A Case of RVW Syndrome… …or the end of a “Waking Dream”

Mind over matter - Inside Tony's HeadBrace yourself…  You’re about to go on a trip through Tony’s mind.  It can get scary in there….

I bet you’re wondering whether you should be sending me flowers at a hospital somewhere and “What tha heck is RVW Syndrome?”

Well, dearest readers, RVW is short for “Rip Van Winkle.”

And, RVW Syndrome is an entirely fictitious disease I just made up, mere seconds ago, as I was staring at that blank box where the “title” of the blog post is supposed to go.

For a several weeks I’ve been thinking to myself, “I really need to do a post on my blog!“And the “Title” that has been stuck in my head every time I have that train of thought is “Rip Van Winkle.”

“Why? Huh? What?” I hear the teeming masses crying out…  all eight of you who are actually reading this…

Well, “Rip Van Winkle” keeps popping into my head because over the past few months I feel as if I’ve been asleep.  I feel as if I’m waking up from a dream — from a very long sleep — thus “Rip Van Winkle!”

Aha! say the teeming masses!  (I TOLD you that my mind was a scary place! *grin*)

In many ways, I do indeed feel as if I have been sleep walking through the past few months.

Another way to phrase this feeling is: I’ve been on automatic pilot.   Or, to say: I feel as if I were numb.  As if I have been taking pain medication and the pain meds are wearing off now.

Or, that I was in shock and now I’m coming out of it.

In fact, I think that “I was in shock” may indeed be the most accurate description of what has been actually going on.

I don’t want to create the wrong impression here, a LOT has happened since March and I’ve done a lot.  But the reality is, looking at the past eight months since I lost my job, is that I was in a state of shock.  Sure I moved, and I talked, and I did things and I ran errands, and made plans and ate and slept and broke my wrist, and danced and…..  well you get the idea.


Given that I no longer had a 40 hour a week job and the 10 hours of driving on a commute per week that went along with that 40 hour job, I’m rather ticked off at myself that I’m not further along toward meeting my goals than I am.

“PISSED at myself” might just sum it up.

HOWEVER…  Before I go beating myself up too badly I have to say that I now feel as if I’m moving forward.  For the first time since loosing my job, I feel as if progress is being made.

Why was in shock for all those months?  Think about this… I was a librarian.  Being a librarian is not just a job.  It is a career.  It is a calling.  It is something that I’ve known I wanted to do since I was in the 8th grade.  I spent a lot of time, effort and money to get my Masters Degree in Library Science so I could be a librarian.

In a job interview once I was asked “Why did you become a librarian?”  I truthfully answered: “This is going to sound corny but I love being a librarian because at the end of the day, when I go home I know that the work I did that day made a difference in people’s lives.  Because of what I did, someone found a job, or learned how to use a computer or they relaxed and de-stressed because of the movie they watched or the book they read.  They learned something new, or they gained a skill or they were napping in a comfy chair inside and safe instead of outside and cold, hot, or hidden behind a dumpster.  In short, the work I do as a librarian makes a difference.  The work that librarians do is important.”

Being a librarian wasn’t just a job.  It was my life.  It was who I was.  It was my identity.  When I wasn’t a librarian any more, then who the heck was I?

Having a job also gave structure to my daily and weekly activities.  The job imposed an external structure onto my day to daily life.  It gave me a “schedule.”  It gave me a routine.  All that is good in a way.

But looking at it in a different way, not so much.  The structure was external.  And when the job began to become a nightmare, the structure began to feel more like the bars on a prison cell.

However, without that externally imposed structure, I drifted; doing only those things that had to get done.   I drifted along until about a month ago when I began to build a new structure to replace it.  A new routine.   A new “schedule” that is focused on my priorities rather than the priorities of the “job.”

Of course, the stinky, sucky, disgusting, awful fact is that I only have five months left until my money runs out and I have to either be a self-employed professional dance instructor and writer or I have to find a job!  Eeeek!  Urk!!!!  Stinks doesn’t it?

I’m finally feeling like I’m getting things together and looming in the near future is my very own fiscal cliff.  A financial guillotine hanging above my new found life.  Painted on the blade is “lack of money” and the whole contraption is about to come slashing down and chop off my new found freedom!  SIIIIIIIiiiiiiggggggggghhhhhhh!

But I have five months.  Ok, really four months.  Beginning with month #4 I have to start job hunting.

Wish me success…  Five months to be well on the road to living healthy, being financially independent, and five months to avoid having to go back to a 9-5 job.

Stay tuned… Next on the “Travails of Tony” we find our hero battling the arch villain:  [cue the sinister background music]

The Bathroom Scale!  Eeeeeeeeekkkkkk!

See ya on the dance floor!


About TxCowboyDancer

Professional Dance Instructor teaching Country, Ballroom, Swing, Latin and Line Dance. Eleven time Country Dance World Champion.

Posted on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, in Misc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hi Tony, teh writst injury must have been very frustrating since we take them for granted. Maybe you needed this ‘sleep time’ to think about your next step. You know what sort of books are likely to do well in a library, what the book cover is like and how they read fluently. Since line dancing is part of your identity, my suggestion is that your blog posts would make a wildly entertaining ebook. Wishing you well —


    • Actually one of the plans “on the back burner” is to eventually write a book about my transformation from “out-of-shape out-of-work librarian” to “in-shape dance instructor & writer”. If publishers don’t pick it up, I can always go the self-published route.



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