Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Visit to the Real World

Since losing my last steady job (it may be in the couch cushions, I can't be sure), I've been lucky enough to get by with part-time gigs and temporary work assignments, on top of the writing. I've had a few chances to go back to the daily grind/steady paycheck world, but freedom from the cubicle has been difficult to give up. I know myself well enough to recognize that if I took a full time position, that I wouldn't just walk away if it wasn't for me. So why put myself or some unsuspecting company in that position? If I choose a Full-Time gig, it will be "until lay-offs do us part".

So for now, I'm embracing my fear of (job) committment; my goal of self-employment celebrates my Un-attached (to a company) status.

This week, I worked a temp job; I answered phones, logged deposits, entered data-- that sort of thing. The work was not difficult. What drained me, I think, is the amount of time spent in each day that had to be allocated to everything but my own life. The days became all about this outside job.  I had to actually COMMUTE, a concept I really haven't had to deal with for years. Besides working at home, my other jobs have been at most ten minutes away. Yes, I've been spoiled. This week, I had to drive about 20 miles there, and 20 miles back. I KNOW this is not crazy, but for me, this added planning and scheduling I've avoided. How does my alarm clock work again?

The round trip felt like part of the work day for me. I mean, you have to drive and think, that's it. So your mind is constantly on The Work -- am I going to be to work on time? Will work be good? on the way there, and wow, that was a long day. I can't believe how many times I had to repeat the same things all day.. on the way back.

As soon as I got home, I had to start dinner. I had already planned what I would be making, so that wasn't so difficult. The hard part was no real down time in between. I've been taking an online class that meets at 6, so by the time I made it home and threw dinner in the oven, I had to hide away in my office. When class was over, I had some of the dinner. By this time, I was exhausted. I had writing to do, but my brain seemed to be stuck on snooze.

"How do people do this everyday?" I asked my husband, someone who has to wake up at 3AM every morning to make it to work on time, yet still finds time to perfect his guitar skills. He, understandably, had little sympathy.

"This is the real world," he told me.

He's right. I'd forgotten.

Well, it's interesting place to visit, but I'm still not sure if I want to live there.

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