oh dear. The summer has arrived. The post-exam ecstasy is wearing off and I’m starting to wish I had something to do with my time besides sleep and go out… I know that having too much free time might seem a ridiculous thing to complain about and some would argue I should be grateful that I can play all day because one of these days I’ll have to leave my magic college bubble and start to work many many hours. But the thing is a lifestyle where you have something to do for the majority of your waking hours- where you feel each day has a direction or a purpose, is an awful lot more enjoyable, if not more carefree, than one where what you make (or fail to make) of each day depends entirely on you. While at work or at school you feel you’re where you’re supposed to be, there is a structure. This is the hard part, once it’s done the day becomes your own, you’ve looked forward to it since morning and you know what you want to do with your time. Whether you’re going to hit the shops, visit friends or crash in front of the tv with a plate of cheese covered carb you can enjoy your ‘you’ time because you’ve already spent several hours being somewhat productive and doing something that is a means to some end.
When you have a job or school or lectures you wake up in the morning and think ‘Right this is how my day will begin, or in the case of lectures, my activities today will have to be structured around this’. Without such activities to anchor our days your thoughts when you first open your eyes are ‘Right, where do I start?’. Perhaps this is not a problem that all people have. Maybe there are those of you who have the discipline to impose their own rigorous schedules and deadlines on themselves and keep them. I am not one of these people. I need structure and outside pressure to motivate me. I need to feel something other than me not being idle is at stake. Maybe that’s a sign of a lack of self respect. I should care about my own interests above those of the people depending on me…But regardless of deeper issues at stake,or whether these issues are universal the fact remains that I am dreading the expanse of free time stretching out before me for june, july and august. I cannot face the idea of 90+ mornings where I struggle to think of pressing reasons to leave my bed. I need something to occupy me.
Thus far the job search has been fruitless and while I plan to persevere the point of this post (yes I’ve finally reached it) is to consider what other options are open to me to amuse myself and feel useful, in the awful (but probable) event that nobody wants to employ me. First of all there’s volunteering. Looks good on the CV I hear and they say it’s good for the soul. I’d really like to get involved with visitations. To hospital or the elderly. The way folks treat old people really bothers me you see. I think it’s because old people make us sad. They are frail and lonely and remind us of where we’re headed, so we make them invisible. I like people, including old ones. I like talking to them.
I’m also hoping to volunteer at a couple of festivals, something I must chase up. But none of these activities are full time. I still have to face the fact that the majority of the next three months will probably consist of days without structure…So it’s time to start thinking of ways to fill days. According to Harold and Maude and Cat Stephens there’s a million things to do. I already have a few ideas. I want to start a sketching club with a few of my friends. We’ll go to a different location every week, sketch for an hour or two and get coffee afterwards. I’m hoping to put up a few notices around town too, get other people involved. If this IS going to be a summer of unemployment it might as well be a Summer where I make new friends. I’m also hoping to post in this blog quite alot. And to learn to drive. And finish Moby Dick. There’s also the question of money- if I had a little I could fund some fun. So maybe I could make some without a job. Number one money making idea at the minute is starting a tour guide company, but being in Dublin would make that easier. Then there is the face mask making..I could knock out a few jars of the honey stuff and sell them at markets. I mean, if I can’t get a job I should make my own opportunities right?
One of these days I need to take my own advice. instead of saying ‘I should do that’ i should do it. I reckon a few more risks are in order.