Another side effect of the (extremely desirable and wonderful) change of the last month is that I’ve left behind and lost touch with many of the weekly benchmarks that I had gotten used to when I was looking for work. (Isn’t “looking for work” a much more denial-compliant euphemism than “unemployed?”) As a result, there’s a recurring feeling of being a bit disoriented from time to time.
It’s ironic since that’s the exact problem I was so worried about in reverse when I stopped having a nine-to-five job.
I had the routine of a nine-to-five, Monday through Friday job, where I had daily, weekly, monthly, and annual routines at work, routines that I had developed for over twenty-five years, routines that were practically embedded in my DNA.
Then they were gone.
One of my biggest fears then was that I would end up losing touch, adrift, sitting on the couch all day watching “Oprah” and “The Price Is Right” while socking away a pint of ice cream every day and not shaving or changing clothes for days at a time. There was a black hole there that I dared not to approach.
So I imposed new routines. I set self-imposed quotas for applications and resumes. I set self-imposed standards on my daily activities to ward off those demons. I got into the CAF and got a routine there, three days a week out at the hangar. That was critical.
Most importantly, I started writing here.
The darkness was held at bay. Sometimes it could be felt drawing closer, but it was still outside, not inside.
Now I’m making the reverse transition. But instead of transitioning from the abnormal back to the normal, I’m finding that I spent long enough in the “abnormal” to make it normal. Once again I’m transitioning from the normal to the abnormal, even if the “normal” is the “new normal” and the “abnormal” is the “old normal”.
I don’t go out to the hangar three days a week. While many parts of my self-imposed regimen have now become habit and will continue, the “optional” parts have almost all been shed in the face of limited time and sleep.
Yet I haven’t yet quite gotten into the new routine. I can see it from here, but it’s not anywhere near ingrained into my psyche, let alone my DNA.
So here I am, betwixt two worlds. Headed in the right direction without a doubt, yet still having to stop and think several times a day to remember what day of the week it is. I know if I’ve got a meeting on my calendar (three of them today, with a fourth cancelled!) but that’s short term information, not part of the big picture.
So if occasionally I seem a bit dazed and confused, just remember what a long, strange trip it’s been. Some times I’m just livin’ on a prayer.
I wanna be sedated.
(Okay, that was a cheap cop out of an ending, but it’s after 23:00.)