I am bored with my job.

My work contributes to the good in the world and I do it well. I am efficient, timely and organized and everyone I work with is thrilled with my performance. The problem is, I feel like it takes about 20% of my attention span and 5% of my creative thinking skills to earn those buckets of praise. So I am bored. Thrilled to have a well-paying job, extra thrilled that my boss is as flexible as a Yogi when it comes to my life duties with my child, but bored nonetheless. Like an onion being peeled a bit every day, I am feeling diminished.

My Dad’s response to someone saying they were bored was to say “Only boring people are bored” and then make you clean the basement or scrape peeling paint off the porch. So I am self occupying rather than waiting to be assigned some more onerous work.

I am taking a class.
I am committed to writing my blog.
I am pasting photos in the photo albums.
I am trying to think about how to change from this perfectly fine job and into a career that I care about. I have Time for Reflection and I am suffering from Reflection Block.

Once upon a time in the very distant past I hit a similar impasse and sat down one really awful night and wrote a list of things that needed to be different in one year or I would do X. I came across this list while moving out of that apartment several years later and had somehow managed to launch myself into X even though I didn’t have any conscious memory of sticking to the list. Maybe I will do that again and see what happens.

However at the moment I still feel like Sisyphus with his empty task, endlessly repeated. I keep trying to interpret my current time and place as a sand mandala, just a lesson in accepting the transitory nature of life. Haven’t been able to get there yet. What I desperately do NOT want to do is just fill up time or waste time. Soft addictions like books, movies and the Internet feel like acceptable entertainment, except when you know they are being used to deflect and distract thinking.

Time always runs out and cannot be stored. I better figure out what to do.

A glaring error in Frank Capra’s magnificent “box office flop” is that George Bailey’s crisis of self-doubt happens at 8pm. No self-respecting, self-flagellating student of doubt does good work before 3 am. Thats why Clarence earns his wings, George is a light weight, he wasn’t really trying.

3:30 am spins that roulette wheel of my mind and I land on a “Shouda” as in I should of done something differently. The “what” I shouda done is variable, but the ability to collapse success into failure, thats a constant, which means its Clarence-proof. Can’t win if you don’t play!

Disappointment, frustration and shame are some of the other 38 pockets of opportunity on the George Baily pell-mell trip through pessimism and self-doubt. And let us not forget worry, agitation, annoyance, distress and regret.

It just occurred to me that I could make a proto-type of this game. George Bailey must be part of the public domain by now. It could be a drinking game where you do a shot every time your number comes up, or maybe a teaching game for children on Good Friday or Yom Kippur.

[A tangent – One of the more bizarre and effortful moments I’ve had in my life was once trying to revive a party after a junior minister who was a +1 at the party asked the crowd what they thought the difference was between shame and regret.]

3:30 will arrive again tonight with its siren call. Again the decision will have to be made. Stay in bed with my eyes closed and play George Bailey Roulette? Or get up and make a cup of tea while I play George Bailey Roulette?

All this said, in the light of day, there is nothing actually wrong with my life. I could use a little more sleep though.