with for my, wait

I feel good right now. It’s been a really nice weekend. I watched some films I’ve been meaning to check out, spent a bunch of time with friends I was thrilled to see, and got some classic summer fun in. I feel so good that after I finished doing yoga tonight and was just lying on my mat, I had that sensation of full body joy I get when I feel really good. That sounds gross and sexual but that’s not what I mean, obv. It just feels great to see friends and do fun things and finally have this meat vehicle of mine feeling almost normal again. I feel like those are three of the most basic, important things I want to always squeeze out of this life, and when I don’t get enough of them, it feels lonely and scary and shitty, and when I get lots of them, it feels fantastic.

I’m bummed I have to go back to work tomorrow. At times like this, I think about how great it would be to never have to work another day in my life but tonight I reminded myself that if I had that much free time, I would probably spend a lot more time alone since everyone else I know would still be busy working and taking care of personal business. In that case, it might actually suck to have too much free time. It’s unfortunate that it’s a balancing act, that working is required so that we appreciate the free time we have. It’s one of those “you have experience bad stuff to appreciate the good” things that is both annoying and true — too much of a good thing devalues it. Like if you had Two Bite Brownies every day, all day, after a few months you might find yourself not quite as madly in love with them as you were when you only ate one bag per day. Hard to believe but it’s true.

Sorry for the diary entry, Benny. I’ll complain about something real good for you next time.

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the red stare

This is my last of three days off work in a row. It’s been great. I haven’t done anything exciting but it’s still been really…refreshing. Jeez, I hate using that word. It reminds me of boring people going to spas for relaxation bullshit but besides that association, it’s the best word to describe how I’m feeling. I had been running myself into the ground with work, chores around the house, and working on our cabin, so I made a point to keep these three days free of any serious plans. I just wanted to sleep in, hang out with the animals in the yard, and take the dog for walks with Jenn. Turns out that’s just what the doctor ordered because now I feel ready to return to work tomorrow.

Vacations are strange. It’s not like they can make you start loving a job that you hate but if you are feeling burnt out and sick of a job you usually like, they can sometimes help to rejuvenate your passion for (or at least your ability to tolerate) the job. When I was a kid, I never thought of vacations in those terms. I guess I didn’t mind school so much that I needed a vacation to offset the misery — school was fine, and vacation was great. That’s pretty much how I feel about my job now, which is pretty good I guess. But every now and then, the balance is thrown out by working too much, and at those times, even a short vacation consisting of doing not much at all is a welcomed reprieve.

Now I’ve got three days of work to look forward to. Not thrilling but it’s fine. I wonder how I’ll feel at the end of that third day. Probably better than I did three days ago.

Gee whiz, I love time off. Fuck work.

I haven’t worked much in the last week. Jenn and I went up to Sointula for several days to work on our cabin, and then I only have a few shifts to round out the week. And guess what, it’s been awesome.

Today, I did a bunch of laundry and hung it outside to dry, which I always enjoy. I blogged about this way back when, how I find hanging laundry outside really calming and therapeutic. Then I cleaned the kitchen. Then I dog walked with Marion, who is a 10/10 sweetheart. Then I did some gardening for the first time in my life — don’t get too excited, all I did was put some carrot and beet seeds in the dirt. I wasn’t even very careful about the depth or spacing so I’m not really hopeful they’ll grow but we’ll see.

Then I moved the laundry line because it has been slowly pulling our deck railing over for years and it took me a long time to accept the idea of hanging laundry somewhere other than our deck. I can be obstinate, it’s true. Then I moved our ladders to a better, out of the way storage spot. Then I cleaned up my workshop and made a toolkit with all my doubles and redundant tools so we can take that up to Sointula on our next trip — you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve forgotten my toolkit at home and we’ve been caught with our panties down, in desperate need of a crescent wrench or pair of pliers.

Then I put some ads up on craigslist for things I no longer have a use for (fodder for future blog posts), and settled on an old school anthology horror movie to watch on the side of the house with the gang tomorrow night. Now we’re about to go out for dinner with Jenn’s folks.

In short, it’s just been a damn fine day. Slow and easy yet highly productive.

This sort of day makes me think about how fucking awesome it would be to retire right now. I don’t understand people who are workaholics or are constantly striving to climb the corporate ladder. I like my job just fine but man, if I could only do it once or maybe twice a week — even that would be pushing it — just for fun, or if I could quit outright if that felt even better, you can bet your ass I would. I love slow living, just puttering around, doing little jobs, taking lots of time throughout the day to socialize with the animals and nap when the mood strikes me. It just feels really good to relax.

funny_work_sucks_im_retiring_10_8hzt_photo_print-rd75650ec854646d5af6e9fef9a043d39_7vpn_8byvr_324

Lol, nuff said

Living daily life in a Hawaiian vacation state of mind

I’ve been to the Hawaiian island of Kauai a few times, and while I am not a fan of sun and heat, I am a huge fan of the way a lot of people there live. I’ve consistently seen folks of Kauai being kinder and more courteous than people anywhere else in North America, even in high tension situations like rush hour traffic. I’ve also seen lots of large families having get-togethers and bbq’s on the beach — they seem to really value quality time together. And I’ve seen a lot of older people being really active, like surfing and even doing sit-ups at the beach.

I think all of that is amazing. Those are things that I value greatly, and things that I feel get lost in the hectic madness of the North American world. We’re always so busy trying to get ahead, get better jobs, make more money, and buy nicer stuff, that we neglect the stuff that actually makes us happier — like being kind, spending time with people we care about, doing fun things, and staying fit and active.

But what I don’t understand is that most people go to places like Hawaii for vacations to get just a short taste of what life is like when those things are prioritized over rat race stuff. They spend a week there, relax, have a great time…and then head home and jump right back into the rat race.

If people like the pace of life while they’re on vacation in Hawaii, if they like it so much that it’s what they want to escape to when they have some time off, why don’t they just incorporate some qualities of Hawaiian/vacation living into their daily lives so they get small doses of it all the time?

I don’t know. I think probably because we don’t want to stand out from our suburban neighbours and look like some sort of lazy hippie weirdos. And I think it’s tough to change your habits. And I think most people aren’t self-aware enough to realize that they could be much happier and healthier.

Personally, I think most of us would benefit from a bit more of a Hawaiian vacation approach to our entire lives.

awkward-funny-family-vacation-photos-porn-shoot-beach

I looked up “family on vacation” pics and found this. Not what I had in mind but I’ll run with it.

go to hell. meet me there.

i was supposed to have this weekend off.

i was looking forward to a quiet weekend at home, training our new dog, playing bass, and watching UFC. but this morning i woke up to find a bunch of missed calls from work on my phone. it turns out that some jerk “hurt their neck” at 1 am on a friday night and wouldn’t be able to work on saturday morning. bull fucking shit. more like someone was out late, most likely partying, and didn’t want to get up early and come to work hung over.

but that sort of poor planning and cowardly lying is beside the point. my point is that work asked me to come in and i didn’t want to but i did anyway. not because i have any sort of pride in or dedication to my employer though. i think that is the wrong reason to make sacrifices for work because, in my experience, most employers will not make the same sacrifices for you. and they will not remember those times you gave up shit to keep the ship afloat. in the end, you will only end up bitter at the short memories and lack of gratitude. i’m bitter enough as it is so i don’t need to keep feeding that fire.

so when i decided to come into work today, it was not because of loyalty to my career or my employer. whatever. i have no romanticized notions of workplace heroics. this job is just something i do so i can afford to keep living. the reason i can came to work today was solely to help out my co-workers who i know will remember this and appreciate it. i like (most) of my co-workers and they do the same for me in similar situations so when i think about it that way, i don’t mind.

but man, i can’t wait to retire. working sucks. there are so many other more pleasant things i’d rather be doing.

tired of not being retired (at age 36)

i had the last week off of work. not for a vacation, it’s just the way my shifts were allotted, but it was fantastic nonetheless. i had a lot of great sleeps, got lots of exercise in, started work on fixing up our travel trailer, helped jenn with working on her horse trailer, played a lot of tetris…nothing to write home about but just having the freedom to do that kind of stuff at my leisure was so lovely. and it got me to thinking how much i look forward to retirement.

i plan on retiring ASAP.

i think a lot of people would roll their eyes at that kind of statement, like ‘dream on’ or ‘you’re a lazy sod’ or ‘yeah, you and everyone else.’ but not having kids and having a dual income household certainly makes early retirement financially possible, and i don’t think it’s a lazy pursuit at all. in fact, i think it’s a great one. what’s the point of living if not to enjoy our time here? if busting your hump is the only thing in life that you enjoy then fill your boots i suppose, but i don’t believe that all the workaholics in the world are that way because they like it. i think they’re usually like that for a number of unhealthy reasons — guilt, lack of self awareness, poor relationships with their spouse, etc.

i even used to be a bit of a workaholic myself. then one day when i was trying to decide if i should take yet another shift, jenn said to me, “no one ever died wishing they had worked more.” that really hit home for me. i like making money and being financially comfortable but i don’t want to get hit by a car, lay dying on the side of the road, and have my final thoughts be, “oh no, i should have visited russia when i had the chance,” or “i shouldn’t have worked christmas day last year. it would have been nice to spend that last one with jenn.” there needs to be a balance between making a living and actually leading a life that i love.

as much as i like my job and most of my co-workers, i like sleeping in, road tripping, camping, watching the chickens in the yard, working on old cars, and hanging out with friends way more, so working takes a definite back seat to all the rest of it.

that being said, i really need to get over my fear and get to russia sometime soon.

Photographer

i want to see this, bad.

work losers

i think it’s really dumb when i hear people at work talk about co-workers and say stuff like, “they’re not passionate about the job, they’re only here for the paycheque.” because no one would work anywhere if they didn’t get paid. and so what if someone isn’t passionate about their job? as long as they do it well, who gives a shit?

i actually think people who are wrapped up in workplace politics and crazy passionate about their jobs should make sure they aren’t just filling a void left by an empty social life or lack of personal dreams or ambitions. there’s more to life than your job. unless you’re a dork.