Thursday, October 22, 2009

Different Kinds of Tired

My favourite kind of tired is after a long walk or a long swim. Sitting in a pub or a cafe that does good simple food, eating lots of it, having felt I've earned it. That's a great, relaxed kind of tired.

In some jobs I've had a frazzled kind of tired - after a long and tricky day's supply teaching in the secondary school where I taught twenty years ago. The classes ranged from the pretty difficult to the almost impossible. The first achievement, with some of them, was getting them all into the classroom. Step two: get them all sitting down. Step three - - get them doing some work - - - and when I managed this, it was actually very rewarding - - but my stress levels were through the roof.

I worked there for three years, on supply - I was actually there most days of most weeks but hardly ever knew I was going to be. They used to ring me at twenty past eight and I'd be in front of a class by nine, blagging my way through and pretending I knew more than I did about the class and their work.

But I liked the fact that I didn't have to come back tomorrow - if I came back, it would be because I chose to. So something in me liked the challenge of trying to tame the hordes, knowing that I could leave at any moment.

Mostly I did chose to come back. One day, however, I chose not to, and never did again because I found a soothing job as a proof-reader for the European Patents Office soon afterwards.

The kind of tired that I had in that teaching job, though, was like no other - it left my brain completely tangled, with a longing for peace and quiet.

Some of the temp jobs I did in my early twenties left me absolutely exhausted but feeling I hadn't accomplished anything of much use at all. Stuffing envelopes with leaflets all day, that kind of thing. That "I've been bored all day" kind of tired is, for me, just as bad as the tangled-brain tired.

In the actors' agency where I work, I sometimes have an exhilarated kind of tired at the end of the day - if someone gets a role that they're just perfect for. It leaves me buzzing all evening.

Tonight I'm a different kind of tired. I've been working at the White Hart in Harrogate - a very civilised and comfortable hotel and conference centre. It's been a very long and intense day working on some training materials for doctors.

And tonight, I'm really tired - but it was a rewarding and very interesting day.

So - I love relaxed-tired. I love that-was-difficult-but-interesting tired. I love exhilarated-tired.

But I hate frazzled-tired. And I know that I'm so lucky in that I haven't had bored-with-my-job tired for many years now.


Anonymous Milo said...

Sounds similar to my week, has been really exhausting. Was in early on several days and late finishes. Working on big tenders (the joy of professional services) and about a thousand other things. Roll on Friday!

10:18 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Your writing and what you write about keeps me coming back here over and over. Please don't ever get blogging-tired.

5:49 pm  

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