogs already, some really interesting news articles, and even did a little research on freelance writing. In a way it's difficult to try to replace activity in those hours when I used to work but I'm definitely getting used to it, I love not having to worry about the time; now my only concern is the day/date and that's only because I have some plans and appointments in the near future. Later on I'll jump in the shower and head out the door and see where my feet take me. There are a few things that I feel I "have" to get done but in all reality, right now, nothing "has" to be done and it feels good. How does one fill their day? I guess the optimal way is to be able to reasonably do exactly what you want, when you want to do it!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One down

The last post I wrote was in February and in it I mentioned that I was feeling better and had some major decisions ahead of me. These decisions I spoke of were not something that I was being forced to decide, they were more like decisions that I knew I needed to make to get on with my life. See...for the past 15 months I have just been doing what I felt was expected of me with little or no regard to what I really wanted from the rest of my life. I'm not saying that anyone told me that I should be doing what I was or wasn't doing, it was more of an expectation that I had placed upon myself. I was living a robotic life which basically was wake up, go to work, come home, eat something, get ready for the next day, go to sleep and start all over again.

I know that I'm not alone in that type of life, that many, many people believe this to be the norm and have done it for many years; but where was it getting me? Closer to death and being miserable while I was doing it? To me, that just didn't seem to be why I am on this earth. Although I know that every minute of any one's life can't be wonderful, there have to be down times when we actually are grunt like, but the longer I continued to follow that pattern, the more it seemed as if it was the right way to go. So I made a break. I couldn't not wash clothes, I couldn't stop eating or cleaning my house, the only part of that cycle that I felt I had a little control over changing was my job and that's where I struck. The majority of you that read this will think I've lost my mind but a week ago Wednesday I simply turned in a resignation effective immediately. In answer to your thoughts, no, I do not have another job lined up, no, I will not be able to collect unemployment and no, so far I don't regret it.

The first few days after I resigned I wondered what I had done to myself and I even thought I might be going nuts. In these times of economic unrest, when many, many, many, people are searching for work and basically eating beans, I threw away a well paying, sort of recession-proof job and opted to be unemployed with really no income. Sounds brilliant doesn't it? Sounds like the actions of a totally sane person right? Well, wrong; it sounds like I've finally flipped my lid, that's what it sounds like.

Right now I'm doing nothing at all, and by the way enjoying it. I do however have lots of time to complete some things I need to get done, I have lots of time to visit some people and places I've wanted to see and go to for some time, I have plenty of time to decide where I want to spend the rest of my life and what I want to do with it when I get there...that's very exciting to me! This may actually force my hand to do what I need to do; again a new life...only jobless...but that's fine. For the time being, that's one thing I don't have to concern myself with, well, not too terribly.

So, one down, a few more to go, and by the time I'm through I'll have hit it out of the park!