I've been working almost 20 years. I did a bit of everything, so many different jobs and only on rare occasions I felt really satisfied and fulfilled (and only for short time). Most of the time I found myself cursing the job and all the hours I was spending (wasting?) there, in an everlasting countdown waiting for the end of day, the weekend, the holidays… Like many other people, for what I know by talking with friends and colleagues, I was working there but I was actually dreaming to be somewhere else, mostly just wishing to be home and relax instead.
And I was thinking about all the things I could do, the projects to work on, or the new ideas to develop. Especially in winter, I deeply hoped to stay at home, in silence, to do what I like to do: write, compose. I fantasied thinking and imagining how many stories, poems and novels I could write if I just had time. And then I could start doing sports, go to museums, maybe start a photography course, and so on. And while I was dreaming about my spare time, I was cursing the work even more, because it was taking away from me the time and the energies to do what I wanted to do to give a meaning to my days. But you have to work, they tell you, waiting to retire and finally having all that time you’ve always wanted.
Well. Six months ago, thankfully, I got the opportunity to have for me all the time I wanted, left home from work and still getting payed. What to ask more?
At the beginning it was more than good: the spring before, the summer after, the beautiful long days and the chance to go out, wandering around without time and duties to stick on. But then the enormous amount of free-time became difficult to manage, and sneaky the apathy begun and I started to seek short term deadlines, the need to have something to wait for. And having all the time I ever wanted it was not as good as I imagined , and boredom took over. That boredom that takes away the inspiration from writing, the same that takes away the will to go out and run, or training, visiting museums, and so on.
Perhaps we often look for unrealistic things and we curse — without a valid reason —, the everyday life that forces us to work while waiting for something better. But is that something better really out there? I think of something happened a few years ago.
I was spending my holidays in the alps and was coming down after a nice hike in the mountains. A violent storm led me find shelter under the roof of a mountain farm, as other hikers. When the rain stopped, we started to get ready to continue going downhill. On the bench outside, among the screams and voices of the group of tourists, the old shepherd sat silently, the pipe in his hand, the gaze lost in the void. He had remained like this all the time, completely alienated from all the noises, the people and chatters around him. He gave me a sense of peace and serenity and probably I was not the only one to envy him: He was living in that amazing valley, in that area, while we were just passing by there, only for the short time of our holidays. Who of us, enthusiastic mountain-loving citizens, would not want to take his place? A lady decided to disturb him and starts to tell him she talked with his son, and that she tasted the cheese and it was delicious. He remained silent, still watching the horizon, calms smoking his pipe. "And so” she continues “at the age of 80, you are still up here from April to October?… how lucky you are, I can not imagine how amazing it would be to live here all this time" "To be honest, after a while, it just so fucking boring…” And, calm and apparently serene, he kept looking in the void.
Here: maybe we are not able to manage all the time we would like to have, and this dream is just utopia...