What do I do now?
I have always felt the French expression metro-boulot-dodo sums up a lot, but not all, of my weekday life.
‘Metro’ in my case means a twenty-minute cycle and a fifty-minute train ride each way. Cycling is brilliant. It has to be a very horrible day indeed, knee-deep puddles and obnoxious drivers, for cycling not to cheer me up. I also enjoy the train: it’s very fast and, so long as I get a seat, it’s time to get on with stuff with very few distractions. Metaphorically speaking, I breathe in on the way out and breathe out on the way back. That is, I spend the journey to work reading, or listening to music, and the journey back writing.
My ‘boulot’ is administration for a major trade union. Nine months ago I moved from a regional office to the national office. These days I get to eat in the staff canteen. I also get time to think – largely about how much I like being busy at work. This morning I looked up some email addresses and continued rearranging the electronic filing system: more of a challenge than it sounds, particularly given that I will need to explain what I’ve done and why. I do wonder what on earth I’m going to do with myself when I’ve finished; hence the wish for Another New Opportunity to manifest itself.
I work from 8.20am to 4pm, meaning that I miss most of the crowding on the roads and the trains, and that I get home at about half past five, and so get a decent chunk of evening. If it’s my day to cook, I pick up sundries at the Tesco on the way home. How enthusiastically I go about cooking depends on my mood, my energy, and how much stuff we have to use up. It might take me two hours to make a stir fry. Or I might rustle up two courses and lunch for the next three days. Either way, the mental effort involved has to be deducted from a limited sum available.
Apart from that, my evenings tend to be occupied in writing up whatever I wrote on the train, writing a bit more, making beautiful things (usually with beads, but sometimes sewing) – those still count as boulot – and messing around on the internet (definitely dodo). About twenty minutes of internet time is catching up with friends and reading stuff I genuinely find interesting; the rest is distraction and procrastination.
I would like to reduce my internet time, and exclude mindless meandering around long-dead comments pages that I’m not actually interested in. I’d like to notice when the switch flicks from ‘awake and productive’ to ‘sleepy and unable to disconnect’. And I would like to replace that with actual rest. Lying on the sofa listening to music. Getting an early night. Reading.
Dodo – and so to bed. I feel that any more time I could devote to bed would not be wasted.