Thursday, June 12, 2008

And again.

Usually when I get stressed and overburdened with a workload, a bell goes off in my head and everything stops. It's like the cerebral version of the Blue Screen of Death, but instead of a blue screen you get elevator music and the execution of a simple meaningless task -the intent is to calm the senses and lend a feeling of "accomplishment". It rebuilds the levels of confidence to a point where you can get back to work on the Big, Necessary, And Important Stuff. In such episodes, I usually find myself picking up trash or getting out the Windex.

Yesterday the brain safety valves closed abruptly and I found myself just mindlessly copying photos from one computer to another. All the important things just got pushed off the desk and I obsessed over some nonsense of copying photos -a task of no immediate importance, and little accompanying challenge. Mrs. Ditchman saw it and admonished me. She said, "I'm going to admonish you: get out of the house and go to work." And so I did. Thank God for her.

It was the second such admonishment in a week. Last Wednesday a customer said, "Thank you for cutting those screws off with your metal cutting tool. Now I am going to admonish you: you should be wearing eye protection." Well, I had been wearing eye protection. I finished the job and packed everything away, and then he came around the corner and asked if I would be so kind as to cut a few more things off -outside the scope of the promised work. I obliged, since that's the way we do things in Ditchman Construction. It only took a minute. I had to run back and get my tools out of the truck. It was the end of the day and I failed to put the goggles on for a quick cut, then he thanked and admonished me. Just my luck: turns out he's an eye surgeon.

Anyway, I'm typing this right now and Mrs. Ditchman is standing behind me, welling up with more admonishment, about to burst. Look, none of this is my fault! Can't you see I'm a victim of circumstance?!

I'm also a victim of obligation, which, I suppose, is my fault entirely. I imagine Heaven as a place thoroughly lacking in obligations. Bring it on.