If you read my previous (password-protected) post, you know the details about my current predicament. I am on forced unpaid leave due to the government shutdown (and there are some frustrating details involved in my case) and I am trying to be my always positive self in dealing with my situation. While it sucks, I am trying to look at the silver linings:
I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow – yay! I can stay home in my pajamas and drink coffee all day if I want. I could finally read more books, or watch some episodes of the (three) TV series that I have been simultaneously watching on Netflix (and which I have to seriously catch up on). Heck, I could even get a head start on my Christmas card crafting. Also, have I mentioned that I have yet to miss any of the post-season Red Sox games, because I have been home in the afternoon. When does that ever happen?
It must seem as if I have time to do ALL THE THINGS that I usually complain about not having enough time for. People keep telling me that I should make the best of it, enjoy the time off – except, it’s not that easy. I know they mean well, but it’s hard to relax when you’re in limbo. I feel oddly paralyzed by the uncertainty and unfairness of my situation and I simply do not have the peace of mind to enjoy the unexpected time off as much I want to (or maybe even should). What is it about the human psyche that keeps you in a gridlock when things go off track and denies you to at least enjoy the often few, but still noticeable benefits of an otherwise all-around shitty situation?
Have you ever felt that way?
I almost feel like I have less time, because my mind is so preoccupied. Believe me, I am fully aware how utterly ridiculous that sounds when I am spending 8+ hours more at home every day than usual. And it’s quite frustrating to have this extra time and feel like you’re not able to really use it. It’s not that I am not trying to be productive every day. Most days, I am up early (although not early enough for it to be still dark outside, which is nice), I make my coffee and get my day going. I complete chores, clean up, declutter. I have a to do list, because it’s just how I operate and because I need to feel like I accomplished something at the end of the day.
Some people have suggested we should go on a trip, but that’s not really an option, because we’re officially not allowed to go on vacation and must be available to return back to work within 24-hours. Besides, when you’re on unpaid leave, that’s not really the time you feel like you should spend money on travel, or anything, for that matter. So, I spend a significant amount of time in front of the TV instead, following the news, trying to find out if anything on the political stage has finally shifted towards a resolution.
One good thing about this shutdown: I’ve been running more in the last week than I have run in the last three months. Oddly enough, running is a frustration-outlet for me (and it’s free!), so when things are weighing on my mind, I go on the treadmill. I love this phenomenon and hate it at the same time. I don’t only want to feel motivated to run when I am frustrated, but on the other hand, it does give me some sort of purpose right now. Maybe, I’ll finally become a legit runner. (When are you officially allowed to call yourself that? When can I be accepted into that club?)