This is a story about time to kill...
I wouldn't call myself a workaholic, but I hate to be bored, with nothing to do at work. I like to keep myself busy; to keep my mind busy.
It seems extraordinary that I would struggle, then, with evenings and weekends. If I've got something better to do with my time, then why do I hate being bored at work? Why do I insist on having such busy working days, when I'm obviously so bored in my leisure time.
The reality of my situation, is that I'm completely tied to a time and a place. Given that the prime hours of my waking day, and the majority of days of the week, I have a commitment to be available at more-or-less a moment's notice, it would be very difficult for me - although not impossible - to get involved with another major project, in my leisure time.
Psychologically, I'm not built to context-switch. I spend the majority of my income-earning hours context switching, to the point which would make most people's heads spin. My approach to my work doesn't allow for any long periods of concentration, although the role does demand concentration: the only solution is to work extremely quickly, and get very good at context switching. It's enormously taxing, to have your train of thought interrupted continually, and to manage to still be productive; to not forget any of the important details.
I never really thought of myself as a details person. Certainly, names and dates often seem to be filtered out by my brain, along with other trivia deemed worthless. I'm completely clueless about pop culture. I'm utterly divorced from tabloid gossip drivel. I'm culturally disconnected from the bulk of my colleagues, for example.
Although it's pretty obvious that I'm an arrogant and aloof individual, condescending, conceited and full of a misguided and misplaced sense of superiority... I don't actually think that my life is better than anybody else's. In fact, I am acutely aware that my life is considerably worse than the breeder plebs who spend their life watching soap operas with their grubby progeny, and otherwise festering in a pit their own ignorance and stupidity: sounds like bliss.
There's nothing quite like the miserable realisation that you made a substantial wrong turn in your life, and it's too late to make different choices. Once you're beyond the point of no return, inured into a life of isolation, then your fate is sealed. Just as it was when I was a schoolchild, as an adult it will be immediately obvious that I don't fit in.
What I'm left with, would be considered extremely valuable, for those who couldn't wait to fulfil the will of their genes, as a mindless vessel for DNA replication. I sleep as much as I want - which is a lot - and I have as much leisure time as I want. Perversely, I have too much leisure time, and I wish I could work twice as many hours in the day, and 7 days a week... but it would be so irregular that it would cause more problems than it would solve.
My strategy is to sprint and coast. I am working as hard as I can, in the hope that I can take a short career break. I am working as hard as I can, so I can enjoy a period of time to pursue whatever I want, uninterrupted.
Of course, everyone's strategy is to work as hard as they can, so that they can have a lengthy period without work... for most that is retirement. For me, that's not an option... I'm working to a constricted and constrained timescale; my choices are limited. I don't know why other people think - naïvely in my opinion - that they'll get to enjoy their retirement: the omens are not good, health-wise, financially and more generally in terms of the benefit that's been promised, versus the likely reality. Your strategy is to defer that period without work until later life, gambling that your health will be OK. My strategy is to live my life within the parameters of what is for certain; that I have my health right now, today.
It might seem appallingly churlish to complain about long evenings and weekends, bored, but I assure you that the time is filled with seemingly interminable suffering.