Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Beats Working

Okay. I think I'm pretty safe in assuming that none of my co-workers ever peruse this blog. Hell, I don't even have co-workers as Facebook friends. I like to keep work and life separate, even though they sometimes seem parasitically entwined. So...I'm sitting here at work, and killing precious time by writing little inanities.

I was going to entitle this post "50 Varieties of Exhaustion," but I'm too exhausted to come up with fifty. Let's explore just a few. There is -- of course -- physical exhaustion. Most folks I know actually feel somewhat refreshed after working a physical task all day, and feeling the ache to the marrow of their bones. Of course, it helps to be able to come home and shower, eat well and then retire to a nice comfortable bed. Without those after effects, the physical exhaustion part might not feel so satisfying.

Most of us are also probably familiar with mental exhaustion. This occurs often in the types of careers most of us find ourselves in. It's not easy to be on all day, as in any job that requires some aspect of customer service. The customer is not always right, but we have to make them feel as if they are, and massage their egos, just so they will engage our services. And come back again! And tell your friends!

Here I am in the beginning the most important of American holidays: Christmas. It's time to drink too much, go in debt, put the mistletoe in the wrong place, and generally fuck up enough so that you have a list a mile long at New Year's for which to repent. Christmas. Your business can pant like a dog all year long, but when the winter holidays arrive the money is expected to roll in. Profit is king in America and it's also out of reach of most citizens. Christmas.

It's time to forget about Ferguson, and Syria, and yes, even Dick Cheney...and time to concentrate on the false idea of spreading happiness and joy for basically about a month and a half. About February the Christmas decorations start to look trashy, and by then the credit card bills have arrived. From healthline.com:  "While it's true that suicide attempts tend to drop off just before and during the holidays, there is a significant uptick in suicide rates following Christmas—a 40 percent uptick, according to one large Danish study." So, all this seasonal cheer is usually followed by an emotional crash until the next federally mandated holiday arrives; hopefully something involving cards and chocolates.

Among all these varieties of exhaustion lies a type that can be quite trying and that is being tired of the same old same old. Do you know what I mean? We go to work, eat pretty much the same meals every week, and talk with the same people all the time. It's rare that we step outside of our comfort zone, and -- as John Lennon famously said -- "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." One of these days I'm going to go to that lake again. One of these days I'm going to finish this novel. One of these days I'm going to live for the moment and forget the endless piling up of days that turn into daze. 

"One of these days" is a fiction. There is only today, and it's finishing quickly, only to be followed by another today. "One of these days" is too far off to even be seen clearly, never mind planning for it. So, I sit here in the moment. Emotions flow over me, sometimes dark, sometimes partly dark. Life seems to be a struggle to keep my head emotionally above water. Considering that most of us are not grounded in any type of reality, the artificial life that covers our fragile egos is unsatisfying, so the search goes on. One thing I know though, the answer is not wrapped in pretty paper, and sitting under a fragrant evergreen tree, just waiting for you to unwrap it.

So, I pretty much killed that hour dead.

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