Beating the Schedule

Now that I’ve gotten into my full-time job, and I’m familiar with the area, a certain novelty that comes with a new situation has worn off. I am not finding brand new things all the time anymore. I know where I’m getting my groceries from, I know what I’m having for lunch each day, and generally know what I’m having for dinner. To a certain extent, I have fallen into a fairly predictable schedule on a weekly basis. Thursdays I have concert band rehearsal. Sunday or Monday I record Comical Start with Grant, and edit it that night. At some point each week, I sit down and try to write a sufficient post for this blog. Every so often a surprise phone call, or an episode of OHAC comes up, which I get to work in with everything else. But overall, I’ve developed a schedule.

In general, schedules are good. Routines and habits can provide great positive reinforcement in a person’s life, and can often reduce stress. However, they also increase the monotony of life. Without some variety, it is difficult (for me) to keep doing the same thing each day or week. College trained me to have a constantly shifting schedule, and to be ready for each new week that came up. New topics to learn, or a test, or an event on campus to plan around, all trained my brain to love variety and really thrive in it. There was a safety in a school environment that opened up my ability to be more flexible in other situations.

Moving into a full-time job has flipped this around. While I do seek out opportunities for new experiences at work, ultimately I’m doing largely the same thing each week fairly regularly. Unexpected events rarely occur, and even if they do, they are nothing to get worked up about. My brain is trying to adjust to this new situation, where I have significantly more free time each evening, and less responsibility from another authority figure. As long as I show up for work each day, that’s all for what I need to do. I have no other outside obligations on my time once I leave work.

So, I have been seeking opportunities to self-impose such obligations to increase the variety of what I’m doing. This blog and my podcasts are two important elements of that, but even those don’t quite fill in the gaps left compared to my time in college. Particularly on the weekend, I don’t know how to spend a full Saturday on my own anymore. In college, there was always a piece of homework to complete, or a group of people going to do something. If it really came down to it, I could go home for a night and have dinner with my family.

Suddenly, I find myself without these opportunities. I need to entertain myself, without an outside obligation. When you grow up having a lot of external motivation from school, it is difficult to transition into doing things for yourself, despite what passion you hold for it.

One area I’ve focused on in this regard is learning more mathematics. There are many math classes I passed without learning as much as I wanted, and even more mathematics I wanted to learn but never had the opportunity to take a course for. So, I have great motivation (in theory) and definitely a passion and desire to attack the large repository of math textbooks I have on hand. Some days I’m successful in doing so, while others it is difficult to bring myself to do so, when there are so many other projects I finally have the time to do now that I don’t have classwork hanging over my head!

It’s an interesting time in my life. The rambling nature of this post might give the reader an idea of my lack of narrow focus which has become problematic for me. I know that I seek variety in my schedule, while also desiring an attentiveness to the projects I can fill my time with. Hopefully I can find a middle ground soon, and obtain the variety I want while also scratching my itch for a focused task I can work on.

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