Sunday, December 07, 2008


I'm restless.

I began my first regular job at age 12. I was a paperboy. Seven days a week, 365 days a year, I and my dog delivered newspapers before the sun came up, before breakfast, before going to school. I have only good memories about this job.

About the same time I began seasonal farm work. I picked strawberries, tomatoes and grapes. As I got older I trimmed and tied grapes, drove and replaced vineyard posts, stretched and stapled wire. At times the work was monotonous. Grapes were trimmed and the vineyards prepared during the dormant season which meant some days of cloudy skies, below freezing temperatures, wind and snow. Heavy mittens with a free index finger helped but the stinging cold found it's way to fingers that hurt. Still, I have good memories.

Before I got old enough to drive I talked my father into buying a lawn mower for me. I found a few yards to mow as a means of earning money. I wonder if I ever repaid him? I can't remember.

I've had more short-term, part-time jobs than I can remember. I've also had four extended full-time jobs. Most of my adult life I've worked on salary. There was a two year period in the early 1970's when I punched a time card while working at a Ford stamping plant -- an extremely well paid drudgery job with almost no good memoires.

Today, I have a good job, an excellent well-paid, stable job. I work in a safe and comfortable environment. I work with good people. I have the kind of job that most people want.

But, I'm restless. I don't want safe and comfortable. I want to be out in the weather with a job that leaves me physically tired but feeling alive.

Why am I feeling this way? Most of my adult life I'm been in positions where I was in charge. One of the attractions of my current job is than I'm not in charge, I don't have a staff to supervise and I can leave at the end of the day without lingering responsibility. Am I restless because I'm not as invested in my job as in previous positions?

Is it because I'm getting older and the importance of physical active has increased? Or, is it the winter with less sunlight and less opportunity to be outside during free time so I'm operating on a sunshine deficit?

The bottom line is I don't know why I'm restless. What I do know is that it's cold, cloudy and there's a slight chance of rain. I'm going to cut firewood. If I'm lucky, I'll get chilled, damp with rain and fatigued. I'll come home feeling content.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Our needs and wants change, and we don't always know why -- just that they are what they are. All the best.

12/07/2008 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

Hey Paul,

I hope you came home content.

Man, do I hear you about R-E-S-T-L-E-S-S!

I'm reading a book now you might like. Fifty Degrees Below, by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's the second in a trilogy. First book was Thirty Signs of Rain. Yep, it's about global warming.

Virtually no sex (except for 1 really interesting elevator scene during an electrical malfunction) and no shooting and violence. In spite of that I am really enjoying it. Good character developments with one of the central people - Frank.

He goes through a rather sudden and unexpected life restructuring when in a lunchtime lecture by a Tibetan Buddhist Monk he hears: ~ an overvaluation and overinvestment in the rational side of living can be viewed as a certain form of madness.

It was like a mantra in the form of a question which memed into his brain and consciousness.

He then starts opening to the present and to the world outside his body and his office. He becomes in effect a nomad living in D.C. while also working at a top science clearing house where he is (self)tasked in changing the earth's weather patterns. Fascinating.

Anyway, along the way he starts connecting to the primal, and in his words, starts living the life of a paleolithic primate.

If you read it, you might want to start with the first in the trilogy since it will give sufficient background to really appreciate what is happening in 50 deg.


12/07/2008 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Perhaps it is a desire to gain a more direct and personal control over your life.

12/07/2008 10:42:00 PM  

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