"How was work?" one asked.
"Same old, same old," the other replied, her voice tinged with boredom.
"Yep, I know how that is," the first one sighed. "Same old, same old."
It hit me at that moment how I do not want to say that about my job or my life: same old, same old.
There are some people in this world who work at the same job for 30, 40, even 50 years. They get up at the same time every day. They go to work at the same office. They do the same tasks. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year. They have a routine, and they have security in this routine. Some people love their jobs. Some do not. Yet they stay, perhaps looking forward to that time when they retire and life can finally begin.
And they are perfectly fine with that. I admire them.
But I am not fine with my life taking that route at all.
Because I do not want the "same old, same old" to be my career.
I do not want to be an office drone the rest of my life. I do not want to just "put in my time" until I retire. I do not want to continue doing something I do not love for years on end. I do not want to start living life solely on vacations or weekends before returning to the drudgery of the day job.
Many people say that writers should not quit their day jobs. For financial reasons and some other, compelling reasons (the sense of camaraderie you get with your co-workers, health insurance and other benefits, etc.), I agree that keeping the day job is a necessity.
For me, it is a necessity at this point in my life.
And yes, I, too, am caught up in the same old, same old. For now.
|A little tongue in cheek humor...|
But I am actively working to make sure it is not going to be the same old, same old in the future.
Here is why.
I have two consuming passions that work rather well together: writing and history. I am defined by those passions in so many ways that it is probably impossible to document them all. In short, they compose a major part of who I am.
Which means that I want to live my passions. I want to live through my writing and my love of history. Achieving this goal remains of paramount importance to me.
I want the opposite of same old, same old. I want to be able to write and publish my novels. Go on a few book tours. Have enough money in my bank account to take a trip once a year. Volunteer at a museum. Go on research trips. Write, write, write. Break out of the routine.
But! I also want to be home when my daughter gets out of school in the afternoon. Enjoy my cozy house and my pets. Take walks in the morning when it's crisp and cool outside instead of being locked in rush-hour traffic. Look at the clock and think, "Oh! It's that time already? I've been enjoying myself so much that I didn't even notice time passing!" Connect with readers and writers. Take my time browsing through an old bookstore instead of hurrying through it on my lunch hour. And lots and lots of other things. ( I also know that there will undoubtedly be plenty of times where I will not be positive, happy, and cheerful. I am well aware of the flip side of the coin.)
Perhaps you think I am an idealist. This would not be the case. I am a realist, if anything. I know that I need to pay my bills, which means I need an income, which means I need a job. I need health insurance. I need to pay rent. Those things cannot be done on passion alone. They require income, and at present, the day job is filling that need. I am immensely grateful for it. Truly, I am. In this time of economic misery, I feel incredibly blessed.
That is why I am taking baby steps to achieve my goal.
But identifying what I don't want out of life is the first step.
And I don't want same old, same old.