Ever had one of those days? You know, where you feel that if you were to look back over your life, right before you died, you’d come to this day and think,
“What a total waste. I can’t believe I frittered away all those hours on absolutely nothing.”
One of those days where it feels like you’ve got no places to go or people to see.
I’ve had plenty of days where I haven’t achieved anything in particular but have felt satisfied that I’ve used my time well, whether it was just being with someone special, or doing something I enjoy, or taking a break from something that’s been stressing me out.
But days like today…nothing excites me. I drift around my house, looking for things to do, then looking for reasons not
to do them. I’m not motivated enough to follow through with anything I start and leave a trail of half-finished projects behind. I seem to be incapable of creating anything worth sharing or doing anything worth doing. I find myself wandering Facebook aimlessly and suddenly, an hour later, I’m checking out the holiday photos of some friend of an acquaintance, who would undoubtedly be unimpressed by my creeping.
Staying in is dull, going out is hassle.
I try to remind myself on days like these that the number of hours I have to live is in fact finite, and I’m wasting precious, precious time. It makes me feel angry at myself and also vaguely guilty. And yet nothing seems strong enough to snap me out of it. The worst part is, I know that when this spell of unemployment comes to an end (and it must…eventually…right??), I’ll be longing for days like this, full of free time that I can use to do anything I want…and yet today, I can’t think of anything I want to do.
Before anyone writes me off as a spoilt brat who needs to be entertained 24/7, I’d like to assert that thankfully, these days are pretty rare. Although I’m currently in the midst of my longest period of time (6 weeks – feels like so much longer!) not in full-time employment or education since the summer I was fourteen, up until now I haven’t had trouble filling my days.
Maybe because when I was growing up, the word “bored” was illegal in our house, I’ve always been able to think of ways to amuse myself. Also, being pretty poor at sports and a more-awkward-than-most teenager meant that I’ve always opted for pretty solitary leisure pursuits. So, asides from spending long hours drafting and re-drafting CVs and cover letters for every job imaginable, I’ve kept myself occupied by:
- Reading books I’d been meaning for ages to read (Catch 22 is mind-blowing, The Talented Mr Ripley ain’t too shabby either)
Re-learning to play the piano (ever so much more satisfying when there isn’t a hatchet faced woman sitting next to you rapping your knuckles with a little stick)
- Re-attempting to teach myself guitar (My Lovely Horse is trickier than it appears; however, I’m comforted by the belief that any little plucking or strumming inaccuracies are covered up by my loud singing)
- Lunching, picnicking and generally hanging out with sound people (although the number of such people who are as unemployed as me is sadly dwindling)
- Refining some of my scribblings from the past few years and attempting to put them together to form something a bit more substantial (sure we’ll see how that goes)
- Discovering wonderful films and television about a million years after the hype has died (Flight of the Conchords? Yes please.)
- Walking around Dublin (and occasionally sitting in cafés and eavesdropping – clichéd but true…and fun!)
- Pottering about the kitchen and doing the odd bit of laundry so that my family are in awe of my domestic goddess-ness (yeah, they’re definitely in awe, I’m sure of it)
- Sifting through four years worth of handouts, journal articles, assignments and God knows what other paperwork I accumulated in college and attempting to impose some semblance of order
Tending to my sunflowers (they live on my kitchen windowsill and take up more time than you’d think; the day they bloom I’m going to have a party)
- And of course, discovering the endless entertainment and education to be gained from reading (and occasionally writing) lovely blogs.
Sadly, none of the above pursuits were enough to engage me today. Personally, I blame my Dad for making me lunch at 11:30 before I had even eaten breakfast and thereby upsetting my whole sense of routine. God, what a thoughtless bastard.
Ah well. There’s always tomorrow. 😉