Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hello again.


I have not had a good connection with words lately.  The disciple has slipped, and the habit suffered from long hours and the challenges of self care.  So what has been happening that has kept me from writing.

Lets see, from June to the first week of October I was working 40 hours a week, spending at least 10 hours out of the house to get to and from work.  The nature of the work mattered as well.  For the majority of those hours on I was working on the floor of the warehouse, pulling orders.  This is as dull as it sounds, making rounds with a cart and a checklist harvesting the correct amounts of items.  It is a simple job but it is not fault tolerant, miss reading a 6 digit code could quickly lead to an upset client.  I still curse the R383-004, not once was able to say that code without first saying R838, there were  a lot more item numbers starting with 8 than 3.  That work existed at an annoying middle ground, neither a stimulating endeavour on its own nor so mindless that it freed up the processing cycles that make writing after hours possible.  And so the summer flew by in a state of stimulus.

It was a good summer, one of the few times where I found my brain and body had the resources to spare for regular weekend adventures.  Compared to my years fighting Mapinfo and losing, this work was a joy.  I did not come home with my jaw clenched, thirsty for a beer to loosen it like WD40 on a old nut.  Was I tried when I came home often but it was earned, and the trip home cleared much.

The trip home became its own ritual and reward.  The job site was on a bike trail that lead directly to the Lions Gate Bridge.  Cycling the bridge was not attempted till late July, it was scary at first.  The lane is wide enough, the railings are high enough but it is a long climb, and a long time was spent doubting if I had the energy to pull it off. In the end it became easy, the 15km trip from work to home took no longer than the other options.  Cycling, while fun and a great way to decompress after a workday does not afford the processing time needed for writing.  Perhaps in the right context it could but I spend too much time playing in traffic to live anywhere but the now.

Fast forwarding from July to October, the job that defined normal for 3 months, with its cast of characters, some of whom earned the dubious distinction of donating character traits to my fiction, ended.  This was not a surprise, the company's timeline was largely followed and the demand for extra labour ended at the expected time.  As a Temp worker a gig that long is something thats best savoured and defended, as me four months puts it at fourth or fifth place on the list of long lived jobs.
October started with a fun and mad family visit, and drifted into an uncomfortable and bitter spell of being deeply under employed.  Attempts at writing were briefly made during that time, they were short lived and bore no fruit. It is a bit of a shame I would have liked to have harnessed that mood.

Or perhaps not.  It was an impotent form of anger. Anger at the world and at my body for not being just so.  A temper tantrum at reality.  Frustration at my perennial difficulty of landing a stable job was chewing at me as the calls from the agency did not come.  Useless anger at my body for deciding I should spend a month feeling like I had a bag of rocks suspended in a water balloon where my gut should be.

Things are looking better now.  After a little gentle pressure I got my agent to find me a longer term gig. I have three months of work lined up if all goes well.  The pay is slightly better than North Vancouver job, perhaps I will start braking the trend of each job paying less than the last.  As a near first in my adult life I have a family physician, I don't exactly know what was driving those symptoms but we know enough not to panic.  For the sake of sanity I did not google said symptoms.

As it happened the initial visit to that Dr brought me to another good thing.  As I was leaving the office I took a moment to step on the scale that was parked on the floor, I had not weighed myself since May.  92kg, or just over 200lbs, a long term low, it has been at least 10 years since I have been near there, and inline with pre birthday goals I had.  In the late spring when it dawned on me I would be 35 in not too long, I knew I did not want to face it being fat and lazy.  The notion of recreating the body I had at 24 after a season doing soil sampling was pondered and rejected, as I could neither spend that much time in the gym or afford to eat that much.  The outcome of my current lifestyle is a pretty good substitute, and I am enjoying the feeling of being energetic and powerful.  Form the look of things this contract will only add to that trend, there is a lot of steel in the products I am handling.