My annual review comes up in March. Five years with “the company.” Five years of arriving ready to work, punching in the proverbial clock of redemption, every single day, regardless of how much I feel like calling in sick to escape into a daytrip of entertainment and debauchery. Part of what I’ve learned over these past few years is that if I find myself out of work, I must immediately get another gig lined up.
Let’s say you’re out of work and that depression is starting to kick in. You wake up with that urgency to get freedom, along with that hopelessness of not having an easy way out, both “achieved” through the paying gig. Now let’s say you’ve worked at a gig for some time and that depression starts kicking in differently. You wake up with complacency because you’re drifting away from your real goals. Why does this happen?
There is no class, while getting your career degree, for handling unemployment, underemployment, or looking for work. That’s not important to them. It is almost guaranteed that throughout a contemporary career, you will be out of work at least once. That isn’t a failure on your part. You are not a bad person. Your skills still have value. You have value. Just be persistent, positive, proactive, preoccupied, and keep believing in yourself, now and always!
You sometimes might not realize how much the grime that’s accumulated in your system is affecting you until you start dislodging it. The stresses of life build up innocently. Too many days without getting enough sleep, not eating well, not drinking enough water, or not taking care of yourself can, like my rowing machine’s chain, generally lead to a build-up of gunk that probably slowed down my rowing stats for years… let’s compare next week?
I have this quote hanging out with my writing tablet: “A day I have not written, is a day I have wasted.” I’ve wasted many days in the past. ‘I’ll get around to it tomorrow.’ ‘I don’t have enough time to write, row, or do what I want to do.’ ‘If I put time into doing anything, I’ll be tired tomorrow.’ All’s true. It’s all about understanding one’s limits and breaking them without breaking yourself.
Thursdays have, in the recent months, been dedicated to writing about self-improvement. Through improving my space, attitude, workflow, and other areas, I’ve developed the persistence to work on bigger concepts. If any mentality or physicality were hindered by self-doubt, I’d be instead wallowing in negativity. Let’s continue that conceptual evolution by asking the big question: where do I see myself in five years? In a better spot, of course! So what’s the “getting there” plan?
Maintaining my rowing machine has become a fun hobby for me. While I’ve known about some metric and standard/American sizes for a while now, it’s a fun tidbit to know that the seat, shown in the upper part of the picture below, is in metric whereas the rest of the machine is in standard. Concept2 must have outsourced that part of the production. If only we could maintain our bodies as easily as our machines.
I was in athletic shape once. I worked hard for months, rigorously studying fitness, until stopping for years. Careers are similar. You get the degree and perhaps opportunity, until you stop trying. Maybe you don’t get fired, laid off, or underemployed. Maybe it’s just you get disenfranchised. The nice thing about being a contractor, workin’ “the gig life,” is that your career fitness is always in athletic shape. You’re always fit and ready to work.