It’s been just over a month since I’ve left the world of work. I’ve noticed some changes in myself, noticed something things that strangely haven’t, some predictable, others not so.
1) I dream again
2) I no longer run for every train/bus
3) I eat less
4) Life’s more of an emotional roller coaster
5) I still don’t watch any TV
These are my thoughts on each…
1. I dream again
Something I noticed after leaving university and starting full time employment, was the number of dreams that I’d remember by the morning slowly diminished to around one a month. I don’t want to entertain the debate about whether you always dream or not (and it being a case of remembering them or not). But certainly, for me, I now wake up remembering what I’ve dreamed more often.
My job involved being on call one week in two or three. So one cause could be the nighttime interruptions and sleeping lightly having the fact that you could be woken in the subconscious. I don’t look back with regret – it’s certainly what was required to do the job well and that’s something I pride myself on. I always had job satisfaction.
Another cause, could be the run up to sleep. Having much more of my day completed by the evening now means that the last couple of hours are spent in a more relaxed state, rather than cramming in bits of admin/emails just before bed after a day of work. Preparation for a good night sleep happens by default. I think I underestimated the importance of what you do just before bed.
Or it could just be that I’m eating more cheeseâ€¦.
2. I no longer run for every train/bus
When I think of the filmÂ The Pursuit of Happyness, I think of Will Smith running in practically every scene that he’s moving. For me, time had become such a luxury, that at the back of my mind, I’d often tell myself “if you made that train [or bus] you’d earn yourself X minutes”. I’d be lying if there wasn’t some element of generic male competitiveness in there.
Even so, allowing myself to let one or two trains/buses has almost become a habit.
3. I eat less
For some, this may be a pleasant surprise.Â But for someone like me, who actively needs to eat more than they think to maintain a solid weight, it’s not so good. If I was being a homeboy and just watching TV, I’d understand the reduced food intake. But I’m actually doing more sports overall (yoga, kung fu, running, biking).
Reasons why I could be eating less – I’m (a) not commuting to work [recall that running for train business] (b) not pacing the office floor (c) notÂ lifting weights. I’d bet the weights is the major culprit of the three.
4. Life’s more of an emotional roller coaster
Having more spare time between daily tasks, I can I spend more time reflecting. Itâ€™s been estimated that eighty percent of our lives are lived by habit. That means somewhere in the past we learned to become easily upset or angry and just let it happen. Without taking the time to reflect, it’s easy to get “caught up” in things, act too impulsively by habit and miss what your body. This is certainly something I’ve noticed with myself.
A byproduct of this reflection is tuning in more closely. I’ve started noticing certain emotions and feelings more closely and as such, noticing more of these more often makes life seem like more of an emotional roller coaster.
Another contributing factor to feeling more emotions could be that there are essentially more right now. Why more? Well, the foundation and habit of everyday life that I’ve been used to for several years is very different to the one that exists now. I can only imagine that my mind and body are having a bit of a “can someone please explain what’s going on moment”.
5. I still don’t watch any TV
I used to think that one of the reasons why I didn’t watch TV, was that I got enough screen use from my job. I used to crave working out after leaving the office and used to feel withdrawn from any desire from sitting and relaxing in front of a TV.
My instinct was that post leaving my job and before setting off on my trip, that I’d spend more time lounging, watching TV and perhaps getting into a series. Other than playing coverage of the London 2012 Olympics in the background and watching Andy Murray’s emotional Wimbledon tennis defeat to Federer it’s been an absolute no go.
My thoughts are that I’m probably subconsciously trying to train myself to be empowered by the time I’m spending and what I’m spending it on. Looking at the long term goals / objectives in my life right now and acting in a way to make them happen. Rather than being in a position where I sit down and say “give me something to entertain me and fill my time”, I think I know what entertainingÂ I want to be consuming and use the internet to just go straight there. I think I’m solely acting on demand.