Of overtime and Work Ethics 

Sleep, shower, cook, eat, work, cook, eat, sleep – rinse and repeat.  This pay period is going to go a long way in easing some of my financial stress at least.  We’re incredibly busy and they opened the gates for overtime for pretty much as many hours as I decide I want to work!

And so if there’s a shift I have taken it, it’s been 10-14 hour days since Tuesday and I’m scheduled through the weekend and Monday I will most likely grab shifts for the rest of the week this weekend.  Sure I’m a bit tired and I need to get some time for homework but I’m grabbing the hours while I can.

I’m taking Tuesday off to do laundry and general homework not to mention catch up on sleep and some self care.  All told however I really don’t mind these long hours, keeps me out of trouble. Yesterday was supposed to be a short day (8 hours) with me scheduled to start at 3 the morning felt like I had a day off!!

Well, until they called me at 9:30 to see if I could go in “as soon as possible”.  Today?? 11-7 but of course all day yesterday they kept asking and hoping I would go in closer to 8 this morning, I might but I’m not sure yet.  It’s 5:30 and I’m not able to get back to sleep so perhaps after I’ve read my beloved paper I’ll meander in.

With my life being so bumpy the last few years its been a while since I’ve “been great” at something and honestly I’m enjoying that feeling again.  Granted it is a crap job, minimum wage in a call center a temporary solution for immediate need but I still have pride in my work again.  I’ve been top closer every day this week and by a good margin at that getting me pretty much a golden ticket to work whenever and however I want.  

They simply leave me alone to rock my phone and I enjoy that, I feel sorry for the other poor saps who line the isles with coaches constantly walking up and down looking over shoulders giving corrections and cutting those that are having a bad day.  I think that it would drive me mad!  The conversations in the break room are all the same “they won’t give me hours, I’m not making any money!! Waaaah”.

Simple bit of advice guyzos, maybe if you worked the dialer on a consistent basis instead of reading and coloring waiting for the dialed to work you, you might just get more accomplished.  I don’t like to sit and wait for my next call, I drop the dialer into manual mode and slam calls 100% of the time I’m at that desk.  It’s a numbers game, if I can fire off 1500 calls in a shift I’m going to close some surveys, even with bad data full of disconnected numbers.

I digress, it seems work ethic is lost on the generations after mine (I’ve been feeling a tad old lately realizing generation X hasn’t been a thing for a long while now).  The good majority of my coworkers are young kids and those that are older are there because much like me hard on luck.  News flash, your going to continue to be hard on your luck as long as you prioritize getting stoned above getting ahead!  Just because pots legal here doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to smoke up before your shift at during break!  It slows you down and kills productivity, don’t space out and then bitch when you get cut!! Thicken your skin, suck it up, and do your job!

I suppose this has turned complete rant this morning, hah!  I honestly am feeling much better about myself today though.  Being able to take pride in my work again regardless of how menial that work may be.  And knowing it won’t always be this call center.

In the coming days I meet with an old friend to talk about going back to the tech industry.  This decision I did not take lightly as there is a risk I burn out and go off the rails again, I debated with myself for weeks over the possibilities and deliberately chose this particular friend to work for to protect myself and have no interest in a high level position, I’ve simply outgrown the complex rat race life.

And so, for today I will have the breakfast I am currently cooking, read my paper, call my friend, and I think I will go in at 11.

No matter what you do, take pride in it as it makes the work easier!

~J

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Forward Momentum

I still have plenty of fight left maybe it’s time to dream again.

Life continues…… Despite me taking my day of self reflection and avoidance of people the world does not stop just because I did for a day. In all honestly things are not that bad this morning! I could go on about all the things I don’t have or the faults that I do have but that really gets me nowhere at all. Today I think I will work to spend every minute of my time just a little more wisely.

I’m slightly annoyed and incredibly tired of trying to pick up a shift or two here or there and payday doesn’t come soon enough. Reality is, I’ve got it pretty good my kitchen is stocked and I live in a decent neighborhood. Things could be much worse so there is no sense in dwelling on any of that. After all we create our own situations is this not true? So it’s time to spend today shifting focus from past and present to the near future. We don’t naturally walk backwards it’s just not in our biology so why is it that I spent so much time trying to make that work?

Odd when I think about it, with all this self reflection I suppose I do risk dropping back into a depression again. Of course if I choose to bottle it up and ignore it how can I ever progress past this dangerous ledge that I seem to keep skirting? Nope, I don’t think I want to do that anymore so off we go! In the absence of a shift this morning I have a little bit of time to sit with a cup of good coffee and my thoughts over breakfast. The one meal I rarely miss is breakfast, it’s become the cornerstone of my mornings whether I can sleep or not.

So today (after breakfast of course) I will hit it hard looking for a more stable career track. I will make some calls, send some emails, fire off some resumes, and somewhere in that mess I will sit down and put together a nice list of goals and values for the next 3 months or so. Thinking too far ahead is dangerous for me, thinking too far behind buys me nothing. I’ve got to stay within a nice small window for now until I can achieve some stability. Best to keep thinking but not think too much!

I much too often wonder what life would be like today had I chosen a different track long ago? Would I be successful? What is the definition of success for me? Yes I think too much. Continuing this thought (and there I go thinking again), perhaps something I lost along the way was the ability to dream. I lost the ability to look forward and feel the wonders of excitement about the future again and have real actual goals. This is today’s task for me and I hope it keeps my direction properly aimed.

Momentum is an interesting word, a near nebulous term I think much like the word “mechanism”. Words have interested me lately as I read other bloggers and tap into some of my older books as I have unpacked them. I am currently focused on a passage from Dante’s Divine Comedy, Purgatorio (Purgatory) 25th canto line 4 “Therefore, like one who will not stop but moves along his path, no matter what he sees, if he is goaded by necessity….”.

I’m a huge fan of Dante’s works, in particular Vita Nuova (The New Life). It’s quite interesting that the opening of the 25th canto of purgatory is the start of the ascent from the 6th terrace to the 7th (Gluttony to Lust) I suppose in a way our dreams and hopes for the future could be easily connected to them both. I will re-read this canto today I think, if not for anything than to have consumed something resembling art today. I have 3 translations of this wonderful book and much like I do with the Hawaiian creation chant the Kumulipo, I will enjoy comparing the translations today.

And so this post is getting a little bit too long now, I have in fact defined two very short term goals while typing this though. I will finish breakfast, pull a few books from the shelf, and enjoy something I haven’t done in a long while. I will spend a short time comparing old writings and let myself get lost for a half hour or so in deep thought. I will then be off to action today, no more walking backwards.

Time to dream again,

~J

We Didn’t Really Sluff Off, Oh Noes!

A Saturday Sluffing Off Part Two

Well, we didn’t really manage to meet our goal of “sluffing off” today. Today we planted an entire planter box all the while with me zapping paper wasps out of the sky with my trusty can of flying insect spray (cover fire). We managed to get the job1-IMG_6393 done and done fairly well in my opinion, even though it was quite a bit of work churning the soil around and moving this and that around.

Then of course we got to the flower pots…. Originally, we were looking at doing about 3 which turned into 8!! And another trip for more flowers as well as some wasp traps which I set and hung. Aaaaand some general cleanup of the houseplants…. Aaaaaand a few other cleanups here and there, hose hookups…. Yaaaadaaa yaaaadaaa yaaaadaaa.

Hah, and it’s not even 4:30! I’m going to start my rice for stir fry soon but I figured I would share some photo’s I took just a few moments ago 1-IMG_6371for no other reason than I could and I was losing my light.

Go big or well, don’t!

~Joe

 

The Positive Benefits of Creation

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One of the authors hobbies, Gummy art.

Why not take action to improve yourself?

Creating something, whether baking a cake or building a table, even snapping together a Lego set or creating a blog entry can become an incredibly cathartic process of not just focus and self-reflection but also discovery of one’s own capabilities. Often it can also serve as a distraction or outlet from a myriad of problems we encounter through life be it anger, depression, addiction (urges and cravings), and of course boredom.

Smart Recovery © calls this a form of VACI or Vitally Absorbing Creative Interest and it is recommended in point 4 of the program “Living a Balance Life”. While it is very true that engaging in a hobby or activity (which can be anything ranging from hiking to simply meditating) is not just beneficial but in many cases required to achieving life balance; I would like to suggest that activities that produce some sort of output can be useful in all stages of life (or to frame within SMART© Point 2 “Coping With Urges” and Point 3 “Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors”). In the interest of not seeming to focused on one single program I will also point out that many 12 step sponsors will recommend a sponsee perform a task when called about an urge or craving.

This translates farther than addiction though; often with scenarios of high anxiety, depression, even avoiding or reducing the extent of dementia, or Alzheimer’s symptoms. The positive effects of a hobby are far reaching in that it exercises the mind, helps to achieve focus, generates a sense of accomplishment and, in the case of creating something it can also produce income or a gift for someone else.

Recently my personal experience has been that when I have an urge come on I can manage it very quickly and easily by engaging in one of my favorite “creational” hobbies, cooking. Often by the time I assemble all the necessary pots and pans and utensils and whatever ingredients I will need the urge has disappeared. Sometimes instead of cooking I will start a wood working project or fiddle with any manner of craft from stained glass, building a camp stove out of a coffee can, photography, and yes even this blog.

The articles for this blog is not only a very good example of a creational hobby but also in my opinion a very timely and excellent demonstration of how effective such things can be on changing overall attitude and improving well-being. I started this blog approximately three days ago, this is the fourth day and I have already noticed a major shift in my overall attitude to the positive. I find it easier to engage in conversations with a much more upbeat and relaxed tone, and shrug off comments that I would ordinarily respond to with argument or insult. I haven’t had an urge or even so much as a slight craving in the last two days, and my sleep has been better than I can ever remember throughout my adult life.

Here where I am at in Colorado, I impatiently await the days I can go out with my cameras and snap pictures of whatever strikes me in hopes for those few great shots that I may print and frame as gifts for friends and family. I cook a meal once a week for my much younger cousin who is living on his own for the first time a few blocks away. These creational hobbies not only provide me joy and absorb time that I might have normally spent looming in depression, but they also bring along a secondary feel good when I do something for someone else just because.

I invite anybody reading this to take a good look at what creational hobbies might become a useful tool in adjusting attitude and lifestyle to a more positive and productive meaning.

Happy creating,

~Joe