Restlessness

Posted by mouthyb | Posted in , | Posted on 2:16 PM

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I have this personality flaw, and trust me, it is a flaw: I am fiercely intellectually restless. I am currently looking for work over the summer vacation, and I can only take about two weeks without working, building, creating, learning and producing. I start to feel stale and slothy after about four days, and by now, I'm just twitchy.

I feel useless, if that makes sense. It's a flaw because it makes vacation time difficult for me. I feel guilty for not doing more.

My partner says it's that Puritan work ethic drilled into my head as a child, and that I should drink more. The cure, he says, is to wean me away from those work habits using fun. I've given up explaining that making things is fun in a different way and accept the occasional chivvying to do something non-productive. Okay, constant chivvying.

I give him a hard time about describing my behavior as Puritan, but it is possible that childhood habits prevail in my feelings about fun. My family did not believe in play on a regular basis because idle hands are the devil's playthings; we could play only if we finished work. Since my father hired me out to do yard work and construction on the weekends and during the summer, as well my taking off and wandering for eight hours on days which I was not scheduled to work, in order to get out of the house, I did not spend a lot of time playing as a child.

I'm going to blame my fascination with science toys on that and the pressure to adopt traditionally feminine roles. I suppose I should be grateful in some ways; this allows me to work insane hours, under bad conditions, and still get shit done.

I am finding, as I age, that I am fascinated with the idea of rest. I watch my partner through his day, trying to figure out the secret: how does one appreciate extended bouts of spare time?

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