Coming to an Understanding

Growing up and learning what it means to be a man, I could never understand the mentality of those who go to work, come home, and watch television until they went to bed. Life is so finite, how could a rational person waste it like that? There’s too much to read and do to bother with laboring for the sole goal of being passively entertained.

It has been a hard (school) year thus far. Starting last summer, fighting for daycare in order to work extra hours, my job has been wall-to-wall busy. Since September, I have had to force myself to get out of my seat and walk around for a breather, had to remember to eat at some point during the day. Only a couple of weeks ago did I finally get the computers in my building back to where they were when last year ended.

The normal pace of my work had been busy times mixed with lulls, much as the engineering crew of The Enterprise would have had between emergencies. Lulls that let one work on side projects that were interesting rather than desperate.

Another change has been staff turnover. Lots of people shifted to different buildings so half the people I work with I have never met. Those I had worked with most directly have all gone, and I’ve noticed my creativity isn’t as challenged. There was a group of us that would regularly riff off one another, a banter that would keep up the levels of silliness and thus our spirits. While I do enjoy who I work with now, they just don’t have that same mentality.

Thus, as humans do, I have adapted to my environment. The creativity dial has been turned down and I’m simply functioning day to day. And oddly I have matched some of the more vocal opining of my new coworkers.

I don’t like that feeling that I’ve been harboring constant criticism of my peers, whether said or unsaid, and now that I’ve been more aware, I plan to stop. I hate thinking or presuming lowly of people. They are as they are and far be it from me to judge.

The conclusion to draw is that life has not only been busy, but somewhat disheartening. Work has been knocking the wind out of me rather than inflating me as it used to. And that negativity spills into my home life because I have been too drained to keep it walled up in that building.

I’m lifting myself up again now. For some reason in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been more mindful of myself and my own thoughts. Work is just work and my kids deserve better. I’m not going to think poorly of people. I’ll be able to get proper rest and reading in again.

But I can understand people going straight home and watching television until they go to bed. I hate when I fall into that routine too regularly. But I get wanting to detach oneself from the weight of everything else. There’s a reason one of the best remedies for a cold is vegetating in front of the tube.

Work is lightening up a little and I am going to lighten up a lot. I might even become cheerful again. Even crazier, I might even have the energy to properly blog again! Happy times all around.

Except for the color printer on the filing cabinets behind me. By the end of the year I swear that thing is going to have a fire axe in it. The halls will run magenta with toner when my catharsis is complete.