Day Job Drain


An Office

What the hell, Noble Anarchist – two months go by and not a single post!? How do you expect to gain more followers when you treat the ones you already have in such a way! For shame! So where the hell have you been, anyway? The last we heard you were tootling around Turkey in some rental car… then blamo! …not another word!

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Well folks, something has become very clear to me these last two months after doing a contract with Jetpack Interactive: even though it was in fact only a four day work week, and a fairly low-stressed one at that when compared with other jobs I’ve worked in the past – when I dabble in the real world with these so-called job thingies, other than boozin’ with friends, I really cease to do the things I want to actually be doing in my life. Case in point: this very blog.

I don’t know what it is… I’ve been thinking about it a lot this past week in fact. When I work a regular job, something fundamentally changes that I have a really hard time getting around. Why don’t… or maybe it’s why can’t I continue to do all the things I would normally do if I didn’t have a regular job? Well, the obvious answer to that of course is time. But what about those quicker-to-do tasks, like churning out the odd blog post to appease the masses? There’s no reason I can’t do that now and again in my spare time. Or how about exercising once in a while… I do that when I’m not working. Practicing the guitar? …or reading? Working on my eBook? Continuing down the list of building projects I want to do? Calling friends and family? Researching random stuff on the internet like how to pay less on my phone bill, or what the cheapest flight out of here is right now?

I like my eight hours of sleep – so since I have to get up at 7:45, I go to bed by around 11:30. I get to the office at 9 because that’s when I have to be there for the morning stand up meeting (as the kids are now calling them), and I have to stay there and keep myself busy contributing to the task at hand for at least eight hours. So I leave at 5:00 or perhaps 5:30, thus leaving me with around five hours each day to do what I want to do, after other nightly things like getting somewhere, brushing my teeth or feeding myself have taken their share.

That’s not fantastic if you ask me, being able to spend around 20% of my time doing stuff that isn’t absolutely necessary each work day, but it is definitely a lot better than most other people I recognize: longer commutes, children duties beyond spending quality time with them, wasting time watching TV, overtime spent at the office, etc, etc. But five hours is still a decent enough time that I should be able to continue to exercise, write on my blog, read, etc, etc. Right? So why don’t I???

Mental exhaustion I guess has to be the first reason. Who wants to spend eight hours in a day wracking their brain on someone else’s difficult technical problem, then head home and work on other brain teasers like how to publish an eBook on the internet, or what the format of the next blog post will be. Physical exhaustion too: the body gets really used to doing little to nothing for 2/3’s of the day, plus the potentially poor eating habits at the office, not to mention the fact that sitting upright in a chair all day without moving much actually does require energy. Going home after work and running or hitting the gym doesn’t necessarily appeal to me (although, if I force myself I usually don’t mind it… but it shouldn’t be that hard to get into it!). Stress! Oh the stress – often my mind is still back at the office, making getting into guitar-playing or book-reading mode a difficult task at the end of a long day. Wait… I’m starting to see why drinking and socializing is such a popular option for me during these times – it makes me forget my stresses, and requires little mental or physical energy! Hmm…

Here’s the thing: I bet almost every working fool is like me in their own, same-same but different way. And almost certainly they’ve completely lost sight of what the things are that they actually want to be doing and probably would be doing each day if they didn’t have to have a job. In fact, they might not even know what those things are because they’ve never put themselves in a position to find out! Spending a week on your own at home during the company’s down time between two projects does not allow someone to figure out the things they naturally like to do when they are given the time.

I quit my last job back at the end of January, spent the month of February building a deck and moving, then March unpacking and figuring out some of the things that I want to work towards before our trip in May, and I spent the month of April doing those things.  Each day in April I woke up whenever I was done sleeping for the night, I would enjoy a cup of coffee while catching up on things, make breakfast and get dressed, do something on my long list of small tasks I had going. I’d then go for a walk, or run, or bike ride, shower, work on my side project for a few hours, eat dinner, work on the blog a bit, watch an episode of something and enjoy a glass of wine, then hit the hay in time for another day of doing a set of often different, but sometimes the same steps. This year’s April was “livin’ the dream”, as they say.

As it turns out, April is now the goal. Its how my life should be lived all the time. Last April is the new age 65 (except a lot further from death, plus a good dose of travelling thrown in for good measure). Until I’ve found enough passive income to make this be the case, I will likely have to take the odd job when it is necessary. But when the time is right, no more working (at least in the sense that most people think of it!) for the Noble Anarchist.


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