The Dread

EDIT: I changed the image at the bottom because sonntagsleerung is exactly what I'm trying to describe here.

My sister and I have an informal yet surprisingly well-developed set of theories concerning The Dread. Most of the people I know are aware of The Dread, even if they have never called it by that name. It's not universal, but it's a commonly experienced by people who work regular schedules and/or go to school.

"The Dread" is the feeling of dreading going back to work (or school) you get on weekends or vacations.  When it hits, you know it. You stop enjoying whatever it is you're doing and are preoccupied with the resumption or your work or school week. 

The Dread theory posits that, the longer the time off, the longer the duration of The Dread. You might think that it would hit the day before returning to work regardless of the length of the time off, but The Dread does not seem to work this way. If it's a regular two-day weekend, The Dread might not kick in until Sunday evening. If you're on week-long vacation, it might start on Saturday morning and last for two full days.  If you're off for two weeks, you could be looking at four days of The Dread.

How early The Dread hits you on regular weekends is a reasonably accurate measure of your happiness with your job. Stressful times might see The Dread creeping into Sunday morning, ruining half your weekend. If The Dread makes it to Saturday, it is probably time to consider seeking employment elsewhere.

In spite of how it probably appears, it's Saturday night and The Dread is nowhere near me. Seasoned observers of The Dread and Its Many Manifestations have found that having a wonderful partner sleeping softly next to you is, while not proof against The Dread, then at the very least a pretty strong deterrent. 

On an unrelated note, the Flash Fiction Challenge this week is a simple one: Use a random phrase generator to come up with your title and proceed accordingly.  My result is fascinating, but I'm not completely sure there's a non-non-fiction story in it: "Sustainable Greediness." I mean, "challenge accepted" and all that, but while it's a fantastic title, it's not quite as inviting as it might look at first glance. I'm not planning on chickening out and re-rolling, but I'm not 100% saying I won't either.


I changed the image on this because, well, read the definition. Perfect!

I changed the image on this because, well, read the definition. Perfect!

Avoiding work by writing about not avoiding work

Man, I'd forgotten how much writing on a schedule, as opposed to "whenever I feel like it" can take it out of a guy. In a previous life writing for magazines, the work was extremely spiky: Write twenty things in a week, then nothing for a month. Oddly enough, I find that easier than grinding out x number of words a day or week. 

There's always a risk turning anything you enjoy into a job, or even treating it like one. My experience is that instead of loving your jobs (which is, presumably, the desired outcome), you wind up resenting or even hating the thing you enjoyed. Turning something you like to do into something you have to do isn't always a good move.

That said, sometimes it's just a matter of self-discipline, isn't it? I have no patience for people who say that working in any kind of steady fashion stifles their creativity. I say this as a person who's said that from time to time but has come to recognize that it's kind of a bullshit excuse. One of the key tricks to Getting Things Done is to do them when you don't feel like it, and doing what you have to do to pay the bills that allow you to do the thing, or things, you love.

Which is to say, time to close the blog and get back to work...