Thursday, April 4, 2013

Get a Real Job?

I have a real job. 

At least by modern standards.  And it is a good job, especially as compared to many of the alternatives.  I lead tours through the great Mammoth Cave, and most days, it's pretty fun.  I work with a good group of folks, have reasonable supervisors, and at times get paid for doing things like "trail roving" which is a glorified term for hiking and answering questions for the two or three visitors I meet while I'm out there.  Really, as jobs go, it can't be beat.

So why am I disappointed that this is my last day off this week? 
I'm disappointed that weather and available time have not allowed me to get finished with all of what I needed to do at home this week.  I know that's not unusual.  It happens to everyone who works a real job, right?  But it doesn't have to be that way.  A real job can be defined differently. 

(Warning: This chart contains gross generalizations that will differ with the actual experiences of each individual)

Common definition of a real job
My definition of a real job
Wake up with the aid of an alarm clock
Wake up with the assistance of the sun and bird songs
Yoga and exercise
Yoga and exercise
Eat breakfast even if your body isn’t ready for it in an amount sufficient to get the body through to a specific time
Eat breakfast if you feel like it or wait until your body is prepared to eat.  Then eat an amount that feels right
Brief computer time
Computer time as necessary, remembering that you can come back to this later
Make lunch to bring with
Plan tasks for the day according to: need, desire, weather, etc.
Drive to work in traffic hoping that nothing gets in your way to make you late
Begin completing tasks in order of necessity and feasibility
Begin completing tasks that were chosen for you by a superior or supervisor regardless of your mood, physical or mental condition, or desires
Continue complete chosen tasks as you see fit
Eat lunch at the prescribed time whether you are hungry or not
Eat lunch or snack as necessary at times of your choosing
Return to your designated tasks
Return to your chosen tasks or take a mid-day rest
Drive home hoping that nothing prevents you from getting there as soon as possible
Wrap up your tasks for the day
Have supper
Have supper
Family or personal time
Family or personal time
Go to bed at a time that is sure to allow you adequate rest before the alarm rings again
Go to bed at a time that feels right with the knowledge that if you wake up a bit later than you want that you are the only one that needs to bear the consequences of your extra rest.

And when it comes to days off, if you go by the common definition of a real job you need to submit a request and wait for approval, hoping that you can actually get the days you were desiring.  By my definition of a real job, you decide a month, a week, or a day before you want to take a day off and you just take it.

Now what are the trade offs?

In exchange for all of this freedom you often loose the possibility of getting affordable insurance.  To offset this you need to keep yourself healthy, and you become aware of your body so that when something even begins to go awry you can treat yourself to the maximum extent possible with natural/herbal medicine. (example)

Also in the exchange is that you do not have the guarantee of a steady paycheck.  To offset this you plan ahead, grow as much of your own food as possible, learn how to build and repair what you need, and gain skills that will allow you to provide yourself with the low level of income you now require.

And finally, if you have a traditional real job, you know (in a general sense) what you are going to be doing each day because someone else is telling you what to do.  With my kind of real job you must be a self motivator.  It is critical that you plan both what you need to do in a given day (along with alternatives in case of bad weather or injury) and that you complete your plan.  If you do not you will soon be buried under a massively depressing pile of unfinished tasks.

For myself, I have made the choice.  Soon, I will leave my socially acceptable real job and go full time into my own real job.  I'm looking forward to the bird songs!


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  2. I forgot to give my mail ID.
    It is

  3. Great post! So excited for you!!!

  4. Oh, I'M SOOOOOO ready. :D
    Club you. Pushing for a trip to see you all, asap.