I went back to work this past Thursday after the mandatory two weeks off for shutdown. Most people complain about going back to work or how they would rather stay home, but you know what I figured out? I don't mind working.
My job doesn't thrill me right now, I don't like the way the company is being run and my body is showing signs of wear and tear as a result of the physical labour. Actually working though, turns out is a good feeling. When I go to work I feel a sense of accomplishment in having done something and contributed to the world somehow. There is the direct correlation between being paid x number of dollars for y amount of work, but that's only part of it. The other part is the idea that I actually did something with my day other than lie around like a slug. As much as I think I would like to stay home and do nothing, or do puzzles, read, and watch tv, I find myself actually quite bored and feeling restless when that happens. Usually with planned time off from work I have projects on the go to use up my time instead of just letting the days pass me by.
I think the restlessness and even boredom comes from the feeling that I should be doing something physical rather than getting stagnant. There is some satisfaction to be had in the relationships around me, like my boys and S, but it's not the same kind of satisfaction that I have when I actively do something with visible results. To feel useful, I suppose is what I'm getting at. The fine balance between feeling useful in my contributions to the world and not getting overwhelmed with too much to do or too many expectations of what needs to be done. Going to work at a job fits that description for me without even trying. I'm given a series of tasks to complete in a specific amount of time, and then I do it and am able to see what I have done. The overwhelmed feeling comes from putting my nose into places it doesn't belong and then getting frustrated that things aren't going the way I think is best.
And so I realized that winning the lottery would probably be a nightmare for me. I would have to find something to do that's reasonably physically active that fulfills the feeling of usefulness. And what about retirement? How is that going to be an ideal situation for me unless I find something to occupy my time and still feel like a contribution? I understand now why people join choirs, wine clubs, condo boards, and book clubs. But those tasks don't really address the desire to use by body in a physical manner. Now having said all that, I still buy lotto tickets every week :)