Monday 9th September 2019

Today is Monday, and like everybody who makes failed promises to themselves I have chosen to start on a Monday. Despite setting this blog up last Wednesday it has taken me until now to begin a thousand word a day regime. This, despite again, the fact I’ve been meaning to set a blog up for around six years. Better late than never I suppose.

There is a lot of initial information to get out (about me, my history, why I’m doing this, what I want) but I will fill in the ‘About’ and ‘Goals’ pages to give some background. For now I’ll stick to current events and assume that by the time you’re reading this I have filled in and you have read those pages.

Currently I am a self-employed improver (electrician but not qualified, so I do the same work but I’m not paid electrician’s rates nor can I call myself an electrician or put my name to any work done). I began training as an electrician when I finished school 13 years ago. I never finished my training and after doing many different things in that time, including moving to a beautiful city to complete a university degree and fulfilling a lifelong dream to live abroad, I came back to construction in January of this year (nine months ago). In a nutshell what I do is look for jobs in the area on a pretty casual basis; there may be a job starting tomorrow that promises six weeks work (usually you can half this for the realistic timeframe) then when that finishes there may be another job starting next Monday for three months work. So there will be times when there is no work. I have to budget my money well and think twice before having days off (totally unpaid) from ongoing work as when that job ends I may go a while without any more work.

The last job I was on finished 12 days ago. My step-son (who I’ve known since he was barely one and I look at and treat him as if he were my own son) was still on his summer holidays so the job ending when it did came in handy. He wasn’t back in school until the following Wednesday so I was able to watch him from Thursday until Tuesday. I work long hours so don’t see him much and I’ve only been working local to home since June. Previous to that I worked away in various places; having to stay in hotels from Monday to Friday and only seeing him and my girlfriend on the weekends. And every other weekend he goes to his dad’s, he would pick him up straight from school so I wouldn’t see him until Sunday afternoon. He would be dropped off at around 6pm and his bedtime is between 7 and 8pm so I wouldn’t get very long before he went to bed. I’d be up the next morning around 4am so other than giving him a kiss on the forehead while he slept I’d have no more interaction with him for a week (barring phone calls and facetime I guess).

Anyway back to the point – my last job finished  12 days ago and after three days at home alone and a weekend with my partner (step-son was at his dad’s) you would think I’d be refreshed and ready to go again. I am not. I should have a new job starting tomorrow, doing slightly different work for less pay but it’s better than nothing and worth a try. If it’s not for me well I’ll figure that out if it comes to it. I’ve text the guy who I’m meant to be doing this job for and I await his reply. But the truth is I’m not particularly interested. It’s not what I want to do.

Being an electrician, getting qualified and getting more money and being more I’m demand, is not what I want to do. Eventually owning my own business and leaving the actual electrical work to other people, while is more intriguing to me, is not really what I want to do. Like many jobs I’ve had before I don’t particularly want to climb up the ladder as it will only make it harder to jump off when I want or need to. Many of my friends have very well paying jobs, and have even worked their way up so their job is not particularly difficult anymore. But they are not happy and it’s not what they want to do. They are comfortable and enjoy the money they are on as well as the lifestyle it affords them. But they’re not happy with their work and it’s not what they want to do. As plain and basic as it sounds I don’t want to do something I don’t want to do.

Pretty much the entire previous generation of my family did jobs they didn’t want to do. They were miserable. But did it because they had to. This is a different time and there are more options. My generation don’t have to do what they had to do. Don’t get me wrong whenever I’ve had to go out and work to get the money my young family needs I’ve gone out and done it. I’m not lazy, despite the fact pretty much everyone I know jokes that I am, I just find it extremely difficult getting my head down and doing something I don’t want to do day in day out. I’ll do what I have to but I don’t want to submit, give up on my hopes and dreams, and become a permanent cog until retirement breaks the shackles of employment from my ankles. Freeing me to a rocking chair and a bad back.

Today my plan is to look in to what the alternatives are. Don’t get too excited, I’ve been looking in to this for around four years and although I’ve tried a few things nothing has stuck yet. I already have a few ideas and will probably put those on the ‘Goals’ page. The ideal scenario for me would be to do something from home which I could continuously improve upon making my time more efficient, eventually being able to make the necessary amount in the least possible time allowing me to use my spare time to explore other avenues whilst leaving some time for hobbies that could eventually become some source of income without me relying on them to be (such as writing or coding).

Writing is a passion of mine but I don’t want to write full-time as contradictory as that may sound, especially in this ‘follow your passion’ world we currently find ourselves in. I want to work at something to earn my money and write in my spare time. I want to enjoy it not rely on it. If I never make money from anything I write I’m fine with it, but I do want to write. My biggest obstacles to writing, as well as learning to code and continuing to learn new languages (another passion of mine), like many others, is time and energy.

When I work I’m usually up at 5am and home between 6 and 7pm. By the time I’ve showered and eaten it’s time to put the little one to bed. Then I slump on the sofa and switch off in front of the tv for an hour or so before I have to go to bed to do it all again. Really I could, and should, go to bed at around 9 but usually it’s closer to 10 and I struggle in the morning. I mean I really struggle. Once I’m at work I’m usually fine but getting there is real damn tough. I genuinely don’t know how people do it every single day. Even if you love your job it must be hard, so for those who detest their job I say well done. I genuinely commend them. Like I said I know people have to do what they have to do, I’ve done it myself – worked long hours at a job I hated, with people I loathe, for money that did not seem worth it. But I’ve always got that voice in my head telling me those little things we love to hear: If you’re not happy don’t do it, life’s too short, you spend too much of your life at work to hate every second it, when you’re on your death bed you will only regret all that time spent allowing yourself to be unhappy, happiness and well-being is more important than £12 an hour (my personal favourite. Insert whatever your hourly rate is).

As you will learn I get sidetracked and get in to these rants quite often. My original point was I work a long day and struggle to find the time or energy to do what I love to do such as writing or learning a new language. And when I force myself to do them I don’t love them any more, it’s just another chore. They become akin to doing the dishes. I’m doing them for pleasure, not monetary gain. I want to enjoy them. But when I do have the littlest amount of time or energy I feel guilty for doing the things I love to do (or extremely guilty if I forego them all together and just binge watch a series on tv or play a game), instead I feel like I shouldn’t be doing what I enjoy when I have free time. I should be working. Not working a job, working on myself. Researching what things I can do from home, learning the skills I need to make enough money to work from home, coming up with a defined plan of action. But I’ve been trying to do that for years now and it feels like I’m just chasing my own tail. I find something I can do from home, I look in to it or try it, it doesn’t work out or I have doubts or I don’t have the skills or finances to start, I quit and feel pretty useless and worthless, I start again. So when I have time and energy either I go round in circles again or I do what I enjoy and feel guilty. The guilt and shame is especially prevalant when I’m at work or dragging myself out of bed. When I’m sat in traffic driving to a job I hate thinking to myself (or sometimes saying out loud like a full on crazed lunatic) Well done, another day of your life spent doing something you don’t want to do because instead of applying yourself to get out of this situation you had to play the switch and watch football all weekend. Oh the self-loathing is real people.

So off I go, chasing my tail again. But you know what? Sometimes the dog catches the tail. Hopefully when I do I won’t be as confused as to what to do with it as the dumbstruck dog.

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