My non-productive streak that started late last Thursday came to an end earlier this afternoon.
It didn’t come without foreshadowing. Last Saturday, before a meeting for an upcoming church conference, I was reminded that Thursday is a public holiday, and I’ll have to come into the office on another day to make up for it. Since the office doesn’t open on Mondays, and Fridays are out of the question, the only day left was Tuesday.
The second and final metaphorical nail in the coffin came yesterday night, around 9.30P.M., from the boss herself:
“jo… can come in tmr after lunch?”
And so my dreams of slipping away from work and playing Skyrim all day were crushed.
While I was working, I repeatedly told anyone who would listen that all I want is a good, long break so I can do all the things that I wanted to do: sleep late, write, sit at home, read, play computer games, watch TV series, catch up on movies that I’ve missed. Except I found out that unemployed does not necessarily mean without work. It just means that no one’s obligated to pay me to do work.
The true bumming around only started last Thursday, I guess, when I even stopped writing the mandatory 2,000 words a day for my various writing projects. (I still updated this space, so it wasn’t REAL bumming… But close enough.) In that time, I discovered a couple of things about my troubled relationship with work.
Work makes me productive. It’s true. Just like how you have to apply pressure for the toothpaste to come oozing out of the tube, I need pressure to churn words out onto the screen. As much as I’d like everyone to get off my back about responsibilities, I also need to realize that without them, I’ll never get anything done.
Also, work gives me purpose. Even “meaningless” work like sending emails, compiling names, sorting out logistics… The boredom at monotony reminds me to put effort into the things I value. When I had all day to write, I spread the act out over the day, writing in bursts of 100-200 words with hours in between them. When I busied myself with work, I had an average of 2 hours at night to write in between dinner and sleep. I made those 2 hours count. Writing was purposeful.
Lastly: work gives me security. It sounds like a bad thing to say, but I don’t think I’d be able to live with the uncertainty of whether I’ll be able to stretch my finances until the next paycheck or not. God knows that there are people who thrive on living that way, but I don’t think that it’s for me.
(it’s why I hope to attain celebrity status in the writing world – so that no matter what kind of work I manage to hack out, there will always be a market for it)
Today is the first day back to doing things. I may or may not resume the writing for A Song For The Rain later tonight. I have, at the very least, gotten some actual work done today.
It feels good.