If I had work where I felt fully engaged, where I felt that I was using my skills for some helpful purpose, where my efforts were recognized and appreciated, then I would be able to go home each night with a feeling of accomplishment, satisfied with the knowledge that I’d done good that day. Evenings would be relaxing down-time, and I would be available for whatever was needed, whoever needed me.
As it is, I feel that my work hours are wasted time. I feel that I’m making the trek each day to fulfill an obligation, waiting for the time when I can go home and when my real life will begin.
Unfortunately, the daily ritual, in all its unsatisfying ways, grinds me down, so that by the time I reach home again, I’m running on a nearly empty tank.
If we have something planned for the evening — a school activity, my son’s baseball game — then I go with it. It will provide meaning for the day.
When there’s nothing, though, I drink some wine before dinner to recharge. It helps to bridge the gap between my lost work hours and the precious few that remain in the day. And I find that I need to seek out a task. Many people plop down at the TV for the rest of the evening, but to me, that’s more time wasted.
So I pay bills or balance the checkbook. I help one of my kids with homework or organize my desk. During summer, when the days are longer, I’ll mow the lawn or do other yard work.
And when there’s none of that to be done, I’ll want to play my guitar. Except that my nails will be too long, so I’ll have to cut them. Then I don’t want to bother with pulling my guitar case from the corner and tuning up. So I don’t.
Or I’ll think of all the great writing I could be doing. But I don’t.
I just sip my wine and wonder where the days all go.