I am sad. Tuesday morning and the world is at work. I shuffle through my quiet apartment in search of purpose and worth. The feeling of vacation has given way to the grimness of unemployment.
I write lists to stay busy. If I stay busy, I will have something to do. If I have something to do, I will not dwell on emptiness.
I once ran a marathon. To train, I jogged the streets of San Francisco for three to four hours at a time, covering incrementally eighteen, twenty, and twenty-four miles.
Long runs exhaust my internal scheduler. As I set out from my apartment, I jog to a mental list of items to think about. I plan dinner, work out a project, and contemplate the future. All that time running means thorough juggling of every item on the menu.
A strange intermission occurs about two hours into the run. I run out of things to think about. I carefully consider each item and put all of them away. I look blankly at the quickly-passing scenery. I breathe.
After much emptiness and many scampered intersections, new ideas populate the fallow emptiness. I come up with creative ideas for new projects.
I’m hoping these months of not-working will be like long-distance running. To stay busy, I currently write lists: paint the car, clean the bike, sort travel photos. I will eventually cross off every list item. Then comes the scariness of the null set. I am fascinated at what will grow in the empty field.