Today’s my birthday, and I’m sort of double-celebrating. Andy and I went out yesterday and pretty much didn’t come home till after 7 pm, and that was the main celebration for me. It came a day early because Andy has to work today, which leaves me with some quiet, personal time for my second celebration. :P Sure beats out last year, when my birthday was spent in more miserable conditions (long story, that).
I’m also feeling a great deal better physically and mentally – not because of help from my doctor*, but because I dove back into the job market and am now once again employed. Part-time, 24 hours per week at a more consistent / fixed schedule compared to my previous day job. Now why on earth would I want to blow my dream of writing full-time?
Because not working a second job was affecting me in the worst way possible. In brief, I was bored out of my mind to the point where I was starting to feel depressed.
I know that most other writers would kill to write full-time and live off their earnings that way. The thing with me is that I don’t have kids to look after, and I don’t live in a big house that’d keep me busy maintaining. I also spread out chores and errands as well as my fitness schedule, and I don’t – and refuse to – multi-task when it comes to writing. I don’t divide my attention between two simultaneous works-in-progress at any given time and would rather shelf one book in favor of a more focused time on another, especially when I’m blocked or something.
In that sense, I ended up with more spare time than I’m used to, and even after reading books or watching a movie online, I’m left twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the time. That didn’t work for me at all. I grew more and more bored, and from that, my mood dipped, I lost interest in a number of things that normally would get me all worked up (in a good way), and I wasn’t motivated to pursue a number of things that I wanted to. By the time July rolled around, I didn’t want to do anything but lie in bed and sleep the day away. Even my eating habits suffered in the sense that I all but stopped eating dinner. I’m now back down to my weight when I was in college, which means an eight-pound loss.
I WAS NOT HEALTHY, PEOPLE.
I missed the social aspect of working. I’ve been lucky enough to consistently land jobs in a field I love (art), and it attracts certain quirky types I tend to get along with in the best way possible. So this time around, while I’m not back at the same place I worked at for eleven years, the change in scenery is welcome as is the company’s more scaled-down approach to art. And so far, I’ve been getting along with the staff, and things have been pretty fun despite the inevitable fatigue from being on one’s feet for eight hours.
Another good thing is that Andy’s able to cut down on his hours – also for his mental health. Really, guys, we’re neither of us getting any younger. Having worked in the same field for over twenty years, he’d like to cut back on work time and slowly ease himself into retirement that way. Mind you, retirement is a long way off, but at least he won’t be saddled with forty weekly hours till then. The man needs a break, as do I, but in a different way. It all balances out in the end.
It sure feels like going full circle for me, which is why I’m even more excited about 2016 than ever. With my new part-time day job, I can enjoy the best of both worlds – the writing / publishing half and the social / physical half – and that’ll allow me the same amount of leeway in writing future books that I enjoyed way back in the day. There’ll certainly be much less pressure to produce content in a shorter, more demanding schedule.
And it’s onward and upward, all y’all!
* There’s also a long, sorry-ass story behind that, but I’d rather focus on positive shit today. Because birthday!