Unemployed In Summertime

It's been roughly a week and a half since I left my job, and a question I've been getting a lot is "how does it feel?"

In a word: awesome.

In six words: it's everything I hoped and feared.

When I was still with The Company, I remember thinking just how much I would get done if only I had the time. If I didn't have to commute, didn't have to work, didn't have to follow an external schedule, I reasoned, my mind and body would be free to succeed in ways that I (at that point) could only imagine.

I would finally finish writing the book - the book - which has sat in a state of suspended animation for the better part of two years now. All those brilliant ideas I'd been stockpiling for all those years behind the desk would be free to flourish and the world could finally see what kind of literary genius had been right there all along.

I would record that album I had been threatening to for so very long. Genres would be bent to my will. The very concept of songwriting and musicianship would change once the world heard what I had been working on.

I would become the perfect fitness animal. Hours would be spent turning my arms and legs into immaculately sculpted testaments to the awesome power of intense weightlifting and unwavering attention to nutrtion. Each calorie would be weighed against itself, each curl would be the model of arc and execution, each press and lift the very definition of conditioning.

Or so I thought.

The most amazing part about abandoning one schedule and way of life is how very difficult it is to adopt another. Wake up before 11? Sure, but why?

I could work on something resembling a life goal, something whose incompletion has haunted me for years...or I could go to the beach.

I could catch up on all those projects I've been kicking around for so long...or I could play video games.

I could seize the opportunity to see more of the world...or I could watch the NBA's Greatest Games on ESPN Classic.

What you end up with is a sort of cross-breed of motivation and convenience. I've fallen back into good musical habits, but have also been staying inside more than I'd like to. I've gone to less Sox games than I want to, but I've read up more on the team than I ever did before. A day's work may only entail going to Target or to the bar down the street, but at least I've learned to make a game of it (I like to call it "Who The Hell Are All These People At The Stores And Bars In The Middle of a Weekday Afternoon?").

So on one hand there's this knowledge that anything is possible. On the other is the knowledge that my room is very dark and it's very easy to sleep late. I suspect these two will be arm-wrestling for some time.

Whatever. School starts in a few weeks and at least then there will be something to complain about.

Besides...Metal Gear Solid 3 is a hell of a game so far. And if anyone knows a scenic route from St. Louis to Maine, let me know.