One month to breathe. One month to adjust. One month to frequently avoid all the creative habits that were my outlets. Discipline took a new car for a drive as we focused on the 9-5 when it became live and we worked to strive. There’s probably other words that rhyme with “drive” but I’ll save you the headache and we’ll stop there.
The need to write consistently took to the back seat when my promotion came forth. My new role with the company required a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of planning each day to make sure that we were prepared for what may come. We needed coffee for the drive, we needed lunch for sustenance, we needed multiple gallons of water because I have a drinking (water) problem, we needed our jiujitsu stuff, we needed clean clothes for the shower after bjj. Then when we come home at 9pm, we need to eat dinner, we need to get shit in the wash, we need to put things away and start to prepare for the next day.
There was no way that I was sitting down to write at 10pm. Not happening. When I can barely hold my eyes open, especially when we need 8 hours of sleep to recover and perform the next day, I’m focused on letting the mind shut down. Could we write a little more frequently? Sure. Have I been journaling? Definitely, but not as much. Morning routine still exists…it’s minimal, but it’s still there. It consists of a blend of 20 minutes of breath work with 5 minutes of stretching. It would be great to have more, but there’s only 24 hours in a day and on the days that I have to be in the office, I would think I’m maximizing what I can get from those 24 hours. Those days are like squeezing a rock for water at this point.
Now, let’s be clear – I am not bitching. I am quite grateful that I have a secure job in an economy that seems to be ripe for recession. I’m grateful that I get a check every week and it’s not dependent upon me closing a sale. It’s like a relief of pressure that’s been laid upon my shoulders for the past couple years. Of course, I’ve been willingly carrying that weight, but hey – I dropped a few pounds of it. What I am trying to say is that…I finally understand.
I understand why many talented people don’t invest into their crafts as much as they would like. I understand why people with 9-5’s and families aren’t able to make it to their martial arts classes or even the gym as much as they would like. I understand why all my parents wanted to do on a Saturday night was eat some pizza and watch a movie. I finally understand.
It’s been years since I’ve worked in a 9-5 routine environment. It’s certainly the first time in many years that I’ve lived in an office. The excess of coffee, the eating of a (HALF) donut that’s sitting in the breakroom, the going out for a drink after work. Man, oh man…everything I witnessed from the outside of office life is really starting to add up these days. Walk a mile in their shoes, they say…
What I did tell myself is that I would honor the month-long adjustment period. It took time to realize the priority of certain aspects. Prepping food for the week, what time to wake up each day, when I could squeeze in extra workouts, how valuable the minute is in the morning, when to start and stop eating at night, really… just so many variables that had to be calculated to make this work.
The most valuable asset has become even more valuable – Time. Each minute is calculated. Wake time. Meditate time. Bathroom time. Drive time. Work time. Lunch time. (Afternoon) Coffee time. Quittin’ time. BJJ time. Dinner time. Bed time. The minutes to Friday get counted down. The thoughts about what you’ll do on the weekend occupy your day dreams. Then the weekend comes and you oddly just want to recharge the battery and enjoy some Down time. Then Sunday afternoon rolls around and it’s Prep time.
The argument for a 4-day workweek is a real one. There has to be close to 8 hours M-F that not much gets done or bullshitting is the only thing that takes place. Friday-Sunday would allow for a day of recharging/errands, a day of adventure with your loved ones, and a day to prep for the week and wind down. If we’re all working Monday-Friday, how are we supposed to take care of tasks while we’re working and the other company is working? They’re not working when I’m not working. How can I bring my car to the garage when I need to be in the office but the garage is closed on the weekends? It’s a conundrum at it’s finest…and it’s only one example. What about going to the doctor’s? Or the dentist? Or the Vibram worldwide headquarters in Boston that’s only open Monday through Friday? How the hell am I supposed to try on some new running shoes when they’re not open on weekends? I certainly can’t call into work and tell them, “Sorry guys, can’t work today. Need some running shoes.” It’s preposterous.
The 9-5 is broken. Adding in working-from-home days is helpful, but it’s not the solution. We should be working to live, not living to work. Not everyone works their job because it’s their purpose. Sometimes, it’s just a job. I like to think that life is a lot like a Plinko game. Some of us are going to fall to our destination really quickly and that’s where you’ll serve the world best. You barely hit anything along the way, or you just hit it really quickly and still got to the bottom without much reversal. Some of us, well…some of us are going to hit every single obstacle along the way, we’re going to bounce back upwards, we’re going to go sideways, we’re going to hit the walls… but we’re all going to get to where we’re going. If our purpose is at the bottom, I’ll see you down there… someday.
For now, the purpose is to develop some security, to do right by the people that have supported me for years. No one knows how to walk this life and I’ll be damned if I hear otherwise. We should be grateful to have anything. Give back to those that have helped you. Lend a hand when you can. Take care of yourself when you need it. And support the 4 day workweek.