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Many people (Americans anyway, I haven't ever discussed this with any non-Americans, I don't think) can recall from their early school years at least one instance of that moment of dread, that gut-wrenching feeling which usually fills one's soul sometime on a Sunday with "I don't wanna go to school tomorrow."

It only recently came to my attention (so I'm slow, sue me) that many 'adults' experience the same thing.  I don't know what everyone else calls it, but I have chosen to keep the name by which I came to know it when I was still in school:  

"Playing Hooky."

It's called "Chucking a Sicky" in Australia.  And after a bit of research, it seems many countries have their own terms for it, so it would appear that it's not a uniquely American thing.  While that makes me feel a little better, it does nothing to make me feel better about the fact that "I don't wanna go to school tomorrow!"  And, for the unknownth time in an equally unknown number of weekth:  I'm weighing the factors involved in whether or not it's a good idea to play hooky tomorrow.

On one hand, I've got *lots* of sick hours built up.  On the other:  things would be unduly hard on other folks at work if I chuck a sicky tomorrow.  On another hand, I'm not indispensible, stuff will get done even if "super me" doesn't show up tomorrow.  But again:   naaaaah, I might as well just save my sick hours for when I really need 'em or for when I really am sick.   (Wait a minute ... how many hands is that?)

Fortunately (or sadly, depending on how you look at it) it hasn't always been that way.  I used to like the job I have and the place where I work and most of the people I work with.  As a matter of fact, for the last 20 or 30-something years, I have been rather fortunate in that I have pretty much looked at any particular approaching Monday morning (or Tuesday morning, in the case of those glorious 3- or 4-day holiday weekends) without any sense of dread or endeavor to convince myself that I will survive the day; that it wasn't going to kill me ... but I'd *really* like to fix this weekly mantra (sometimes more than once a week) during which I try to convince me that it's all going to be okay, that "this too shall pass," and that "everything's gonna be alright."

  • "Okay, when I get to work, it's 2 whole hours until anybody annoying shows up."

  • "And then, after 9, it's only 2 hours until lunch."

  • "And then, after lunch, it's only about 2 hours until I'll start getting ready to go home.  Yyyyyyessssssss!"

Cutting the day up into smaller bite-sized chunks helps.  

If you have trouble getting through your day, you should try it.  Since my epiphany regarding "adults playing hooky," I have noticed that many people find any reason they can to leave the office under the guise of doing work.  "I'll be right back!   I have to go see Kevin Kissbutt about that thingy we're working on."  That person returns some 2 hours later after an hour of actually talking to Kevin about nothing having anything to do with the "thingy" followed by another hour of chit chat with various others and miscellaneous time wasting.

I've also been wondering lately if "meetings" are an organized form of this work evasion tactic.  Back-to-back meetings scheduled from morning until lunch and from after lunch until the end of the day may just be a very organized method of this technique ... a conspiracy sanctioned by those in charge who, like everyone else, play hooky when they don't wanna go to school tomorrow.

But I digress.  

I have discovered that the best way to beat this nagging and often embarrassing issue of "I don't wanna go to school tomorrow" is:

Fix it.  

Fix what's broken.  This is the opposite of a favored saying of mine:  "If it ain't broke, don't *fix* it!"   If you can eliminate the source of what's causing you to dread waking up and leaving home and preventing school (or work) from being the fun place to go on Monday that it *used* to be ... DO IT!

Informal studies have shown that this source is most likely something that's not being done or said properly.  And you have already identified the problem but have chosen to do nothing about it until it becomes a festering sore oozing puss all over your life.  It's a sense of internal conflict:  you want to be there, but you don't want to be there.  Things suck because those things are not how you believe they should be or want them to be.   SO:  your job is to fix it.

If nothing else, efforts at fixing things will distract you from the unpleasantness that exists from *not* doing anything. 

Next weekend I'll try to remember to tell you about how things worked out in one instance more than a few years ago when I found myself exhibiting early symptoms of notwannagotoschoolitis.

Put simply, it's a lot like the message in "Cinderella Man:"

If you don't like the way things are, change them.

"You can *do* eeeeet!"

Sat & Sun, 18 & 19 October:  Time to Fix Things  


My life.  My rules.

 - JM(M) -