It was difficult to get out of bed today, But not for the reasons you may think: I wasn’t depressed or hung over, I didn’t crawl under the covers and lock the door, afraid to face the new reality of being – of no value.
I simply had nowhere to go. It’s the ol’ hamster on a wheel phenomenon. We get so used to our daily routine – get up, drive to work, drink coffee, start up the computer – that when the key ingredient, or part, of the wheel goes missing it feels as though you’ve been cut adrift. How thenhell does the wheel go ’round when the spindle is missing? Huh? It’s especially acute given the long hours I put into my work life, for I am a virtual stranger at home. The spouse doesn’t really know what to do with me; the kids think it’s a vacation.
I think it’s altogether strange, weird, surreal and strangely silent.
Maybe more quiet than silent, and in that I mean to say my thoughts. For four years my driving passion consumed me whether at work or at home. Now, there’s silence, and I can finally get my head around the little things that make such a big difference to the quality of life. Still, this new state of being cut adrift feels a bit as though I’ve lost a part of my life – or more accurately one of my lives. That’s the surreal part. Many of the things I cared about no longer matter to me, all the places I went to I no longer need to visit. Worse, I’m not SUPPOSED to visit. Work life is like a drill sergeant: get up, go to work, show up for meetings and turn your crap in on time. You learn to love the drill sergeant – and hate him – but you always have respect for the order and discipline of that world. The free life is more like a mistress. You can get up if you want to, or, why not just stay in bed?
Me, I got up and for the first time in weeks had a good workout. Tomorrow I will do the same, in the hopes that I can fill my days with enough stuff to keep me moving until the next drill sergeant comes along.
– Brian Chee