Wishing weekends were longer

Originally posted on Tue, 21 July 2009 at 01:28 while listening to “Soul Eyes” by John Coltrane and feeling wistful.

I haven’t blogged much in the last few weeks due to the hectic chaos. Yet it’s over the past few weeks that I’ve come to the conclusion the perfect week would be a four-day work week and a three-day weekend (i.e. the “long-weekend-every-week” week). I have a policy of no studying or working on Saturdays and I’ve tried hard to stick to that. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail; recently, there’s been a disturbing trend of an increasing desire to succeed that is directly proportional to failing to stick by that rule.

Sometimes it’s really hard to step back and think of the bigger picture; especially when you’re a detail-oriented perfectionist like me. Though every now and again, things happen that make you wonder what the daily drudgery is all for. Why do people willingly spend the better part of their lives doing something they don’t like? It’s true that for many the choice simply isn’t there. But I’m beginning to think that for the rest of us – those more fortunate and blessed – we do have the choice, but we’re blinded by all sorts of things. Fear. Inertia. Complacency.

Anyway, I guess I’ve been going through a bit of a quarter life crisis. It’s been just over a year since I came back from New York and started working full time again and I don’t feel like I’ve really gotten to where I wanted to go. I’ve built all sorts of castles in the air. I’ve begun trying to move forward in half a dozen different directions. A lot of things seemed to have just…happened, that I either didn’t plan on or definitely planned on avoiding.

Plans change, I accept that and I can work with it. But this…feeling of everything remaining stagnant is excruciatingly painful. I HATE this out-of-control-non-productive feeling and I think it mainly comes from the fact that I’m still here, doing something that’s not quite what I want and getting bogged down in its day-to-day tasks while there’s a whole heap of other stuff I would much rather be doing.

The best option would be to take a leap of faith, quit and just go for it. Sadly, I think nature and nurture are against me. Good Chinese girls – particularly if they’re auditors – do not contemplate not finishing their CA and leaving a steady job with excellent prospects to pursue flights of fancy, especially not when there’s mortgages to be paid. In hindsight, buying a place (places) was…a supremely stupid decision made purely on economic considerations and ignoring all other factors.

So I think all that’s left to me is baby steps. Four days a week isn’t so bad. An extra day all to myself to work on personal projects would be good and would leave me a lot more time to just…enjoy life.

Some people have been dubious, quoting the Chinese proverb “first the bitter, then the sweet”, and told me that at my age, I should be thinking about building a solid foundation for the years ahead, not wasting my time on frivolity. After twenty-three years of living by that philosophy, I don’t know if I can wholeheartedly agree with it anymore.

Is all the bitterness worth it in the end? I don’t know. I don’t think I exactly…regret the way things played out. I’m not sure it was all worth it though. The problem with life is that you can’t live every single possible permutation and then just pick and choose the best ones. We only have one life and to delay living – really living – for so long makes no sense. Life just – happens. I would hate to get to the end and just think the rewards in the end were not worth it and feel like I hadn’t lived at all. Not that I’m advocating total abandonment, just to dream and plan as if you’ll live forever but live as if you’ll die today because after all, there’s “no day but today”.

Where to from here? I think I’m going to try and make the four day work week a reality, once promotions are announced. It doesn’t compare to actually chasing after dreams, but it’s a compromise that’s feasible and it’s a step in the right direction. So hopefully I’ll have more time for friends…

Tony donning a very suspicious-looking head sock on an early Saturday morning before going biking around the local neighbourhood.

…more time to be creative, experiment and try new things…

Finally using my LEGO cake mould to make a LEGO butter cake!

…more time for good food…

Arancini at the Harbour Bar, Park Hyatt, The Rocks.
New York Cheesecake at Maisy’s Cafe, Neutral Bay.

…nice drinks…music…conversation…

Affogato coffee with franjelico at Harbour Bar, Park Hyatt, The Rocks.

…beautiful surroundings…

View of the Sydney Opera House at midnight from the Overseas Passenger Terminal at the Rocks.
View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight from the Overseas Passenger Terminal at the Rocks.