When Work Isn’t Working

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I started this series of blog post, The Road So Far, in the middle of last year. I wanted to review my progress as a writer and figure out where it was leading me. By then it had been over a year since I graduated and still wasn’t working in the writing field. Ironically enough I was doing almost exactly what I was trying to avoid when I returned to school in the first place. I was working as an accounting assistant.

During school I was assigned a work study position in the Finance and Administration offices of the college, later obtaining a part time position with the college. I continued working there part time after I graduated, when a coworker retired I started full time in a temporary position. For the next year I worked at paying off my credit cards and saving money.

I tried to continue writing, submitting work, and apply to writing jobs while working full time. But I didn’t feel I was making enough progress with the small amount of time I had to focus on it. I started getting picky about jobs I applied for eventually allowing myself to get lazy with the comfort of having a job. I was beginning to feel like I was settling.

I set a savings goal, I hoped to reach by the end of the year, and would leave even if I still hadn’t found a new job. I was pretty on track with my goal when I found out my appointment would end in November. I ended up too low on the list to get a permanent accounting assistant position. They tried to keep me under a different title but couldn’t get approval for the change. I decided then that it was time to leave. I would be a little short of my goal but I took this as I sign it was time to leave. I offered to continue in my old position until December to help train a replacement.

Lifes little lesson for Monday

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Yesterday, I was really in a funky mood. I woke up later than I wanted to, so I stayed in bed being lazy. Just felt like lying around. It didn’t help that I hadn’t really gotten anything done in a couple days. I basically wasted my time, by hanging out, and my money . Not that I didn’t enjoy it or feel like I needed it but I just couldn’t get myself back into a working state of mind. So after I finally got up, sitting in front of my computer I just couldn’t think of one thing I wanted to do. Then I get a text to go hang out with a friend. I did want to go hang out because it’s not like I was being productive. But then I thought about the money issue and if I did go anywhere then I would be upset the next day because again I had gotten nothing done and I would be completely broke.

So as I sat there contemplating what to do I went through my choices.

1. I could get right back into the bed and wait for the day to be over and just start all over tomorrow hoping it would be a better day.

2. I could go hang out and spend the last of my money. I could also hope that hanging out would put me in a better mood and that at least I would have had some fun before I tried starting over again tomorrow.

Or I could do the smartest thing. Just try to work through it and force myself to do something, anything. I thought for a minute and pulled out the easiest thing I could possible do. Take out a journal and just write about how I felt. I just sat and wrote out the whole ordeal, it came out real easily once I began. About half way through it I was already feeling better. I’m not sure how long I wrote but it was about two pages. I stopped to eat and do a couple of other things in between but kept going back. (I tend to always multi-task once I get motivated) But by the time I wrote the last paragraph I felt totally better. I did still get back into bed but with different intentions.

I was just going to do a little mini restart of the day. Instead of getting in the bed and staying there until the next morning I was going to take a little mini nap and get up later to get some stuff done at night. I did get in bed but never up taking the nap. Eventually, I got some work done later in the night after watching a little television.

Whether or not I did get anything done though was besides the point. Writing my way out of my funky mood made me remember why I began writing in the first place. The writing experience has always been very cathartic for me. It was the easiest and most natural outlet for me to channel my energy into. Over the years I’ve lost my enthusiasm for writing. Well actually the better way to put it is I lost the momentum I once used to have. At some points life’s distractions took over. At other times it just started to feel too much like an obligation. With attempting to turn my passion and something that I did purely for fun into a legitimate career I had to write things I didn’t always enjoy, so it became forced. But while I was writing the journal entry it just all flowed out of me, it wasn’t forced and the more I wrote the better I felt. I just realized this is a sign that I’ve got to work out a new routine. I have to do more of that natural, fun writing so I don’t get that burn out from just churning out work.

I have to find a balance so that I don’t forget again that I actually do enjoy writing.