Today...I started working. Full-time, I might add.
And I know that makes me sound incredibly lazy, being nineteen and all, but take it how you will. Till now I've been blessed not to desperately need to work, and I took advantage of that. But now I work in a warehouse, which basically constitutes eight hour days of forklifts, cardboard boxes, and scary break rooms with cracked tile floors.
I wake up at five o'clock, shower, dress, drink a cup of coffee, all the while desperately trying to overcome the homicidal tendencies that accompany every eviction from the land of dreams.
No, I haven't actually killed anyone yet, but this is something I'm actively trying to prevent. I'm quite the night owl. I'm at my happiest and most productive when the sun has set, and the world has taken its NyQuil. So this whole "getting up at 5" thing is not only aggravating, it's completely counter-nature for me.
So after my soon-to-be-ritualistic morning, I drove to East Point, missed the turn, reversed directions in the Dairy Queen parking lot ("Try our new Chickn Bacn rAnch"), and crossed the train tracks, finally arriving at the warehouse.
And then spent nearly the rest of my day driving circles in a forklift. I lifted things. I set things down. Some things (be impressed) I even moved to new shelves.
But hey, I'm now a certified forklift operator. I'm pretty sure I even get a certificate (I'm counting on this certificate to satisfy me 'till I get my B.S. in Counseling. Like an intellectual snack.).
Now, I know it sounds like I'm complaining, and were you to ask me seven hours from now, I would be. But really, I'm quite grateful for this job, as I realize that there are many who do not have one, who need it more desperately than I. And, honestly, it's kind of exciting.
Let me clarify.
I spent hours pondering the meaning of existence today, as I drove circuit after circuit around the parking lot under the watchful eyes of my instructor, and realized something that this job, if I manage it correctly, will do for me.
It will force me to prioritize.
I'm notoriously bad at prioritizing. Terrible. Everything that I have any interest in feels like the most important thing ever when I'm doing it. This goes for writing, piano, reading, sleeping, watching T.V., eating, staring at walls, etc., etc. With eight hours of every day now being monopolized by wage-making, and with so much of my night now dominated by the need for R.E.M., I'm going to have to buckle down and decide what is important, and what I should spend my time on.
Now, this obviously is applicable to writing, because for a couple of years now I have been telling myself, "You need to treat it as more than a hobby. It's a part of your life, dang it, act like it!"...And I have failed, miserably. I realized in this one, earth-shaking day of fork-lifting, that I am really going to have to buckle down if I ever plan on accomplishing anything. So I am committing myself to forty-five minutes of writing, every day.
This is a minimum, but I think a good one. So if I only get in forty-five minutes of collective writing every day when I get back from work, I'll know that I've made some improvement.
I know I'll waver some, and I'm working on that.
So, my question to you today is this, "How do you manage to prioritize and manage your various and sundry interests with your commitments, be they work, children, a herd of alpaca, or a radish garden? What works best for you?"
And with that, I bid you a good night's rest...
And pray for your immortal soul if you are destined to encounter me before ten in the morning.