It’s been two days on my new temporary job and my body is already exhausted and my spirit crushed. After a fairly good amount of time off, now it’s the moment for making money. I owe, I owe, so off to work I go. The average Joe or Jo would probably give up or severely curtail her or his extracurricular activities. But I’ve never been called average, mediocre perhaps, so I keep on walking, yoga-ing, writing and the big time suck, biking. I’ve been watching my programs, too — and currently it’s the last six stages of last year’s Tour de France. That counts as bike-related education, right?
The thing about a job is that there is no perfect one. Which is fine, because I’m not perfect, either. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for the work, since many people have lost theirs and can’t get one. However, the job I have is very short-term, and then I have another one lined up, also for a short term. In both cases, I’m not thrilled about the work, but I’ll do it because I like to have a bed, AC, plumbing, food and bike repair money.
So far my idea of becoming a freelance writer has not progressed. Nor has publishing my book. Both industries have taken a big hit with the economic slowdowns due to the coronavirus. Word is there are a lot of scams on freelance platforms these days, too. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t make money doing it, I just haven’t dived into either field enough to know how. It’s risky, whereas a job is safer. If it doesn’t go away.
Being an essential worker is hard you’re literally putting your life on the line instead of staying home drawing unemployment. My paychecks sure won’t feel essential. The same job I’m doing now I had for a short time last decade, too. The database has been updated, but remains the same, as does the wage. Meanwhile, the cost of living in Austin, Texas like many places keeps going up.
On top of this, there’s all the turmoil over the protests, which I support if peaceful, but have to think twice about attending now. This blog ain’t paying the bills. The movement is making many people consider their privilege, self included. Even as a relatively low-income person, I do have skin that is white, and am very aware how different I am treated by the police (mostly ignored by them) for that. And that is incredibly, painfully, and violently unfair to people of color. We all know this (or should by now), but the U.S. is still dealing with the after effects of slavery in the United States 400 years later. This will be an important but difficukt ongoing issue in the States for some time — one that too many people have given their life for.
Back on the personal level, because this is a bike blog nit a political one (well, it’s both, among other things) I guess I’m making the case for me and you to continue my exercises. Even if like in my case they, like my job, drain me of soul force (Mohandas K. Ghandi’s word for nonviolent social justice action, aka satyagraha, which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. adopted).
The obvious answer to my job-induced ennui is to manage my time better. Watch less boob tube, read less bad news, and sleep more. And devote my energies into doing good work, even if it’s not the end all, be all. As a friend has said, all work is noble. In Buddhism, the idea of a job that serves others is called right livelihood. And I suppose my job does that. The people I work with seem to be nice for the most part, and that’s a big help. I am not alone. No person is an island.
Hopefully I don’t get exposed to COVID-19 but I do find a way to uncrush my soul and make it through until my next break. Then to the next job and after that, who knows where we and the world will be? One response to all the stress of the world is to bike. If you can, just go ride your bike. While the Dude Abides, I know what I’ll be doing. A Dude Abikes.
And oh yeah, today marks eight months of me biking every single day. Pretty cool, I think. I’m not a machine (yet), I’m still a person. So I’m not part of my bike, even though I am two tired (pun intended, natch). ADAB out!