a pause in the chaos

Well, it’s that time of year again, when I’m reminded, by the lack of traffic on the roads, that most other people have time off from work/study. Of course, I’m not complaining. Does it sound like I’m complaining? It’s nice not sitting in traffic, and equally nice to not have to get up earlier to compensate for time spent sitting in traffic.

Anyway, there’s still a very nice long week-end ahead for me.

I had a very brief chat to the cleaning person at work today, and it went something along the lines of “well, someone’s gotta do the work”, and so we will both be back at work in those days between Christmas and New Year’s.

But I’ve worked here long enough to know that it’s best to be fully staffed around public holidays. My work actually gets busier pre-Christmas because people still need their treatments, and couriers don’t operate on public holidays, so we have to send everything early. It’s basically condensing several days’ work into fewer days.

Pre-Easter is usually the worst time of the year because you lose a Friday one week, and then lose a Monday the following week. Pre-Christmas is usually a close second, but is mitigated by people having time off at the end of the year, and either not being available to receive their treatments or not wanting to potentially deal with treatment side effects while they enjoy festivities.

But this year was different — I think this was the quietest pre-Christmas we’ve ever had. We rostered extra staff on, and got all psyched up for it, but I ended up just letting people go home early because the work was done. I could hardly believe it.

On the drive home, I was still feeling quite energised, since I’d treated myself to a coffee from the cafe in the morning (as part of getting psyched up for what I had expected to be a really busy day). And so I was thinking what I should do with all this alertness that I didn’t use up at work, and it occurred to me that it would be nice to do some writing.

I started writing a new story a few weeks ago. I haven’t worked on it recently, and I still don’t really know where it’s going, but I sort of feel like I can probably figure it out as I go. In almost the same moment, thinking about working on this new story, I wondered if there was a point writing stories like this if I just write them and don’t do anything with them (except maybe show them to a few people). Writing requires a lot of time and energy, and is it really worth it if, in the end, there’s nothing to show for it except a small sense of pride that says, “yeah, I did that”?

When I thought about it some more, I realised it’s not that different to other hobbies. People might play a sport or spend their week-ends gardening or learn an instrument, but these people don’t necessarily expect or even dream of making money or receiving acclaim for these things. (I mean, some people might, but I think most people are realistic enough to not get too hung up on it.) So why is it any different if I write stories and don’t expect anything to come out of it other than my own enjoyment of writing?

I guess it’s not so different after all. And I guess that’s what I’ll be doing this long week-end before I have to face the chaos of the pre-New Year workload.

7 thoughts on “a pause in the chaos

  1. We’ve been saying the same thing here: “I think this was the quietest pre-Christmas we’ve ever had.” It’s rather nice to not be overwhelmed with people in a panic to buy food or gifts. As for writing stories for your own amusement, why not? Your hobby is wordsmithery!

  2. I *do* think stories/novels/writing are different… they are usually(?) meant to be read by more than their creators. Same as writing a piece of music or a song maybe; meant to be heard. Other hobbies, like gardening, say, are more self-contained, ends in themselves. You *could* try your story out here…

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