Getting Back In The Groove

I started my new job this past week. It’s a bit unusual, knowing that the work is temporary, and rather…well…mercenary. I’m getting paid by the hour instead of a regular salary. Plus I have to pay for my own benefits and sock money away into my own retirement plan (which I have). That may seem outrageous to some, but that’s how consultancy works. My hourly rate is more than enough to cover it — in all honesty it’s more than what I made at my last job.

What really feels weird is the return of a schedule, a rite to the passing of work days and weekends. To say I was preoccupied this morning is an understatement. I missed my writing group’s meet up and didn’t realize that until noon. My Dad had warned me about complacency — I just didn’t realize how deep it ran until now.

I was really used to having nothing but time, and I think that was the most dangerous thing about being out of work. I felt that, outside the job search, I could put things off for a time and take my leisure. In the end, it only made me a terrible procrastinator.

Les Claypool said it best in the song Spegetti Western: “Funny thing about weekends when you’re unemployed — they don’t mean quite so much.”

Now that’s coming to a screeching halt. Once again I’ll be slotting off time in the evening for writing, gaming, etc. Oddly enough, I’m glad for that, even if I’m going to have to endure the discomfort that comes with the adjustments. I’m going to have to be mindful of my time, map things out, and prioritize.

I’ll make it happen. I owe to myself and my career, family and friends. That last item really hit home for me.

Last week, while at GenCon I got some bad news. One of my best and oldest friends — who happens to be my age — was diagnosed with cancer. He just had surgery to get the tumor removed, and so far it looks as though it hasn’t spread elsewhere. He’s still waiting for the pathology, but suffice to say he’s healing and doing well. With any luck he won’t have to go through chemo. This is a type of cancer that’s very easy to treat if it gets caught early, and this looks to be the case.

It’s ironic that when we have time we let it slip through our fingers, take things for granted. When it becomes limited we hoard every hour and minute, stressing ourselves over the things we want to do but can’t.

There’s got to be a point of balance. I intend to find it — now while things are starting out — so I can still enjoy the things that I do and the company I keep.

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