Have been thinking about motivation and enthusiasm. This chain of thought was triggered when I was reading a No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency book by Alexander McCall Smith. One of the characters (a qualified mechanic and owner of a garage) was thinking to himself how young people (like his assistant mechanics) did not have the hard-working enthusiasm that he had when he was young. All they seem to want to do is smoke, drink and watch the girls go by.
I was thinking about whether I ever felt enthusiastic about work or learning, and whether there was anything specific I was aiming for? I most liked the idea of being a writer or artist, but (as they weren’t taken seriously as careers) I didn’t have plans to follow such routes. I had a fleeting interest in archaeology and Anglo-Saxon, and my favourite poet was Keats. (In some indefinable way Keats was what drew me to university, and gave me As and B-pluses for my essays on him… but university wasn’t what I thought it might be). Beyond that, I did not feel drawn to anything in particular… perhaps our choices are too open and uncertain these days.
I have a sinking feeling I have more in common with the young mechanics than with their laudable and hard-working boss.
In any case, I was wondering what motivates people to choose specific careers and whether or not they regret their choices? Do they begin and end with the same career, or change at some point? What do they enjoy about what they do? Mum said she enjoyed her nursing career despite it being tiring and stressful. She was able to stand up to the matrons, though some were quite bullying types. I have a theory that merely communicating with people is stressful enough for me, so the thought of some stressful job on top of that (particularly one calling for good relations with colleagues and a clear understanding of what is going on and what is wanted) is too much. And so my own enthusiasm and motivation get channelled into a whole different side of things… more towards doing something that I can control myself without fearing that I will let someone down. I would never be a nurse for that reason! I can’t imagine enjoying it, but I am glad that there are people who do (or certainly used to).
All I can say about what motivates me currently is that whenever I come up to this room (where the computers are), all of the warmth and energy I had up to that point drains away. Maybe there’s some ‘feng shui’ reason for it! It’s a dark room, always has been. But at least in the summer it can seem quite bright and warm, with the leafy green trees outside and the honey-gold sun slanting past the window. There’s even the occasional pigeon throwing itself at the glass. In the winter it’s not like that… it’s cold, dim and grey. I never want to stay long… just long enough to check my email.
The electric light doesn’t help when it’s night… there’s a single main light in the middle of the ceiling (it really needs two). The bulb is one of those energy-saving bulbs and it’s incredibly dim… it makes things darker instead of brighter. Every time Mum comes in here she scowls and says “that light is awful. How can you see anything in here?” I keep a twin-bulb spotlight near the desk, which helps.
I’ve just had a moment of deja vu, as though I had already written about what this room is like in the summer… a blog post which was accidentally deleted, only there never was one…
Anyway, I’m beginning to despair about it… about my not feeling able to come in here and get on with my blog and other computer projects. I wish the sun would come back, because then maybe I’ll come out of hibernation.