Thursday, January 3, 2013
Just a Day
This is the third time today that I have come to the computer to write 750 words. The previous two times I stared at the screen and then found other things to do. Just now I was sitting on the couch annoyed with how much my arm hurts (leftover from the nerve that was getting pushed around by the bulging disk in my neck that I had removed) when I realized that if I wanted to keep the streak alive, I had better get writing. I'm not very good at motivating myself to do things I "have to do." Obligations like that tend to wear me out. Then again, I _have_ written just over a hundred words already, so maybe I'm better at it than I thought.
Thinking over the course of the day I've been happy enough, busy enough, and seen enough to have things to write about.
I started early with my therapy appointment. We talked about my surgery, how well I'm doing, how much longer I have to go before I'm back to a normal routine, and so on. I talked about how I'm trying to learn the difference between challenging someone and badgering them. My therapist, hearing that I was soon to go see my parents, urged me to notice myself as I was with them.
After therapy I called my parents who are in the market for a new television. We met at the store and started looking at televisions. I'm the go-to guy in my family when it comes to tech stuff and shopping trips like this (where I pick things out but other people buy them) are pretty normal for me. As we looked at the sets I could feel myself drifting off, wanting to be on my own, to make my decisions without explanation. "What's this all about?" I asked myself. I decide that it didn't matter as much right then to understand it as to be aware of it. Once I noticed the situation, I found myself paying attention to what I was doing and who I was with.
We bought the television and went back to their house. They unboxed it since I'm not allowed to lift anything more than ten or fifteen pounds. I got it connected and set up. They were thrilled and it was nice. Sure there were times, again, when I felt as though I wanted to be left alone, but I was able to live with that feeling and come back to the world as it is.
I left their house happy with how things had gone and hungry.
Next stop, Strong Hearts Cafe where I ordered lunch and a macchiato. As so happens at Strong Hearts, the food was a long time coming but very good. The important moment of the meal came before I had even come in. I parked the car and went to the meter machine to get my parking ticket. A woman was struggling with it. She gave up as two friends approached. I moved in to use the machine and heard her explain that the machine wouldn't take her credit card.
"How long are you going to be?" I asked.
"An hour," she replied.
I punched it in and printed a ticket for her. She was amazed and started offering me money for it. I waved her off. It felt too good to be able to do something so simple that had such a nice effect for someone I didn't know. It was worth the couple bucks it cost. Way worth it.
After lunch, I came home to a happy dog and found an email from my friend asking if I knew of a way to find a bootleg Genesis album from 1976. I found it, downloaded the thing, and sent it off to him. Again, it was pretty cool to do something that worked for someone else.
And then, this evening, as I tried to text my wife but got caught up in auto-correct madness, she said that it was funny enough to make her stomach hurt and was still laughing about it an hour later. It's a wonder to make my wife smile. Just perfect.
Now, my arms are sore and I am sitting on the couch with no urge to write 750 words and nothing to write about, except for the simple fact that I'm 730 words into it and just about done with my obligation which, as so often happens, was easier and more rewarding than I had expected. In fact, it was a kindness I did for myself. And that puts a smile on my face.
Posted by Brian G. Fay