In my current job I often have a lot of spare time. That spare time is normally interrupted frequently by phone calls and random things that need to be photocopied, but spare time it still is. I have to admit that I haven’t really been making the most of all this spare time during the day. Every now and then I get some uni work out of the way, but most often, my day is wasted on Facebook.
I remember this one temp job I had back in May or June where for two whole days I printed letters, folded letters, stuffed brochures into envelopes and stamped envelopes. In those two whole days I said no more than 50 words and talked to one person. While these were two of the most lonely, boring and tedious days of my 20 years of existence, they were also days filled with much thought and processing, that I hadn’t allowed myself to do for a long time. Despite all this “spare time” I have throughout the day.. I managed to cram and fill my day with so much unnecessary nonsense that I had neglected or avoided thinking. I now make it a point to stop and ask myself, “When was the last time you made time in your life to think?”
I have a pretty mixed up relationship when it comes to thinking. I love the clarity it can bring, the ideas that form – but thinking normally means facing up to problems and situations that I’ve been avoiding. Lately my thoughts have been more like dreams, dreams of what I wish life was. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my career and what I want to do. I’m pretty sick of just wasting away time here at this reception desk. I’m sick of having to be in this office from 8.00am to 4.30pm. I’m sick of just learning so that I can be tested and graded. I’m sick of monotonous activities that don’t seem to serve any eternal purpose. I have a doctors appointment this afternoon to discuss some test results — all this ‘sickness’ seems to be actually making me physically sick.
There’s this episode on one of my favourite TV shows One Tree Hill titled Every day is a Sunday evening but it’s actually the name of an album by The Blackouts. Peyton is visiting Jake in Savannah on the weekend and it’s the Sunday before she is leaving to go back home to Tree Hill. She talks about how everybody hates Sunday Evenings because it’s the day before you have to go back to school, the day before the weekend ends. It’s such a sad but familiar concept. Every day is a Sunday evening.
The thing I keep thinking about is not whether or not I am perhaps in the wrong industry, but whether contentment is something that can be truly achieved despite occupation or situation. I would so love to be an actor, or a radio host, or a writer – but would those things really make me content. Before I said that those two days temping were two of the most boring and tedious days of my 20 years of existence. I stress the use of the word existence. I don’t merely want to exist. I wish I could truly say that I’ve been living for the 20 years, but I don’t think I really have been. I’ve been existing. What joy and excitement is there in existing? What makes my life or walk different to the person in the office next door? Not much currently.
Lot’s of thinking to do. Lots and lots of thoughts running round in this inexperienced young mind. Should I stay or should I go? I know at some point I have to stop thinking and start acting. Stop existing and start living.
Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. Phil 4: 11-13