I have an interview on Tuesday. This makes me happy, as sending applications into the ether gets a bit wearing. That said, this is my first interview and I’m approaching it with an attitude of: I’ve gained a good idea of the nature of the job from a contact, and am preparing as best I can, but this is my first interview and I don’t really know what to expect, therefore this will not be the best interview of my life-to-come, but regardless of whether or not I get the job this is a valuable experience.
I’m adopting the same attitude that I applied during my dissertation – and I am fully aware that this comes at the risk of sounding like an overly cheesy/inspirational/positive lifestyle advert – which is that the end result (the final grade in the dissertation; whether I get the job or not) is less important than what I learn and take from the process.
The train of thought gets a bit more tenuous from here, but bear with me. (Actually – even the phrase ‘train of thought’ is a bit generous – there wasn’t really a chronology; more like a collection of fragmented concepts floating around along the lines of ‘focussing on the present’ and ‘living in the moment’, interrupted by the voice of Sir Ian “Gandalf” McKellen in my head: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”) Anyway, amidst all this, I thought about our wee donkey Silver and how mum used to comment on the enforced Zen Buddhism involved in taking Silver anywhere. Basically, there was no rushing Silver. You had to walk at his pace and just enjoy the journey for what it was.
I have memories of walking Silver up to the field: a sunny day; a quiet country road; and the only sounds, the waves on the beach, the gentle clip clopping of unshod hooves on tarmac (and the occasional scuffling as I trip over my own wellies). However long it took to walk that mile or two miles (depending on where we were headed) you just accepted that you’d get there when you’d get there and might as well forget about everything else in the meantime. That was serene and it was relaxing. (That said, journeys were not always this uneventful. Sometimes Silver didn’t want to move at all, and that was not relaxing. That was very irritating.)
I don’t have a smartphone. I generally have my mobile to hand, but I’m not barraged 24/7 by a cacophony of email and social media alerts. Being unemployed, I have a reasonable amount of spare time at the moment (although between rugby, pre-festival extended concert band rehearsals, volunteering at the library, monitoring job vacancy websites, filling in job applications, preparing for interview, and hospital appointments, I feel like I’m not getting my full share of unemployment downtime) but I also don’t organise my time particularly well. Boyfriendface works strange hours, so if he’s off during the day and I want to spend time with him, come the evening when he’s at work and I could be getting on with things I often find it hard to motivate myself and tend to procrastinate with the TV or on the internets instead. I don’t want to knock procrastinating – I hold a great fondness for the wonderful world of pointless things learnt and achieved in pursuit of avoiding the task in hand – but right now I’m finding my procrastination to be distinctly unfulfilling. Watching endless repeats on E4 or flicking through Facebook is, for me right now, time poorly spent. And it’s not relaxing. Don’t get me wrong – in addition to my poorly spent procrastinating time, this week I’ve watched some great films which I hadn’t seen before, had some quality time with boyfriendface, and got a good chunk of useful things done; but given the amount of free time I’ve had recently, the rest of my alone time hasn’t been accompanied by that feeling of serenity and (again, at the risk of going all oaty-floaty) ‘inner peace’.
So – where am I going with this?
I remembered yesterday that the DVD player can, of course, play CDs. It was a light-bulb moment. (Incidentally, not my favourite light-bulb moment of the day – that medal went to the moment where I realised that my attempts to light candles would be signficantly more successful if not accompanied by my absent-minded whistling.) I have a CD player in my bedroom, and my i-pod speakers in the living room (but I really need to put some new tunes on the i-pod). It’s the tiniest, tiniest thing; but just saying to myself ‘if there’s something I want to watch on TV I can watch it; if there’s nothing I actively want to watch on I’ll turn the TV off and make use of the DVD player’s CD playing capabilities instead’. So, this evening I did a bit of work towards my interview. Then when the Sunday night lethargy hit, rather than taking a break with a cup of tea, putting on the TV and then continuing to watch rubbish long after my tea was finished; instead I said, No – I’m going to make a cup of tea (obviously), light all the candles in the world, rediscover a CD I haven’t listened to in ages, and update el blog. It’ll take as long as it takes, but that’s ok. Take your time and enjoy it.