Most people, when faced with an abundance of free time, would take out their to-do list and get started.
But we've already established I'm not most people (in oh-so-many ways). I mean well. Really, I do. I have great ambitions.
I haven't worked more than two days in the last month-plus. Medical leave forced two weeks, circumstances forced the rest. Anyone who spoke to me toward the end of my recovery knew I was itching to get back to work. Sitting around doing nothing only works for me when it involves, sea, sand and beer.
So you would think that I'd get right on that to-do list. Here is the perfect opportunity to organize all my paperwork. To deep clean the house. To get started with an exercise program. To blog!
Here is what I've done: Thought about organizing my paperwork. Wished the house was cleaner (although I did take down all the windows and wash them inside and out). Walked on the beach two different days. Started to write this entry. And it has taken me 30 days to do this?!?
It's so bad, that even when I have small accomplishments, I still feel inadequate. All I did yesterday was exercise, go to the farmer's market and Trader Joe's, make dinner.
I guess I have to admit what I have always known: I'm a lazy-ass, and there only a handful of options people like me have. Like structure and routine. I sit here and think, "If I could just get a routine going I'd be OK."
But unemployment doesn't lend itself well to structure. Which means I have to create it. Monday I will organize the bills. Tuesday I will exercise. Wednesday I will .... etc.
And right now, that's the hardest part.
It doesn't help, either, that the other part of me, the really lazy part that doesn't really want to do the things I know I should do, is constantly scheming to take advantage of the free time. Maybe I should go to Sardinia and hang out with my friends. It doesn't cost more to live there than to live in Long Beach (except for our mortgage and the air fare ...) Maybe I should fly to Chicago and hang out with friends there. (That pesky air fare issue again). What if I ... and you get the picture.
How can someone with such good intentions and ambitions accomplish so little? I think maybe that's why the kind of job I had for so long was good for me. Newspaper production jobs are rigidly constructed. You have to accomplish x, y and z in a set period of time -- no ifs, ands or buts.
At work, I could make a list and check things off and know that by the time I was off the clock, I was actually finished. I would have guessed that same thing would work at home, but I find that the list just sits there, unchecked, and I'm never, ever finished. And I suppose, too, that being so productive at work gave me an excuse to be less productive at home.
But something's gotta give. My current lifestyle is making me nuts.