A day off

Nelson feels cold this morning.

A day off. Woah. The last time I took a day off work was Sep 24th, 2021 when Mizuki had been down in Arthur’s Pass for some time and Benn and I drove down for the weekend, I took the Friday off to have more time down there. I take a certain pride in (almost) never taking days off. Before that last one I’m not sure I had ever taken an unplanned day off work, at any job.

I have always felt/feared that the trouble with taking days off is that thereafter every day becomes a choice: am I going to work today or not? Where if you simply take it as a given that you’re going to go to work everyday, no matter how tired or sore you are, then there’s never any ambiguity or anguish. I probably could have worked today, my grossly swollen wrist sprain would have made it difficult and painful, but I could have worked. I wonder if my willingness to take a day off signals the onset of a certain fatigue with work.

Interest is a poor proxy for value/utility. Life, and the internet in particular, provide a functionally infinite source of things that are interesting and exciting. Example: as I write this I’m sat in the library. Glancing around as I tried to think of a better word my eye landed on the cover of a book by Anthony Browne. I have no idea who Anthony Browne is, but his name and initials put me in mind of Anthony Bourdain. All of a sudden I was interested to know the date Bourdain had taken his own life and how old he had been at the time. Interesting, but not at all useful.

Societies that are too ordered become stifling and oppressive; those that have no coherence are unsettling and alienating.
— Ian Leslie, Conflicted: Why Arguments Are Tearing Us Apart and How They Can Bring Us Together

Work is profoundly limiting. It captures so much of our time that might be spent doing greater things. It limits our lives to those interstitial moments that it discards. Evenings oh too short, weekends just long enough to recover our spirit enough for another week’s work. And I love my work. So what horror work must be for those who are not so darned fortunate as I. If work seems an incursion into my privileged life it must be hell on earth for the underprivileged and underpaid.

In other news, practice is still my favourite word. What a brilliant notion. Maybe that’s why I’m raging against the tyranny of work at the moment, because work gets in the way of the practice of life. Or more fully, the practice of the practise of life. Note that practice (noun) and practise (verb) are different words with complimentary but distinct definitions and connotations.