Staying vigilant

October 20, 2009

For years my life was driven by my work schedule. Five days a week, and sometimes more. Plus travel.

Get up, get ready, commute to work. Sit in an office. Commute home. Collapse. Or travel like crazy, then collapse.

Add to that the years we traveled to a weekend home 85 miles from work.

Sound familiar?

Stress abounds in a schedule-driven life, whether it’s work and too much scheduled play, or a constant stream of soccer games, cheerleading practice and music lessons.

Add to that the instant nature of today’s communication: the assumption that any email needs an immediate response, and text message an even MORE immediate response.

We are way too busy. And it’s stressful.

What’s lost in all this is “alone time.” Time to regenerate.

I’ve always needed more alone time than most. Entire weekends just to myself. I might do an orgy of DVDs. Read incessantly. Drive to the ocean. Or prowl the mall.

Even though I’m no longer working a full-time job, teaching three days a week plus the prep work and homework keeps me on more of a schedule than I like.

Today’s a “day off”, but I’m busier than ever. I don’t even have time to grade homework.

I’m wondering what it’ll be like in January, when it dawns on me that I’m not working. At all.

I wonder how long it’ll be before I’ll try to commit myself to something like a job. Out of habit.

It’s already happening, with a CEO waiting until I am settled next year so we can discuss working together.

Making money is seductive. Working is a knee-jerk thing for me. I’ve never known anything else.

Thinking it might be a good idea to be vigilant about this. To take the writing time I planned. To enjoy my time with M.

And not cover myself up with consulting work and schedules and teaching. At least not for a while.

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