aligning pegs

I just have been too tired to write lately. Which is sort of a problem since what my employers pay me for is, er, writing. but it just hurts my eyes to even look at the screen and all I want to do is curl up with a warm blanket and nap. Part of it is that it’s getting so damn cold outside. And it gets dark at about 4. But it’s also that I’ve been working way too much. For months. And working nights and weekends for months, even when it’s work you enjoy, gets really draining.

In the last few years, I had gotten really good at not taking work personally. You know how at your yearly reviews, you have to come up with weaknesses to work on? When I started out in the working world, that was my big weakness. I took everything personally. I couldn’t separate business life from my life. I cared about everything, even when “everything” was making sure electrical parts in plastic and cardboard containers that cost 75 cents were all hanging correctly on their pegs. I cried all the time. Why wasn’t I better at keeping the pegs aligned? It was ridiculous.

Over the years, I separated my work product from me. If the business was heading a different direction, I headed along with them. That’s what they paid me for. I didn’t cry about why they didn’t care about my peg alignment problems.

However, I have noticed that working too many hours has made me touchy. When things head in a different direction, I think, well, fuck. What the hell did I spend ten thousand hours on that for then? Possibly you could have not asked me to do that if you were going to then totally change your mind and head off in some random direction because then I could have had some SLEEP.

Which is better than crying and taking things personally, but is still ridiculous from a business sense. Work is work. You work on things; you work on other things. That’s just the nature of it. And if you’re too tired, then maybe, as an adult, you need to choose sleep over work every so often. (And by “you”, obviously, I mean “me”. You probably are already smart enough to choose sleep.)

In any case, it’s certainly not my employer’s fault I make bad choices and can’t set priorities. After all, who the fuck cares if the pegs aren’t aligned?

I’m talking about metaphorical pegs. My job doesn’t actually involve peg-filling inventory at this point. See the pegs just represent the little things that I should let go. And not obsess over. It’s like.. .oh, never mind. Forget the pegs. There are no pegs.

Anyway, you would think that being tired wouldn’t keep me from writing. After all, mostly it consists of sitting on the couch with my laptop and moving my fingers. But my brain just doesn’t want to come up with words. Mostly, my brain wants to rest inside my head and do nothing.

And although more coffee would normally help, amazingly enough, there is actually a point at which coffee ceases to matter. Or, at least, it ceases to wake up your brain and puts you into a vibrating fog. Which should really be more fun than it is.

Things that are actually important:

  • Getting my cats’ teeth cleaned. The bad breath has gotten so bad that when a cat is on your lap and is cleaning himself, you have to push the cat to the ground as quickly as possible to avoid being knocked out by the smell. It’s a problem.
  • Snowboarding. Surely the cold will wake me up.
  • Writing. And I don’t mean at work. Although I should also write at work as to give my company a reason to continue to pay me.
  • Sleep. Who knew you needed it?

I think those are about all the goals I can handle right now. I’m too sleepy for more than that.

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trout eyeball ice cream

Maybe I need a different career, if only so I’ll get to deal with new problems. I am so tired of dealing with the same petty, political, this-should-not-be-so-fucking-hard, I just want to do my job crap over and over again. I’ve been doing the same thing for twelve years. Which means I’ve had the same arguments and the same ridiculous uphill battles and the same brick walls keeping me from just getting my job done already about 3,000 times. I’ve double-checked the math. I’m pretty sure it’s right.

I’m not saying that any other career would be better, or not have just as many annoying parts, but at least they would be new annoying parts. I could think creatively to solve the artificially created problems that people decided to stack up in front of me rather than just pull out the same solution that worked the last 2,500 times.

I often fantasize about being a stop sign holder for road construction. How awesome would that be? You just hold up the sign and make people stop and then at the end of the day, you go home. Of course, there’s all the rain and sun and wind and loud noises from the sledgehammer and possiblity of dying from someone not paying attention and running you over and how if you don’t tell someone to stop when you should they might end up hitting someone coming the other way head-on, so I suppose there are drawbacks to any job.

What I know is that I have what is probably the best job that exists for my particular field, background, and interests. And I still need a margarita at the end of the day.

Alternate careers I am considering:

Book reviewer
pro: I could read books all day
con: some of them might be really crappy but I’d have to read to the end

pro: I could write books all day
con: what if no one published or bought anything and I starved?

pro: I could cook all the time
con: working at a restaurant sounds really stressful and hard, especially now that I’ve seen Hell’s Kitchen

Translator for the UN
pro: I could look all cool with the earpiece
con: I’d have to learn other languages and learn to multitask

pro: I could change the world!
con: I probably couldn’t change anything and would get so frustrated I’d stab myself in the eye

Iron Chef judge
pro: awesome food
con: trout eyeball ice cream

You see my dilemma.

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