Monday, May 13, 2013

Drunk Spider Syndrome

Last week at work, I was on the phone with the pest control guy who was reviewing our pesticide schedule for the year. He explained that we shouldn't see any bugs in the office building since they have been treating the outside on a regular basis and if anything, we might encounter a spider appearing to be "drunk" while walking across the floor. As he was telling me of this drunk-spider syndrome, I couldn't help but notice that he sounded like what I imagine a drunk spider might if it could talk. Had this man been around pesticides too much? Were the chemicals beginning to affect his speech?

This got me thinking about workplace hazards in general and how many of our jobs are slowly killing us. I've read reports indicating that office workers who sit for most of the day shorten their lives by years... just by SITTING. I remember back to my first "real" office job where my supervisor had worked for 35 years. Her butt looked as if it had taken on the shape of her chair and I began to mentally label this infliction as "chair butt." I vowed to never get "chair butt" myself and took action to make sure I got regular exercise. Almost twenty years later, I am proud to say I have remained free of "chair butt" but I am often worried what the actual act of sitting all day is doing to me. Am I shortening my life by working in a cubicle?

Hiking is an important part of my life and I would rather be hiking than anything else. I sit in my office and stare out the window wondering how much longer I can take this job. I daydream about what else I could be doing. I mentally write out my business plan for creating a hiking guide service where I can enjoy being on the trail while helping other people get out and enjoy nature. I research trails that I want to explore and to learn about wilderness first aid and am slowly working up my courage to take action on this dream.

Part of my drive to put this dream into action has to do with a family member's diagnosis of esophageal cancer last week, an uncommon and typically untreatable disease. I can't help but wonder if the lifetime spent working in the tool and die industry, breathing metal dust and fumes, contributed to this diagnosis.

I don't want my job to kill me, especially since I have lost the passion for this job. It's time to seize the day and turn dreams into realities. I don't want to sell my precious days, weeks, and years to an employer. I want to earn my living doing what I love while creating unique, enjoyable experiences that await my future clients.

This blog began as a fun way to document adventures with my dog. Then the wheels began to turn in my mind and the project turned into a dream. The dream has become a goal. Now it's my turn to make the goal a reality.

Ready, set, go hiking!