Lately my life has felt a lot like swimming.
Back when I was a kid and didn’t know how to swim properly, it was fun to splash around in the pool and play games like Marco/Polo or diving for rocks, pennies, etc. But then came the day when we kids were taken to formal swimming lessons. “It’s for your own good, so you won’t drown”…Those lessons took the joy out of playing in the water. Ever since then, when I get in a pool, I don’t quite know what to do anymore. I don’t like swimming laps and playing doesn’t seem right. Floating around is looked upon as lazy and well, as I said before, I don’t like swimming laps. So what do you do when you don’t know what to do?
I have spent a great deal of my time working at one task or another. “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop”. That one was drilled into me at an early age. There was always something to be done, and one should get started at the first opening of their eyes in the morning and keep going until the last lamp has been turned off for the night. This is difficult when one works from home. Boundaries are blurred: the office is never closed. Weekends look just like weekdays. Vacation days are tantamount to time being frittered away.
It is because of this conditioning that when I sit at my computer to ‘play’ – it somehow seems wasteful and lazy. When I want to write, as I am now, I battle the demons that say “You’re wasting time. You need to be doing work that earns a paycheck.” Sometimes those demons are in my head. And sometimes they take the form of the tone I get from others who are constantly asking me, “When are you getting paid?” or “Are they paying you for that?” or worse still, “Aren’t you done with that work yet?”
I guess the answer to my question is, as it has been all along: when you don’t know what to do, you work. Work is what I do.