Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Something's Different

I go back to work tomorrow for the first time in two months. For the past four years that fact would have had me on the verge of a panic attack, but this time I feel nothing. I'm not excited by the prospect of returning to a job I don't like, but I'm not terrified by it either. That's a definite improvement.

I posted a line of barely-dark humor on my Facebook page about tomorrow's return to the drudgery of the working world and one of my aunts commented that she hoped I could eventually learn to love what I do. It's a pleasant thought, but I'm not sure I'd ever be able to love a job. Now, I'm sure I can find something out there I don't hate. In fact, I left a job I didn't hate to become a teacher because I wanted more money and time with my wife. Still, I think that even if I did manage to make a living doing something I loved, writing, brewing, sleeping, I'd eventually start to resent the fact that I had to do that instead of something else.

Well, maybe not sleeping. I'm not sure I could ever resent sleep.

I may not be excited about tomorrow, but I am reassured by the fact that I'm not dreading waking up in the morning and going back through the motions of earning a paycheck. I'm not even dreading Monday morning when I have to face a room full of apathetic teenagers again for the first time since the middle of May. Maybe this year will be better, after all. Even if it's not, it's just one more year. The worst case scenario is that I work a job I hate for 25 more years, get every summer off and then retire to live out the rest of my life as a senior citizen hobo, right?

Actually, I think the worst case scenario would be that the Libertarians get their way at some point in my career and I have to provide for my own retirement, the economy crashes when it is finally time for me to retire, I lose all of my savings and have to continue teaching until I finally die, well into my 90s, too deaf and too blind to realize that my students aren't even in the classroom to point and laugh as I crash into the floor when my heart finally gives out. That's probably a much worse outcome, isn't it?

If you haven't been reading this blog for very long, here's one of my favorite posts written about what I really want to be doing with my life.


Courtney said...

Yes, working into your 90s and dying on the job would be pretty bad.

With most jobs I've had, the best I can hope for is to not outright dread going to work. I don't have to love it, but I can't hate it. Life sucks if you really hate your job.

A Free Man said...

I've come to the conclusion over many years of shitty jobs - from J.C. Penney shoe salesman to university lecturer - that you've got to find your happiness outside of the bounds of your career. Like Courtney says - if you don't wake up in the morning in a cold sweat, life is pretty good.