Paulelmo's Blog

Three weeks of furlough is like a canvas waiting to be filled

pencil and sharpener on notebook page

If the current shutdown doesn’t go any longer than now planned, we will be back to work on January 4th. I believe that’s when we’ll go back, because I think this shutdown is meant to minimize gathering over the Holiday Season. Whether I like that or agree with it or not, it is what it is. It’s like I’ve told my boys throughout all of this: There are people making decisions about our lives, and we’re not them.

Planning on the furlough to be no longer than that, I am choosing to not look at the downside of being out of work during the Holiday Season; rather, I’m looking at the possibility of all I can accomplish with three weeks when I don’t have to work.

There are 512 hours between now and when I will have to be back at work on January 4th. I look upon that as a canvas that’s waiting for me to fill it in with all that I can accomplish. It’s not a blank canvas. There is already some paint on it because of the other duties I have that aren’t work related. I still have family obligation and the time that I might need to spend with Finn with his virtual school lessons, but there is going to be a lot of time freed up that I can apply to project work.

Work, with commute time, comes to 51 hours a week, so three weeks off frees up 153 hours for me. I can get a lot done in 153 hours.

I’m not only a bartender, after all; I am also a writer. Yes, bartending is how I pay the bills mostly, but writing is no less serious for me.

During the early part of the last shutdown, I finished two nonfiction manuscripts that had been waiting on my desk for a while. This time, I’m hoping to work up complete book proposals, one each for the two of those, plus a fiction novel that is deep into the editing process. I also want to continue to galvanizing this website and get some good runs and workouts in.

So, I could sit around and mope about being out of work and the scary and sad state of the world right now, but that’s not what God expects of me, and it’s not what my family or I need. I have life’s lemons; now I’m going to see what I can make out of them.

Be well, friends, and be kind to one another. You’re always in our prayers, and we can always use yours.

2 Replies to “Three weeks of furlough is like a canvas waiting to be filled”

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