I’ve asked myself this question many times, over many years. I’ve tried asking it in every imaginable way to somehow pry loose an idea that could be stuck in some upper corner of my mind. A service of some type, a widget people would buy, something, anything…but I always end up with nothing. It’s actually quite ironic if you think about it. My OCD and anxiety keep my brain running all the time, very rarely stopping to refuel. If my brain were a car it would be the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the planet. Yet, with this constant movement of thoughts that never seem to cease, I’ve been unable to figure out what it is that would make me feel professionally happy.
I decided at one point that I should tackle this problem by working backwards. Since I couldn’t figure out what to do, I would look at what my ideal working day would look like, then step back from there and see what occupations fit in with that concept logistically. Here’s what I came up with:
- Mobile: I want my office to be wherever I’m at, not the other way around. Sure, there needs to be a home base somewhere but my daily work can take place anywhere there is access to the internet.
By the way, to my point of mobility, I have to share this. As I’m typing this in a Panera restaurant, drinking tea, three tables away the weekly meeting of the Charlotte Scrabble Club is taking place. Are you kidding me? How great would it be to follow up on emails with a stranger next to you trying to figure out where to place a “Q” for a triple word score?
- Money: I need to be doing something that helps contribute to our household income. I don’t need to create the next Google, but I do need to make sure that there is food on the table, a roof over our head, and a Netflix subscription (the streaming only version would be just fine). Comfortable, that’s a good word. I’m not asking to be rich and I don’t want to be poor; I want to be comfortable.
- Schedule: I want to get up and go to bed when I want to. This may sound silly or childish, but think about this if you have a traditional 8-5 job. Currently you get up so you can make it to work on time, which is dictated by your boss. You leave the office at the time your boss has set. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, especially if you are a salaried employee, but for the most part this is how you determine your sleep and wake times. It should be noted that this is probably a control issue on my part. Inherently there is nothing wrong with a set schedule and most people are fine with it; heavy traffic going into town in the morning and heavy traffic coming out of town in the early evening is not a coincidence. Regardless, this is a sticking point for me if I’m blue skying it here. It’s not a deal breaker, but it is a big deal.
There you have it, the main requests that I feel would make a perfect workday. Seems pretty elementary on the surface. It also sounds like I’d be riding unicorns and selling fairy dust. I’m not completely convinced that it’s even possible to have all three. The only thing I have discovered so far that meets each part of the criteria is to become a Writer. Which is technically what I am doing right now. However, the second item on the list is nil, nada, a big fat zero. I’m not ruling out writing, in fact I’m looking into ways to possibly make this a reality, but until I can figure out how to make point two profitable and fulfill the “comfortable” threshold I’ll add it to the ever-growing list of possible career paths.