You know that instrinsic, gut feeling that your whole life is about to change? Sometimes it comes at really obvious moments, like at your high school graduation. Other times it’s less obvious, but just as recognizable. You can just feel that very soon, your life will be very different.
This isn’t one of those times.
I just signed a lease for a 7th year in my apartment. (My previous record for staying in one apartment: a year and a half.) I’m not dating, and I’m not even interested in dating. (Sex would be nice. Too bad I don’t do one night stands.) I do not have a job, and I won’t have a job any time soon, since even when I regain my health, I’ll still have to actually get a job. I don’t feel up to doing a lot of new things, so I’m not meeting new people. No, my immediate future is looking very predictable. And very boring.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. It’s amazing how much I can read when I don’t feel up to doing much else. I’ve been reading murder mysteries and classic fiction, and also personal development. The personal development books and blogs cover a wide range, but they all have something in common: I can’t figure out how to implement, or even picture, the majority of what I’m learning.
There’s the book on time management. Well, time management really isn’t an issue right now. I learned a lot, but I can’t picture how to apply any of it to my back-at-work life since I don’t know what my life will be like then. Will I be working full time? What will the hours be? What will the commute be? Will there be other changes in my life that I have to balance? It leaves me feeling very unsettled. I wish I could picture the future at least a little bit.
There are the blogs and books on personal finance. I love this stuff. I’ve been helping friends and relatives with their budgets. But there’s little I can do for myself. In order to save more money, quite simply, you have to either spend less, earn more, or do both. I’ve been cutting my expenses as much as possible, and I just don’t feel up to earning more. Some people take on second jobs; I can’t even work one job right now. On the bright side, I know what I’ll do with my extra money when I eventually have it. [Hint: it involves saving for a health-induced early retirement, just in case.]
And don’t get me started on the reading about how to get the right job. That is just so far out of the realm of possibility right now….
On the bright side, I feel good that I’m using my time productively right now. I’m not spending every minute learning, but at least I’m keeping my mind active and engaged and I’m doing something that will potentially influence my life in a positive way at some point. I just have to try and remember that, because reading this stuff (which I generally love, by the way) does tend to remind me of how little I can change right now.
The future is uncertain. We all know that. One year from now I could be working a new job, living in a different state, and married. Or I could be right where I am, not working, not well. Who knows? I guess I don’t need everything to get better, I just need something, anything to change. Some people fear change, but without change there’s just boredom. Right now, I crave change.