No New Normal

busy-calendarThanks to my piecemeal work, there usually arrives each month a Hell Week, when everything happens at once, and I have absolutely no free time. This past week has been that week for July. Tonight will be my first and only evening off, and the question is will I catch up on work in other areas or just relax, by which I mean possibly watch a movie.

July hasn’t been a great month. July is never a great month. It’s the first month you realize you’re really working for the electric company. We’ve already heard me gripe and moan about the Independence Day festivities, and this year’s was a corker, with a storm cell blowing up an hour before the parade start, causing all video equipment to quickly be bundled inside; there was still a parade (although one float had been destroyed by the storm) and I was one of the lucky few to be manning a hastily set-up camera.

But hell, I got a free T-shirt.

After a week of private shows and city meetings, today’s entry on the extra side of the ledger is a writer’s meeting, which is good, because it means my contract goes off hiatus and I can stop calculating gallons of gas versus eating lunch, but it also has a dark side because, yep, even less free time. But I can stop fretting over the bills for a brief while.

Periods like this always create an urge that itches away in a unscratchable portion of your brain, a feeling that something has to change, but the feeling comes with no real idea how to accomplish that change. I’m not going to walk away from my Day Job, only found almost by accident after a year of unemployment. It may only be part-time, but it’s work I enjoy in a field that is not terribly friendly to a person my age. Given all my other responsibilities, including the about-to-be-reactivated writing contract, seeking another part-time job was not feasible. That left Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes and precious few other options.

watching-movies

Notice what’s missing?

Another area of desired change is my methodology for watching movies, and, again, no real idea how to effect that change in current circumstances. Last year, I did a couple of movie-watching challenges (and one this year), and I find it takes a terrible toll on me: I seem to want to take a day or so after watching a movie to consider it, to glean what I have taken away from the experience. That’s the part I have no idea how to change, but if I do not… well, there is no way in the world I am going to get to watch every movie I want anyway. Treating each movie like a pebble that has to be thrown in a rock polisher for several days to be fully appreciated is just cutting that available time down even more.

So yeah, the only solution I see is to become suddenly, undeservedly wealthy and spend the rest of my days doing nothing but watching those movies. And then having the rest of those days cut short by congestive heart failure because I’m doing nothing but sitting in my easy chair watching movies.

So that’s a less than ideal solution. (Though I’d be lying if I said it didn’t appeal to me on a certain level)

There is also the killjoy section of my brain (which is quite highly developed, it seems) that points out this is rationalization on my part, to make up for not having time to watch all the movies I like. (“Hey, remember when you watched The Red Shoes and The Searchers the same day? You weren’t whining then.”) I’ve had evenings free when I did not watch a movie, but killed time on Facebook or watching murder investigation shows on Netflix. Those nights rankle when I am too busy to watch a movie; they feel like squandered time and wasted opportunities, but downtime is so necessary.

So, in the final analysis, one does what one always does, I suppose. Muddle through, hope for the best, and remember that surely there was some freaking reason you bought that four-hour cut of Heaven’s Gate.

2 Comments

  1. You should get a T-shirt for watching 4 hours of Heaven’s Gate.

    • If I knew that were a certainty, I’d move it higher on the pile.


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