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!

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