Monday, May 3, 2010

The Quandries of the No-Longer-Unemployed

If you read here, you may recall that I was unemployed since August. Well, now that it's been nearly a full nine months (my unemployment has come to term? -sorry) I have finally acquired a job! Never fear, dear reader, who has undoubtedly been biting thy nails in agony for my plight!

Of course, since I'm a human being and the leafy growth on the ground is perpetually more viridian on the other side, this kinda sucks.

No longer is the majority of my day mine own to dispense with as I please. I have been totally not a slouch with it (at least, after an initial period last September in which I spent every day wallowing in self-pity, in a little inflatable pool in the backyard); rather I have been all kinds of self-improvey, gettin' on with reading and exercising and writing and other worthy projects. But since these self-improvments have taken up most of my day each day, and no longer will I have most of my day to call mine own, I expect that I will no longer be doing much exercising and writing and so forth. (Reading I will be, since I now will have approximately 90 minutes of Metro riding each day to work.)

No longer do I live as master Gentleman of my daily fate. Now the weekday and weekend are my king and queen (or queen and king, I ain't tryin' to be sexist in my anthropomorphization). Weekdays are for repetitive nothingness - my time Monday-Friday to be divided up such that approximately half is used giving my attention to projects which Have Nothing To Do With Me Except That I Get Paid To Make Them Happen. (It's a nonprofit, a cool workplace, don't get me wrong, but they still aren't my projects.) The other half of those five days are spent traveling, eating, and sleeping in preparation for enacting those projects which HNTDWMETIGPTMTH. I may as well be renting my body and mind to another person during those days, so much the usefulness they have for my personal goals. (Writing, learning via books, getting in better shape, learning via travel.) Only the weekend remains.

Of course I'm being a bit doomsday. I've been employed before (shock!) and have managed to do some things of my own in those evenings after work. But considering how much I have left uncompleted - scripts unwritten, books unread - in the nine months since losing my previous job, it seems, at this moment, like I have no free time to look forward to in comparison. Strange, it seems, to me, in my spoiled state of mind, that we have created a society in which we must sacrifice half our waking hours in order to half the official wherewithal to do as we please in the remainder. Course, it's better than having to work sunup to sundown just to raise your food like a medieval serf, and of course having everyone be on state-funded unemployment like I shamefully/shamelessly was would be untenable, but. Still. I wasn't slotful; I was gainfully unemployed, writing and taking care of myself and even occasionally volunteering to help others out. It's just society does not deem these things to be worth monetary or temporal compensation.

You know, sometimes I think this is why people so much feel the need to start a family. It seems awfully silly to spend 5 days a week working just to be able to have 2 days all to yourself. But if you add a family to take care of - at the very least a house with a dog in it - suddenly you've multiplied the produce of your labors; those 5 days of work now support not just your royal weekend, but also your hearth, home and puppy dish.

But that's a navel-gazing tract to be written some other day. Right now I've got 6 days of freedom, and should be using them far less productively than contributing an article to the Internet. I'm thinking spontaneous road trip.


B.Graham said...

This post highlights what I face every day in a way I couldn't put together before. On the one hand, I have money and food and can do things like go on vacation. On the other, I have precious little time to pursue my art. It's a quandary, that's for sure.

蘇pet0701em_halvorsen said...
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