Pondering Life

Pondering Life

 So, as a follow-up to my Taking a Year Off  posting, I thought I should write a quick note about NOT being on a year off. In other words … working.

I am working now. And it seems to take up most all of my time. And when I am not working (which is rarely), I am doing other essential things that don’t include reading blogs, randomly searching the internet, or writing blogs. (this is a round-about way to explain my lack of blogging activity)  And because I work in Mexico, my personal productivity is affected by the general lack of organization and communication issues here which cause a great deal of otherwise unnecessary re-work. And I have an added issue that my boss is not in Mexico but in Brazil. Yes, that is a completely different country, located on a different continent, in a different time zone, that operates in a different language. How is that for complicating life?

In general it is good to get back to work after being away for a while. Painful in the early mornings, stressful with the reduced time, but it feels good being more “productive” in life. After a year off and just 2 months working, I can tell you that both do come with stresses, but each of a very different kind. Here’s my personal list of preoccupations during each time period …

Stresses during a year off:

  • What should I do with my life?
  • What should I do today?
  • Am I leading a worthwhile life, making the most of everyday?
  • What time should I get up?
  • Who should I have lunch with today?
  • Where do I want to travel? Can anyone travel with me?
  • Why isn’t anyone reading my blog?

Stresses during a typical working year:

  • How can I possibly get all this work done in this amount of time?
  • When will I be able to sleep in again?
  • What should I wear tomorrow?
  • When will I have time to eat lunch … I am starving!
  • How can I possibly see my friends, spend time with my significant other and also exercise?
  • Where should I take my next vacation?
  • When will I have time to write in my blog?

I have decided that on a year off, one has more time to think. And for me, more time to think isn’t always a good thing. I start to ask BIG questions. About life, love, happiness, meaning … whereas when I am working, my questions tend to revolve around small, daily stresses. Which I have found is less stressful in the long-run than the big questions.

I used to know a guy who was obsessed with figuring out the meaning of life … he read all the major religious books, looked into meditation, spent hours thinking and creating artwork. One time he was talking to a woman I worked with who told him, “I get up at 6:30am, get the kids ready, clean the house a bit, drive to work, work a long, stressful day, rush home, try to work out, get dinner on the table, drive kids to their events, see my husband, clean up more, and fall into bed exhausted. I dont have TIME to think about the meaning of life, but life still goes on and seems pretty full to me.” So I ponder … should we all spend time off “searching” for the meaning of life and trying to “find happiness,” or is the meaning of life squished in-between the work meetings, rushed lunches and time spent with friends and loved ones? Do we just distract ourselves with the busy events of daily work life, or is that actually what life is all about?