Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Burned Out

I have always been a list maker. I like the feeling of accomplishment I get when I make a "to-do" list and can line things out as they're completed. Even better, I like lists with little boxes you can check off as you finish things. Anal, I know. But since I'm the aging queen of multi-tasking, without a list (or several lists), I flounder around as unfocused as a hummingbird.

I returned to the day job today, and found that making a "to-do" list was entirely too overwhelming to even contemplate. Here, I make lists of things I've done. Proof that I actually did something. I've tried to look positively on this exit experience. I've attempted to wrap my brain around the fact that there are some projects, committees or reports that need to be done just one more time, or five more times, or 12 more times. It isn't helping. When you're done, you are done.

I've always wondered how people who work in factories survive for 25 or 30 years. What must you do to get motivated and be excited and productive at work, when work is the same thing day after day? My natural father worked in an ink factory. I'm not sure how many years, and I know not enough to retire from there, but for many. I'm not even sure what he did there, despite the fact that I once had to do a report in elementary school about "My Father's Job". Wow, there's a dater for you, I'm sure it would be illegal to demand such a thing from children today. For so many, their first question would be "which father?". Anyway... Dad worked at an ink factory, let's say putting the lids on the bottles, five days a week, for ten or fifteen years. My father was a musician, he played every windblown instrament. He loved music, and if it was his dream to play in an orchestra or a jazz band, it was a dream boxed up and shelved long before I came along. How did he get through the days without going stark, raving mad?

Perhaps I'm irrisponsible to chase a dream instead of sticking it out here until retirement. It is probably a selfish move that will heap pressure on poor old Papa Bear. But just this once, I don't care. Once I've given it a good, honest, back breaking try... if it's not working, I'll happily toddle off to another day job. Even if it means I have to be a Walmart greeter.

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