7 x . – the only shift pattern you need
Went to buy wood earlier this week for work, which was very exciting as its the prelude to making something, which is always cool (provided there is supervision by a responsible adult), and finally learned what “2 by 4” referred to (its the breadth/depth dimensions of the wood, where I’d always assumed that since any one piece of wood has three dimensions, it must be something else… which is what I call “smart stupidity”).
That’s enough for a post, isn’t it?
No, I had a point and its just come back to me. Part of my “job” (by which I mean that I approach it with a professional mindset, rather than actually making any money from it… yet) is to interview people more accomplished than me, which involves an elaborate game of the “Magic ‘If'” whereby I imagine what I would ask of these folk if I were fit to lick their boots, and ask it with that level of conviction, despite my obvious failure to meet that criterion. Its a privilege that these people spend some of their time talking to me, and by extension the people who listen to the podcasts I’m on. But because I try to prepare for them thoroughly, it means a whole lot of reading, and an obligatory hour of freaking out about the fact that I will have to keep conversation going with “intelligent” questions, that they may not like me, that we may not make compelling listening, but mainly that they may not like me and therefore I will be not only unfit to lick their boots but an unlikeable wretch to boot.
So sometimes I reach the end of my five straight days at work, look at my 2 days off, and see only interview prep, blogs in arrears, and the ever slackening skin around my midriff.
Where’s my week-end? *said in whingey, miserable toddler voice*
The week-end is a lie.
We’ve been lied to our whole lives. From early on parents, schools, and government conspired to feed us the myth of the week and the week-end. The 5 and the 2. Monday to Friday, then Saturday/Sunday a slashed pair of treasure days free from labour.
This is an obsolete paradigm, for all but those few who have found a passion that both fulfills and pays the bills Monday to Friday. Otherwise, if you’re working a day job and crafting something, anything, in your off-time, whether you’re a lawnmower-modifier, a glassblower, an amateur mixed martial artist, or a podcaster, the time-honoured 5 x 2 means nothing. You’re working 7 x ., where the “.” means the day where you just have to break. Maybe that happens once a week, maybe once a month, but your body and mind call for rest in a manner you can’t/shouldn’t ignore.
7 x . is tough, but its better than the alternative, which is 12 x ., where you’re working 5 days a week, then crafting 7 evenings/mornings a week, then crashing every now and again through the toxic mixture of dedication and obligation, to different things.
7 x . is a blessing, because you’re proficient and hire-able enough to get to pay your way without passion, and still have time left over for dream-chasing. 7 x . is the dream, because every week you clock in on that rota you prove your dedication, to yourself and the work. 7 x . is an honour.
So when you’re staring down the barrel of another week without an -end, remember how lucky you are, and how beautiful your dream is.