We're entering a bit of a slack period at work. It's nearly holiday time, so things are simply not as busy as they usually are. There is time to breathe. Time to relax. Time to think.
It's awful. And I know why I feel that way.
I'm one of these people who need a degree of formal structure to their day. I like to be busy. Both at work and socially. Take away that structure, that busyness, and I start to struggle.
I've been looking closely at my social life today. And it's very clear to me that even here I've been particularly drawn towards structured activities over the years. Clubs, societies, voluntary work. Working as a steward at a large SF convention or at a church event. I've actually lost count of the number of different voluntary roles I have had.
Don't get me wrong - it has been good. It's taken me to places that I would never have visited without that impetus. And I suppose it has given me more control over my social life. There have been so many committees in my life, voluntary roles that gave me a role to play.
Or perhaps, one to hide behind.
Sure, these things have helped boost my self-confidence, however someone reminded me today that that was only in certain ways. If I take off my volunteer's badge, my steward's jacket, what am I?
Do I start losing my reason for being?
Do I start to drift?
Am I becoming Captain Dunsel?
That's my big fear. Without the safety of that form of structure, at work or socially, I end up a bit... well... lost. The world becomes a bit of a scary place. I'm exposed; vulnerable. In extreme cases I may end up without a clue what to say, or even how to behave...
I know quite a bit about time management, how to structure my day to maximise output, achieving deadlines which seem to get tighter and tighter. I pat myself on the back when I scrape under the wire to smash yet another tight deadline... squeezing another little job for someone into an already packed day.
What my real challenge is...
...is slowing down to do stuff for me.
Even when I have an evening off, I usually end up doing some little job or another. I start feeling guilty if I do something for me and mine. I really do.
It's something that I will be unpacking over the next few weeks. When I will have much more time on my hands... And it's my free time.