Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Where've You Been?"

"Where've you been? Haven't seen you around."
"Busy, working. Nobody's seen me or heard from me and I wouldn't invite you or anybody to the house because it hasn't been cleaned for two and a half months. I've got papers and jotted notes everywhere, and they're all important, and if I move any I won't know my own mind, because, see, I got this contract to write four articles a week, for good money, and have to keep coming up with ideas that need to be researched and everything. That's on top of editing, teaching, doing my own writing, answering emails, working some weekday nights, participating in club meetings, trying to lunch with a friend once or twice a month, and creating a three-hour PowerPoint presentation. I quit Facebook. I quit watching TV. I quit my other blog. I quit cooking. I eat tuna from the can. I don't walk every day or go to the gym four times a week or play pickleball or shoot baskets. I dread volunteering for anything. I don't phone anybody. I quit Tae Kwon Do for a while; too strenuous when I need the energy to work. I have 19 students this quarter and 42 students next quarter and they all want personal attention. I get up earlier. I drink coffee at 3 p.m. so I can work a second eight hours."
"Wow, I didn't know you did so much."
"I can do it, but not forever. I have Netflix DVDs I've had for four months. I need to give up something. What else should I give up? You run a business. You know about these things. Please tell me. Remember how they used to tell us to give up something for Lent? I have to give something up for sanity."
"And I remember how all businesses closed between 12 noon and 3 p.m. on Good Friday."
"Different world, that was. So what should I do?"
"Make a list of all the pros and cons--"
"I've done that. It turns out I have to do everything, pro or con, if I want to, like, pay the taxes on what I earn, or buy a new car sometime this century. I am not kidding. There's no one to pick up any slack. I can't slack. I can't count on anything. I hardly go outdoors because there's so much work to do."
[Long silence.]
"Go outside and lie down and look up at the clouds. The answers are in the clouds."
-So I did it and I found the answer, which is to talk with people, stop complaining, plant seeds for salad greens, wear colorful printed Zulily leggings, and buy new insoles for my shoes.

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