Chop and Carry vs Little Piggy
I’m back at work, back in my little office, and now what.
The weekend was pleasant, and sleep came in chunks and in color – an hour or 2 here, 4 hours there. I woke up early Sunday morning – 1:30 AM – and didn’t go back to sleep until midday. I led the big Sunday morning meeting at the homegroup. That was nice. I put it out of my hands, and I said nothing I wish I hadn’t. It was a nice gesture from my friend G to ask me to lead. It meant a lot to me.
My wife serves as a baseline of normalcy to which I can refer. She functions much differently than I. Her time off is spent on projects or rest. She’ll work on something for a good chunk of time, and get it done, and then she’ll relax, watch some TV for a while and maybe eat something. The pace of reality and the pace of my wife are coordinated well. She fits into time and space. The timing belt of her existence has the right tension. Mine doesn’t.
My time off is spent bouncing from thing to thing. I spent much of Saturday reading my book, listening to speaker tapes, looking at stuff on the internet, making and drinking coffee, getting snacks, smoking cigarettes, taking little tours of the patio to look at my cactus plants, then repeat. 10 or 15 minutes each. Then nap. Then repeat. This is the ADD part. Am I actually ADD? I dunno. But I don’t want the medication anymore, even if I were to take it as prescribed. I don’t love being me but at least it’s real. And I don’t want to give up the dreams.
I think I’m just Little Piggy, trying to make now go away. Each activity has a short shelf life. I can’t seem to watch TV anymore. I get too impatient with it. This is where the drugs and alcohol are supposed to come in and effectively solve now, and satisfy Little Piggy, and make me go away and let me rest. But they aren’t an option for me anymore. Life is so much better without them, even when now isn’t.
The napping part is the best. I love sleeping. I dream so much these days, and in such obvious metaphors. My sleeping brain isn’t very subtle in its allegory, but it’s very busy now, and prioritizing pushing product over perfection. What impact does it have upon a human to forsake that part of being for many, many years? I imagine the office in charge of that stuff scrambling to make up for lost time, throwing images and narratives at me as I sleep, warning me against relapse, fighting its hardest to stay open. “We’ve got work to do,” say the little men employed therein. “You’ve had us on indefinite leave for so, so long. You need us! We do vital work and you must let us do our job!” OK dream resources department, do your job. Don’t fret. I won’t shut you down. Little Piggy will get his fix in different ways.
“Over here LP, I’ve got some coffee for you, and some cigarettes. You want some more swords and dragons book? OK, here you go. ”
“I’m tired of that. I want…”
“Look here LP! I’ve got some snacks. Here’s some candy, here’s a blog post.”
Now it’s Monday and I need to make a list. I’ve a number of things upcoming, matters up in the air here, awaiting my return, and I’m not in a very work-y mood. Chop wood and carry water say the monks and my sponsor. But my arms are lazy and my mind jumps around. I guess that’s the point, isn’t it? Chop wood and carry water are clear instructions. They require no commentary. You either do them or you don’t.
“I want more swords and dragons!”
“Not now, LP, we’re at work. We can’t read swords and dragons here.”
“We shouldn’t be doing this either, Eric,” interjects Rice. “Why is this acceptable?”
“Because it needs to be done, and it helps with chop and carry. And you just stay out of this anyway, Rice. You’re messing up the narrative arc.”
“Hmmph,” says Rice, crossing her arms.
Now, LP, how about a cigarette?”
“OK, but I want…”
“I know, LP, I know. Have some coffee instead. And then we’re going to have to chop some wood and carry some water.”
“But I don’t like to chop and carry.”
“I know. Just a little bit, OK? And we’ll have that cigarette first, OK? And then after we chop and carry, pretty soon it will be lunch time, how does that sound?”
“Well… alright. I guess. Are you sure we can do this?”
I’m sure. We can do this.