298. Monotony

Question: Why is it that we “launch” a career but “land” a job?


There’s something quite predictable about work. I mean, sure, every new project is a brave new adventure and all those things, but there’s a certain rhythm that you just fall into when you begin at a full-time job. You learn to wake up at a certain time in the morning, leave the house at a certain time, have a certain sort of breakfast, do a certain sort of morning routine, work, have a certain sort of lunch, work, have a certain sort of evening routine, go home at a certain time, and sleep at a certain time.

More or less.

I know this because I’ve been in and out of it. The first full-time job I had was cleaning up some accounts at an office situated in the heart of KL (to this day, I wonder what form of insanity possessed them into thinking that hiring me to do accounts was even remotely a good idea). I had a routine then; and when I went off to National Service, which is routine personified, and came back from it, everything fell apart. I woke and slept at irregular hours, and filled the hours in between with all sorts of unpredictable activities. One evening, I looked out into the rain, and decided to stand outside in it and get drenched. Why? Because.

And it was so for the years I spent in college/university. I had a part-time job doing copywriting and video editing for my local church, but it never put me into a routine. Then earlier this year, as I was coerced into the full-time position at that company, it’s like the clock in me starting working again, and again I found myself waking up at a certain time, doing certain things during the day, and going to sleep at a certain time at night.

But just to be sure, I had a whole month off before getting back into a full-time job where I am right now.

There’s a certain rhythm to it that’s oddly calming, no matter how upbeat it may be. You get used to the tempo after a while. And without major breaks in the BPM, it’s easy to let the melody wash over you and forget the passing of time.

Which is how, I think, some people just lose track of the passing of the months and years as they work, only to realize that their dreams have died unfulfilled while they were hypnotized by the monotony of work.

It is the 3rd Tuesday I’m spending at work. A Song For The Rain still sits at 30,000 words. I was only reminded of it when yesterday, a friend and constant reader buzzed me up on Facebook chat, asking for the latest installment of May’s adventures. I had to tell him, regrettably, that there was no latest installment to speak of.

I could shrug it off and say that I’ve been busy working on Grounded. But there’s only 2,000 words in that story – what I used to write in a single day. I fear that if I don’t force a slot for writing into the monotony that is now taking over my life, there will be no more stories to tell.

I should get on that.

I mean. I really, really should get on that.

Before it’s too late.


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