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"The end, a terminal condition where IdlingTime starts threatening me again"

Forget the Chinese Water Torture. Ten years at hard labor? Kid stuff! If you want to inflict maximum punishment, mete out a sentence of a hard week of forced idleness. Prevent the convict from breaking big rocks into little ones. Set him in an isolation cell with nobody to tell him to do anything at all. Treat him as if he was not there and he'll more than disappear. Forced IdlingTime takes away even the more engaging mind. Force me to take a week reclining on a sunny sugar-sand beach and I swear that I'll go bat-shit crazy for you. Take away my keyboard. Rain me out for two mornings in a row and I already know where I'll go. I'll try to escape into sleep, but sleep won't come then. I'll look for a place to lie down, then watch my mind spin without engaging any flywheel. I'll burn my whole tank of gas without leaving anything behind to show that I was even there. True desperation.

I do not find vacation time rewarding.
When I worked at The Insurance Company, I grew skilled at begging off on my vacation time. When I left after fifteen years, I had accumulated several weeks of unused vacation time which I quite gladly left behind me. I was compensated fairly, paid for each day I showed up suited up for work. My least favorite time at university came at the end of each semester when I would be rewarded for my often frantic efforts with a week or two with nothing to do, no unreasonable deadlines, no frustratingly long lunch lines, no onerous expectations lording over me. I'd collapse into a mushy puddle until the next quarter began. I never thought of IdingTime as my friend.

I'm almost always up to something, even if it's no more than working toward finishing reading through another novel. I seem to need a juicy aspiration tugging at me. My creativity only ever kicks in under some onerous obligation's watchful eye. I'm anxious to always be anxious to please somebody, even if it's only me. I need the work. I will work for the dubious satisfaction of merely having some work to do. It need not even seem all that meaningful. Just some pedestrian to-do will definitely do. Send me to the store, I'm bored to tears without some sacred expectation.

I get my mind set on finishing some job, then seem to throw down little barriers to entry and completion as if to challenge my underlying dedication. I'm forever figuring that I'm missing some key something necessary to finish the work I'm doing, perhaps to delay the dreaded time when that piece of work will no longer be mine to pursue. I can transform most any otherwise quickly dispatched chore into a week-long gauntlet of small ordeals, each of which seemingly must be satisfied to reach the end. The end, a terminal condition where IdlingTime starts threatening me again, where I'll sit in agonizing interrupted animation until some fresh aspiration overtakes me again.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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