Monday, July 04, 2011

Backyard Musing

I'm sitting in the backyard of the tiny studio cottage we're renting in Chico, CA. It was 100 degrees or more today but I find it surprisingly comforting to sit in these kinds of temperatures -- in the shade, of course! Reminiscent of childhood memories of Massachusetts, perhaps, where the temperatures tend to stay below 100 degrees but the humidity is SO high you're drenched in sweat instantly when you go out and never get dry. It's like being in a sweatbath there, the air so thick with pollen and humidity it can be hard to breathe. We always lived within 20 minutes of the ocean so that's where we went to get relief. Plus there was a very nice lake in the center of town. I remember spending practically every day there in my youth. Shade in Chico feels very much the same. Enough humidity to let my hair curl and to evoke those earlier days but not so much that I can't enjoy it (at least not yet). To make the sensation even more complete an ice cream truck is driving by right now playing an old song musicbox style to draw the neighborhood children out. Love it! It's perfect.

The experience is bringing up feelings that it is perhaps high time I let myself have. I don't feel like doing anything. I have a very long list of things I think I ought to do: a book to write, another in the hopper but needing editing and then formatting in a computer format I don't look forward to working in, Mama Love perfume to restock and God knows how many tasks to do to market the stuff... none of which has led to guaranteed and continuous success in the past. (Sometimes the efforts pay off, frequently they have not.) Don't get me wrong: I love the freedom to be my own boss that self-employment involves. I have NO problem generating endless ways to occupy every minute of my day... but what I miss is the opportunity to get up, go to work, KNOW I'm going to get paid, and then come home knowing my duties are over if I want them to be. I can put my feet up, read a good book (what's a book?) and not feel guilty.

Whenever I have been employed I always love it. It's such a relief it feels like a vacation. Literally. A vacation to work 40 hours a week. My biggest hassle ever has been getting bored on the job—getting my work done way before it's time to go home and knowing that the pay-off for taking on more work is just that. More work that then becomes my responsibility whether I continue to get the job done easily or not and without additional payment besides. It's the employee mindset that comes in. Why should I work twice as hard when the pay-off is no pay-off? The same thing as when I'm self-employed except for in that circumstance when I succeed money will come to me and the extra work I take is something I want to be doing.

Now don't get me wrong about this either! I'm actually usually "Employee of the Week." I hate being bored. I hate not doing a good job... no, make that a kick-ass, my bosses can't believe what they're getting for the money, kind of job. But eventually, if that doesn't lead to improvement in my bottom line.... I start wishing I was using the time I save by being efficient to do something else of my own design and that never meshes with what I do on my day job.

Imagine if I could be paid extra on my regular job to do something that makes my heart sing: intuitive consultation, spiritual direction, flower essence aromatherapy formulation, taking pictures, doing artwork, writing about the same. Wow! What a day job life that would be! It wouldn't be a "day job" at all. It would be more than enough.

And then I could go home, put my feet up and read a book just for fun. I could grow flowers in my garden, do crafts just because I want to, or do nothing at all. What a life that would be.

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