Thursday, November 10, 2011

Seasonal Work Jackpot for the Attention Deficit Lifestyle

This last place I was living/working, and will undoubtedly live again, is one of the most all-encompassing bubbles I have ever had the pleasure of being sucked into.  The two-month conference season at the Stanford Sierra Conference Center (SSC or Camp) is the seasonal worker’s dream come true.  With a full commitment of only eight weeks one can fully engage everything in this little sub-world, and then gracefully exit just as the initial shine wears off. 

It is not as if after a couple of months the place itself changes.  Nor do my co-workers change.  Eight weeks, or maybe even closer to six weeks, just seems to be MY expiration date, on any one situation.  And I’m sure this holds true for most of my seasonal working peers.  No matter how awesome the situation is, and this one is pretty sweet, mixing it up, frequently, seems to be the schedule I have subconsciously subscribed to.

This short-lived attention span, isn’t isolated to the seasonal work world.  Don’t most things seem to get old after two months?  Jobs, relationships, living situations, new purchases.  The shine really doesn’t last long on much.  Maybe this is a generational thing.  Maybe this is why so many people are on “A.D.D.” medication.  No one can settle on one thing because there is so freaking much to do.  We have access to everything.  The possibilities are literally endless.  How can anyone be expected to or limit themselves to one job, or one living situation, or one relationship for the rest of their lives? 

There really is no need to limit oneself.  Is a deficiet of attention really a disorder?   Or is it just our reality?  Why are people trying to suppress it?  Drugs, while fun and may very well have the desired effect, are completely unnecessary for this character trait.  Everything in our world is catering to the attention deficient.  Why fight it?  Embrace it. Go with it.  Mix it up. (I recommend drugs only for recreational use).     

Given this reality, seasonal work just makes sense.  And it seems natural in our otherwise nature-deficient existence.  While we are not migrating for food or warmth directly, we are doing so for the jobs that will provide these needs.  Effectively, we are getting back to our animal roots and simply blowing in the seasonal winds.  

And of all the wonderful places the seasonal winds have blown me, none is quite like this perfect little spot on Fallen Leaf Lake.  SSC is the attention deficit lifestyle gold.  This place does it right.  Besides the sheer greatness of the location, they know how to treat seasonal employees.  They offer their employees  everything they have, which in turn gets them sporadic bouts of hard work.  But, their expectations are realistic.  It is understood that we are there to have a good time.  Everyone wins. 

As fun as it was, I wouldn’t want to stay one more day.  While some might be fit to hang onto something like this for longer, I am not wired this way.  My attention has a very short timer on it.  For this reason I am so grateful for camp.  I have found nothing more fitting.  It allows us to engage fully, take it for all it is worth, waste nothing, and then leave.  I couldn’t have asked for a better situation.  If this complete two-month life cycle of Camp is even remotely reflective my entire life-cycle, I will die beyond satisfied.  I can’t imagine trying to squeeze any more activity into a single time period.  It was a grand eight weeks!

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