Out of Control

“Workaholic,” she called me.

Perhaps. I like to make what I call a Shit List of tasks that I have to accomplish. It’s a daily reminder of what needs to get done, usually in order of importance. It’s all the Shit I have to do.

The longer the list, the better. There’s nothing like the pride of looking at the list at the end of the day and seeing everything crossed off. It makes me feel productive.

Lately, my Shit has been slipping. I’ve had to carry over a few tasks to other days. And now I’m beginning to feel like I’m losing control of my life.

Admittedly, there’s too much work to do in each day. But, dammit, I can’t help feeling disappointed that not everything on my Shit List is crossed off.

Out of control. Sigh… That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. It just seems like there’s so much to do and so little time. Life has just gotten too complicated and busy.

I remember talking to a San Franciscian friend about free time. She told me that she loves to just sit around and do nothing. Maybe watch some television, maybe listen to some music. Anything to veg out for a while and let the brain simmer down.

Whenever I do that, I feel guilty. I feel like I should be doing something more “productive.” Otherwise, I feel like I’m wasting time.

I didn’t always feel this way. Elementary school and high school weren’t like that at all

Ah, those were the days, weren’t they? You’d come back home from elementary school, watch a bunch of cartoons, and play around all evening until it was time to sleep.

The biggest concerns were getting your homework done and bugging your parents to buy the most recent toy that caught your fancy.

High school was a bit different. No more cartoons. Now members of the opposite sex figured heavily into the equation. And all your free time was spent seeing your friends and finding girls to talk to. Oh, and homework was still sort of a priority too, I guess.

Then college hit. And for some folks, it was another extension of the easy road. Cutting classes, drinking alcohol, getting high, these were all of the most important elements of a college student’s lifestyle. Somewhere in there was homework.

And now finally, there’s the working world. Ah, the working world. The Rat Race.

This is where things get complicated. This is where college loans, car insurance, rent (or mortgage), medical plans, and 401Ks come into the picture. There’s no more homework (Hallelujah!), but there’s stuff much worse.

Somewhere down the line, a family and children come into the picture. But I haven’t gotten that far yet. I’m still on post-college, pre-family time.

So what do I do with this time? I have a job that keeps the majority of it wrapped up. There’s no such thing as a 40-hour work week anymore. It’s more like 80 hours now. Or more, if you’re dealing with the web.

And with the little free time I have left over, I spend with friends, family, and my personal projects on the web. Because of my impending move, I’ve been seeing as many old friends as I can. Then when I get home, I talk to my family or create web projects like these rambles.

I suppose I should watch some TV or listen to some music instead, huh? Or, better yet, sleep. We all definitely don’t get enough sleep, I’m convinced of that.

You know what’s really sad? Despite feeling out of control, the lifestyle I’ve chosen is the only one that I could ever have. Despite feeling out of control, if I were to have more free time, I don’t think I’d be happy.

So maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m most in control when I’m out of control.

Ah, don’t you just love how life makes so much sense?

. . .

Are you a workaholic?

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

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