Desires are Many—Resources Few

It\’s nearly five in the afternoon. My window is cracked open. The blinds are closed but up a quarter of the way, and the sun is streaming in. I am on my second Czech pilsner. The goal for the evening is to keep relaxed, since today was my first day at the new job site. Despite having adequate time over the past few days, my room got messy. But I feel a desire to keep it that way, as if I could comfortably nest in the half-clean/half-dirty laundry that is beginning to pile on my bed.

The next month (or perhaps longer) will be busy. I\’ll be working longer hours at the new Climate Pledge Arena, installing data (CAT6) and other limited voltage electrical systems. The pay for the site is shockingly lucrative—over twice the typical rate for role and with opportunities for overtime which I will begin taking advantage of tomorrow. This is precisely the windfall I was hoping for in order to pay down some minor debt and pad my savings. (And I want a Canon R5) But how to adapt?

This wage demands hard work. And hard work requires sacrifice. —what to sacrifice?

Tomorrow I will begin work at 5:00am (with the option to begin at 6:00) and I will work till 3:30pm. Five days a week, for ten hours per day. (Or possibly 4/10\’s on swing shift.) I still have every intention of continuing Jiu Jitsu. So that doesn\’t leave much time for leisure. I\’m thinking of my uncle right now who is a successful fellow electrical worker who works austere hours. To my knowledge, he doesn\’t do much after work on weekday evenings; I hope I\’m wrong. (I\’m going to call him soon tp how he structures his time (re: coping)).

The project itself is interesting. It\’s a unique project. They lifted the giant roof of the old arena, dug out the arena down below to make it significantly larger, and then placed the roof back down; and then they made the building carbon neutral, and the hockey ice rink that is going in will be made from rain water collected from the roof. At the newcomer orientation safety briefing this morning, one of the superintendents relayed a point to us originally made by the CEO in charge of the operation: this is a place where people are going to make memories that will often last a lifetime—hockey games, concerts, and perhaps basketball games—, and we\’re laying the groundwork for those memories (literally, in the case of the guys who were pouring a massive slab of concrete last week). It gave me a big feeling, like I was one of the slaves guys working on the Roman Colosseum, minus the timeless design and sense of relative contemporary achievement.

There was also a big emphasis on safety. The superintendent made a big deal about making sure that everyone got home safe at the end of the day. He repeated the phrase, \”perfection is acceptable,\” which bothered me, because he should have said perfection is the standard or zero injuries is the standard or zero injuries is the maximum. And then, when he got up to leave, he got up on two crutches. He then sat on a three-wheeled mobility scooter, in which he was seated precariously high for a man of his size (three feet up). He made a four point turn, and slowly wheeled out with a light buzzing sound as the next speaker made his way to the front, moving extra slowly in a failed attempt to not make it appear that the superintendent was slowing things down.

If I had to guess, it seems that the superintendent suffered an injury. Hopefully it wasn\’t on the job. Because that wouldn\’t make for believable writing.

Anyway, I\’m here writing. And it has taken me about an hour to get this far (including running downstairs to get beer number three, a locally made hazy IPA, which isn\’t doing it for me). I could have spent this hour doing a other things. But writing is important. I need it to stay sane. And I will continue to write. 

Someone close to me (someone special) told me that I need to write more and structure my time so that I can have time to write. But I\’m not sure what to write. Maybe I need to take up a project, like another short story or that long essay on Sophistication as a Virtue that I have been meaning to write for two years now

Actually, writing that last one on sophistication would be good. I need to put nails in that coffin and close it to seal that container and trap that thing idea that refuses to die. I think I\’ll do that. 

Now, how often and consistently can I write? How can I keep up that habit when I also intend to work crazy overtime, go to the gym, practice Jiu Jitsu, ride my motorcycle, and do photography?

….the ax is coming. Time is limited. Desires are many, but resources are few.

If it wasn\’t for vanity and shame, I\’m not sure that I would keep my room clean or groom my hair. I\’m not sure if this is typical human nature, or if this is a sign of poorly developed character. Let\’s say it\’s both.


What do I want?

And what am I willing to sacrifice to get it?

The second part of the question is fundamental. 

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