Worse news: while I wouldn't mind job searching if I wasn't working much (because it's something I DO want to work towards), with me working this much already, I'd really rather...not. But my mom wants to keep pushing me.
So basically. It's good short-term financially. It's bad long-term financially. It's bad for job-searching and for personal time. If I didn't have that time working, I wouldn't mind job searching--job searching is something I'd rather not do, but I recognize its necessity for my long-term goals (it'd be impossible to transition on a lifeguard's salary anyway), so I'd do it with a little pushing and shoving. But WITH the lifeguard work, I don't want to. I already don't want to without the lifeguarding, but WITH the lifeguarding, the desire to not do so suddenly becomes much, much, MUCH stronger, because, well...there's no way to balance that.
I can't balance my life like that. Working as a lifeguard at that many hours is exhausting. There's a reason I didn't want to work that much as a lifeguard. I want to still work as a lifeguard, yes, but...not THAT much. Lifeguarding is full of pleasant experiences, and the community there is great, but it's a LOT of stress, and a LOT of time invested in something that I'd rather do on the side than focus my time on. By which, I mean: I love lifeguarding in small quantities. A constant, neverending barrage of lifeguarding basically every day? Is EXACTLY what I wanted to avoid, because it's a triple-negative: it kills my life, it kills my enjoyment of the job, and it also makes my performance ON the job suffer, too, because the more I work (ESPECIALLY at the same hours!), the more monotonous it becomes which invites...unpleasantries.
(Also, screw spellcheck, unpleasantries is totally a word.)
I'm not going to quit the job, though (contrary to what it sounds like my mom's current desires are given her reaction to the news), so I'm going to bear with it. I'm going to survive, and next time scheduling comes up, I'll try signaling even stronger my desire to not work THAT much. (I may not have been strict enough with my indicators. So next time, I'm thinking of writing minimum 2 hours of work, maximum 12, writing available hours, but stressing preferred as "not working this day" in THOSE WORDS so there's no ambiguity, which there MAY have been last time even though I thought I was pretty clear.) It'll be TOUGH, but I will survive.
What the lifeguarding means, though, is that I can't do everything.
There literally is not enough time in the day to lifeguard, do mafia, do CF, write, draw, do dancing/TKD, AND on top of that, job search.
It'll be hard enough finding time for the big four, even. (The big four, being, Mafia/CF/Writing/Drawing, because dancing/TKD are automatically slotted as being above everything and automatically done no matter what.) I know my limits pretty well. I'm generally pretty reckless with my time management skills, but I can be VERY smart with my time when I choose to. In particular, I'm no idiot when it comes to CALCULATING time. CF takes an average of 3 hours a day. Sometimes longer (especially if I didn't log onto my main account for over 24 hours--frequently happens on weekends), sometimes shorter. Mafia, if I'm just posting once or twice a day, and not obsessing over refreshes, and not getting distracted by reading extra things that are wasting time (things I am prone to doing), still takes about an hour or two, depending on how much reading/writing I have to do. (Sometimes, it can be as little as five minutes if I luck out and have nights in all my active games at once. Sometimes, it can be four hours, because of dozens of pages cropping up literally overnight with people posting three times for every post I manage to write with them being EXTREMELY active in a discussion I need a lot of time to reach.) Average time: five hours.
I generally sleep for 4-8 hours, average of six. Eleven total hours so far in the average day.
Now, I'm working an average of three hours a day, but the drive makes it an average of four. Fifteen.
It takes me an average of one hour to get ready. Sixteen.
And then you get extras. I do TKD for 3.5 hours officially, but it's closer to 4.5 given the time between work and TKD. I spend 3.5 hours at square dancing, and 2 hours (plus an hour drive) for round dancing. Then there's three hours of anime on Saturday. I might be bombarded with shows, soon, too. But for the sake of argument: that's about 14 hours/week, adding an average of two hours.
Eighteen hours, on average, available, leaving theoretically six available. No problem, right? Except that's dealing in theory.
Monday, get up at noonish. Hour to get ready. Drive to my counseling appointment. Get done at 3, get home at 3:45ish. Amount of time available: the small gap between 3:45 and 5:00 (ish) where I leave for work. So available hours: 1.25. Get home at 10, might watch shows on replay until 1 am or so, maybe later. Let's say 1:15. We're still at a total of 1.25 free hours, here. Need I remind you it takes an average of 3 hours a day and let's say 1.5 hours for mafia. I might. Might. MIGHT not need the mafia time, if I managed to fit it all in that 1.25 hours, but chances are the games I'm in will move fast enough that, yes, I do. Probably not as much, but still some. Let's say .75 hours. So...starting at about 1:15 AM...add 3.75 hours and you get...me going to bed at 5 AM. This, without job searching, writing, OR comicking.
Tuesday, get up at 11ish. Six hours of sleep, but how much time do I have to work? Hour to get ready. Leave for work. After work, TKD. I'll have an hour window from 8-9 when shows begin, but then I'll be left at...probably about the same time, let's guess 1:30, before I begin to have computer access as I'd like. Sensing a trend? Because that puts me at 5 AM or so again.
Wednesday, get up at 10ish. Less than six hours of sleep. Hour for shower, hour to get ready. Leave for work. Get home at 4:30ish. Leave one hour later for dance. Get back at 10ish. One hour of free time probably spent resting means that there's a solid 5 hours needed to cover everything most likely. 2 AM. No writing, no drawing, and CERTAINLY no job searching.
Thursday, get up at 9:30. That'd be 7.5 hours if at bed by 2:00 with no work done. Less if I actually try to be productive. Same thing, hour to get ready, leave for work, get home at 4:30, two hours before leaving, but half an hour minimum is needed for prep time: eating, getting dressed, etc. So, total time: 1.5 hours. (Keep in mind...it can take me that long to write a BLOG POST. And above everything, above all else, my blog should continue because frankly I need it for my sanity at this point. I've become dependent on blogging for support in my life, organization, basically, as a handy tool for venting thoughts whatever they may be.) Get home at 10:30ish. Let's say four hours this time. That takes us to 2:30, no writing, no drawing, no job search.
Friday, tenish, this one would be 8.5 hours if accurate, so Thursdays are probably my best bet for squeezing time in for writing and drawing. (Especially given that the second Thursday of each month has no dance.) It's compensated for, though, with an utter lack of time on Friday: get up, shower, eat, leave, back at 4:30. Family night, anywhere from as early as 5:30 to as late as 7, usually averaging 6:30 (give or take 15 minutes). 1-2.5 hours. Admittedly, when family movies are over, I have time on the computer. However, this is a wildcard. If we watched something that I wanted to look up on TVTropes (e.g. The Dirty Dozen, which you can tell I did), then depending on the length of the article, I may spend all night there on distractions. However, if I have no such urge (any rerun, any TV show, any film I wasn't impressed by), then I'll have it available. Usually for mafia, sometimes for CF though that's a bit rare since CF requires focus I can't always give.
Movies generally get done between 10 and 11, though movie length plays a huge factor. I know I generally average going to bed at around 2-3ish, but since Saturday is free, that time can be extended as necessary...depending on my ability to work at that time of night.
So...two days where I may vaguely be able to squeeze in late-night arting/drawing. Definitely not in the mood for job-searching at that time.
Saturday...Saturday is a wildcard. Frankly, what I do on Saturday is entirely dependent on what my mom does. If she's on the computer, GENERALLY, I don't log onto CF all day, since the majority of my best CF work is easily done on the desktop. If she's not around, though...CF. I've basically given up on movie nights, sad as that may be, even though it's the only time I see some Furians, simply because (1) I don't get the computer that often, and (2) I use that time up. In spite of me saying I'm unavailable during the weekends, I like to sneak in some mafia time as well, but keep in mind: universal to Saturdays is an average waking up time of two. Hour to get ready, three. That's a total of nine hours available before anime.
And that time can be spent on literally anything coming up. Work. My sister asking me to watch a show with her. CF. Mafia. (Because my record time continuously on the mafia site is well over half a day, you shouldn't be surprised an obsession can eat up nine hours.) I don't know, but it's the best day I have free, and entirely random.
Sometimes I'll have that time free, sometimes I'll have something distract me. Either way, Saturdays are never as life-saving and productive as the number of hours available would indicate. There's always less time than anticipated, thanks to little stupid things building up.
Sunday, three hours of sleep, come home at 1:30. I have the full day, here, but justifiably I usually take an hour or two long nap out of exhaustion. (Because if I don't, I fall asleep at around 8ish anyway. No matter what I was trying to do, I need 1-1.5 hours rest during that time if I didn't nap. With a nap, though, I can plow through the night.)
So given that I emerge anywhere from 2-5 (depending on the length of the nap), Sundays are, undoubtedly, my most productive day. I don't get to do CF until late in the day for the same reason Saturdays are a wildcard, but most of my time is eaten up on mafia usually, in spite of me saying I'm not available on the weekends. (I actually should begin enforcing that policy more, really. And saying, essentially: "You know, in THEORY, I could be around on the weekend, but screw that. I'm going radio silent for 48 hours because I NEED IT FOR MY MENTAL HEALTH.") This day, I can write and draw on.
So balance is...going to be hard. Really, really hard. Most of my free time is on the weekend, and there's never as much as I count on. (Why do you think it's taken me so long to get the pages drawn? Why do you think I only barely passed NaNoWriMo? I was counting on the weekends to save me, when...they didn't.)
Difficult, but it shouldn't be impossible.
Problem is...that's without job search.
Job searching would mean I'd have to give something up. And...there's nothing I feel ready to give up.
CF? No. They're family.
Mafia? No. I need the support I get from there, since I'm dependent on them. Plus, as much as I have plenty of people who hate my guts on there, I have an equal number of people who are thoroughly disappointed if I can't play with them.
Writing? No. It's probably the thing I'm currently least passionate about, but that will change. It always does; the passion gets reignited in my soul and I push forward. But even withOUT the passion, I STILL want to write, because the passion still exists (albeit not as strongly as when I'm truly enthralled), I'm not suffering from writers' block, I can write, I WANT to write, and most importantly of all: something productive could come FROM the writing. Albeit way down the line.
Drawing? Traditionally, drawing's taken the hit. It caused the pitfall of The Descended. Before this week, I probably would have begrudingly accepted the loss of art and moved on with it happening in microseconds of spare time but otherwise being nonexistent.
...But after this weekend? Given what I've experienced? You just saw me post the MOTHER of all rambles (and coming from ME, that REALLY says something) about how much this has meant to me, how every passing moment I work on Red Hood Rider increases the importance of it to me. Not just that blog post, either. You can look at any of my blog posts recently and see it. You can see the build-up throughout this week, starting early-on fairly weakly. Then it grew, bit by bit. By Friday, it was moving as a storm. And on Saturday, that moment hit. And today, here on Sunday, even before I've drawn a page, you've seen how the passion kept going. It didn't die. I've kept up that enthusiasm, that desire, so it was not a fleeting desire of the moment, something to pass, something to fade, it was REAL and it continues, then AND now.
So lose my art?
Of course, this does mean some of my side-projects are going to be canned, sad as that may be. Before I got the bad news about my work schedule, I was planning on, at least, noting here about how I need to upload my vocaroo recordings to another medium.
I'm PRETTY sure I downloaded them all and was not stupid enough to leave any purely online. I should have everything I've sung and everything I've done a tune for (like THE song, both original and remix, that I recorded), all stored on my computer. But vocaroo I know deleted most of the recordings, as not a permanent storing thing, similar to an image hosting site's purge, meaning I need somewhere which won't do that. Yet this is a project that will take time that, frankly, I don't have right now. (I do have a soundcloud account, but it doesn't have a password I remember, so I need to reset it.)
So no music. No indulging myself in small things here and there.
Another one I was considering doing is, in an effort to have people actually be interested in my blog, doing a 'webcomic' on CF that would outline one or two blog posts a day.
This process would mean I'd never catch up. But by breaking up the blog post into multiple images so it's not one gigantic wall of text (see: my blog posts for the last week and a half or so), I might be able to make the blog more accessible to readers...especially if I included a blog summary.
That would be a trick if I decided to replicate the feat on the mafia site, in a thread. (Which would, justifiably, be labeled an ego thread, but oh well.) I'd post the gigantic wall of text, and then highlight the important things from that post. As they are fond of saying: the tl;dr version. This short, succinct, summarized version would be what I'd realistically expect them to read, and if anything in the summary caught their eye, they could open the spoiler and read the original. If not, they'd move on.
Because, let's face it. In my blog posts...nobody's going to read the entire thing, the entire time. Even IF someone takes the time to click on my signature link. Even IF they are a continuous reader. Even IF they have read the archives. They're not going to read every single word of every single post I make. How do I know? Because even I can't.
It's impossible for me to do and I'm the one who writes this junk.
So of course I can't realistically expect any of my blog posts to be read entirely, even if in said blog posts I raise some good, interesting points that aren't found anywhere else.
Because, duh. I'm wordy. I ramble. This blog is mostly meant as my personal venting tool, to get thoughts off my chest. I'm repetitive, I use a LOT of fluff words, I pad things out as much as physically possible, most of which is habitual. (I COULD cut the length of the blog down...I just choose not to.)
I mean...fun fact, do you know that sometimes I will think a thought yet my fingers will type out that sentence with extra words written that I never even inserted into the sentence with my mind? For instance, an extra "that" or "the" may spark a full half sentence of extra words by improv not originally intended. It's how my body works. I'm scatterbrained, as you can tell by how I transition subjects, and then I try to tie the subjects together, but have forgotten what point I was originally making, so I improvise.
It's hard to follow along with. And that's a shame.
I really, really would love to make a blog where I could have people actually understand me, where I cut the unneeded parts and simply say what I need to get the point across, nothing more, nothing less.
I'd still be making long blogs. I still would have people not reading them as a result. But at least they'd be somewhat tolerable.
And that's the side-project I wanted to work on, another one of the things I dreamed up while I was driving on the road. It won't happen any time soon, though.
(Fun fact: most of my best ideas spawn from morbid thoughts. You know what sparked this blog? The idea of, "What if I woke up every day with the Hollywood-styled short-term-memory amnesia unable to remember the previous day?" that led to the idea that, in that hypothetical scenario, most likely, I would write a journal of the important things happening in my life that day, that I would want to keep for the next day. So while the memories would be lost, via my writing, I'd still be able to know what happened, what I wanted to do, and whatnot. Then that got me thinking, "Why wait for this thing that will likely never happen? It's a good idea to do anyway!" Which led to the idea of writing every day, which might as well be posted online...thus, blog.
This idea of posting my blogs on CF and on the mafia site had that same morbid initial mentality. "What if I died, and they knew I had died? What if someone, probably from the mafia site since more people from there read my blog, decided to bring my blog over there, post by blog post, to let them see me, to humanize me, to let people understand me now that I was gone?" And then the follow-through thought. "Well, it doesn't sound like a bad idea to make this anyway. Especially with my touch because, well...my blog. I'm PROBABLY the one best suited for saying what is and isn't important when it comes to my own blog."
These ideas may be trivial. But those grim thoughts also provide strong motivators: "What if I died right now? What would become of my work?" The thought which literally saved my life, because the follow-through thought is, "...Then all my works would never see the light of day." And because I want to see my babies come alive, I need to stay alive, and also, I need to WORK on them. That's the most significant one, but they are EVERYWHERE. What was the point of me talking about this? Pretty much none, but I thought it was fun trivia to let people into the way my mind works. I daydream of everything: death, paralyzation, blindness, you name it, I've thought of my fate like that. And then I've followed through, and given more depth to the strengths behind the ideas I conceptualize in those scenarios.)
So...probably should get back to work, now. Zero pages right now, aiming for at least two, you know. That sort of thing. What would be awesome is if I even got half-way to my original goal by this point.
It's hugely disappointing that as the week has gone, I've had to progressively lower my standards more and more, as reality began to hit hard about what I can do. (Namely...not much.) But all that said...
...My enthusiasm has grown stronger, too. I will find a way. I WILL find a way. I can't let the momentum die out. I have promises of balance to fulfill, but...I absolutely must. MUST. 100% must. Keep going.
Starting with right here, and now, when I have the time.
I can work on my comic today.
So I will.
That's how it'll work. Today sets the example for tomorrow, and all that.
(And this is the first blog post in a while that is shorter than the one it's bumping off, since this one is bumping off the front page the tremendously-long derp-one. Oh, well, the epic length of the scroll bar was entertaining while it lasted.)