I’ve never been in a hurricane. I’m not sure I’d ever have the desire to ride out one of those phenomena. But I can attest to the experience of the Eye. Hurricanes are terrible creatures of nature that show no mercy and give no quarter as they plow through whatever is in their path – be it man, land or ocean. It’s similar to College Life in how it’s unending, unstoppable and unpleasant. But there’s this mythical week of relief, relaxation and refreshment. It’s Spring Break. It’s like the Eye of the Hurricane where the wind stops, the heavens clear and those under siege come out for a moment. I’ve been having my moment for a week now and let me tell you – it’s weird.
I purposely took a week off from everything thinking it would serve as a good long break and I could enjoy some sleep, take a day trip or even do some catch up on homework. I had pie in the sky dreams of lazy days. And then reality hit. I don’t know how to relax or enjoy off time. I’ve been working since I was 15 1/2 and have rarely taken time off from anything aside from family holidays. With my return to school I’ve been moving at the speed of light with classes, physical therapy, and other weekly activities. It’s basically been a full time job plus some overtime.
And then all of that is gone for a week. It’s like the RMS TItanic and the iceberg. Or dropping the bomb on Nagasaki. It’s like Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”. Or Gollum falling into Mount Doom grasping at The One Ring. Hopefully I’m painting a picture of how bizarre this week has been because I’ve had nothing productive to do and without that inherent requirement hanging over my head – I’ve found that my motivation is hard to jump start. Given that I’m a bachelor it’s even harder since I don’t have a girlfriend to spend time on or kids to entertain.
It’s an odd feeling discovering this at thirty two. It’s also a great thing because I now have to get to work on my motivational engine. I’m going to have to dig in deep to understand my extrinsic versus intrinsic motivations when nothing is on the clock. I’m also of the opinion that most older students experience a variation of this because not only are we living the adult life but also the school life and when Spring Break arrives it affords us the opportunity to let out a long breath. We’re able to put some of the stressful aspects on the back burner and fall back to the simple(r) life.
Sadly the Eye of The Hurricane doesn’t stick around forever and the forces of nature must always be in some kind of balance. So I’ve got a few days left of freedom and I plan on spending them warming up my notebooks with some studying. Reality is a harsh mistress and I do have to return to her service whether I like it or not. Thankfully this storm will pass in May while I start the cleanup process. And the next big one’s just over the horizon of August when the next semester prepares to take my lunch.
I now have a real need to watch “Twister”.