Vacation was too short (as usual), and I’m back in my California routine.
Time away affords a special opportunity to see one’s current life in contrast. I spent a week both touring a city and hanging with my family in the countryside. There was very little “clock-driven” activity; some of the most fun was just goofing around with my young nephews all afternoon on the lake. Upon returning to CA and work I immediately noted how regimented my life felt. There was work, of course, with its attendent calendar. But even my evening time was pretty well structured, too. Time to eat, time to work out, time to play in the wood shop, time to visit my sweetie… It was very hard to hang onto the “I have all the time in the world” attitude that came so easily when I was in Maine.
I miss that, not feeling like I’m living in clock time. Maybe it’s unrealistic in this society, doing the sort of work I do? I try to imagine what it would be like to spend the day in the wood shop. I know as soon as I’d try to do that for an actual living I’d worry about production schedules, etc. I think it’s not about this or that sort of work, but just an overall quality of slowing down I’d like to get back to. The San Francisco Bay Area, unfortuantely, is not known for its leisurely pace of life.
I’ve also noticed whenever I have a 3 day weekend I feel much more balanced. One option is to eventually cut down my work to 80% time (fortunately, that’s possible where I work – not everyone has that option, though). I’m not quite ready to live on 80% pay (which is another issue – feeling like I’m too close to a paycheck-to-paycheck existence nowadays), but it is a distinct possibility.
It was HOT today – I went mtn. biking up Black Mountain and came uncomfortably close to heat exhaustion. It’s too hot to work in the shop right now, too, so I’m chilling with a fan in my living room. Tomorrow we’re going out to Santa Cruz, the ocean, and hopefully cooler temperatures.
So, anybody have good ideas on easing up on the pace of life?