I live in a great location, with beaches, parks and mutiple opportunities for attending free talks, museums, art galleries, live music and comedy. I am perfectly healthy and capable of getting out and about. I have multiple forms of accessible transport options. I have reliable access to old and new media forms. I am securely housed.
I exercise, I volunteer, I go to the library, I go to talks, I visit mothers of new babies and take baked goods when I do. I do the housework and have got my finances in order. I have time to chat. To anyone. I have time to give detailed directions to people who are lost. Hell, I have time to walk them to the nearest bus stop and wait with them until the right bus arrives.
Fuck I'm bored.
After spending more than a decade under intense pressure to get stuff done ALL THE TIME, I now have more free time than I know what to do with. While on the one hand, it's been great to finally get around to doing all the things that somehow never get done when you're working all the time, on the other hand, once they are done there isn't a real lot else left to do.
Hell, I am so bored I have almost finished reading David Foster Wallace's unfinished and posthumously published novel The Pale King, which in itself is a treatise on boredom. And tax. I now know a lot about the IRS. I thought our tax system was complex, but the IRS is positively Kafkaesque.
I am so bored I have even started writing a journal article. Something I swore I was never going to do again. But hey, I have free library access and a few colleagues who think I am still into the academic thing so I might as well keep going. Maybe it is just one more paper that will get me across the line... (I am joking - I know it won't make a difference).
I am so bored that I looked up interest groups at our community centre the other day and briefly entertained the notion of joining the knitting and sewing group. I still might re-learn how to knit (I can already sew very well thank you), but the group time clashes with my volunteering duties.
I have spent a lot of time upskilling, writing job applications and attending interviews too, so it's not as if I am just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.
But there is one inescapable fact that I can't avoid - I actually liked being under pressure to get stuff done. Unlike most people who feel guilty that they're not working or who feel like a fraud if they leave the office early, I actually had really good work life balance, a challenging role and a good income.
I miss those things. But most of all, I miss work. Heaven help me when I have to retire.