Work

Today is a Wednesday, and I spent the last three days at my Ladyfriend’s home. I didn’t spend it relaxing though, I worked my ass off. It felt as good, and as much of an accomplishment as anything I’ve ever done. It wasn’t really hard work, like doing a lot of lifting, but it was tedious, required a lot of standing and bending in the hot sun, and demanded my full attention to be done correctly. 

When I was younger, as in when I was a child, I could devote myself to a task, and kind of zone in on the result I was trying to get, and do what was necessary to get it. When I was 14 or 15, a woman in my home town hired me to clean up the abandoned lot next to her store. I set in to do it, and it probably took me eight hours, but I had that lot spotless. All the garbage and junk removed, all the weeds pulled, I even tilled and raked the soil. She could have planted a garden there when I was done. It even shocked the woman who owned it. She had never envisioned what a pretty piece of property it really was.

Later, when I had to go to work for a living, I always had the ability to focus in on the work at hand during any type of crisis. Since pretty much my entire working life was in nursing, and then as a prison officer and a cop, crisis moments came often, on many days more than once in a day. I could always narrow my attention down to the essentials of what I had to do to deal with my part of whatever the problem was. It started as simply as an elderly patient who had defecated all over himself and everything within reach, and had to be cleaned up. One time a patient who had had a fractured hip surgically repaired suffered a ruptured suture line that ran nearly the length of her thigh. Another aide and I had to hold the incision closed and try to staunch the bleeding as well as we could, until the doctor could get there. Later, as the shift supervisor in a huge state prison, I was responsible for directing the responses to all manner of violence, misbehavior, overdoses, vehicle accidents, inmate protests, the list is endless. Then I was the guy who had to write it all up and report it to Albany.

The point being that I could forget everything else at those moments, and direct my full energy and awareness to what I needed to do. It seemed though, that I had lost that ability over the years. Procrastination and apathy were apt descriptors of me and my life. My attitude was pretty much one of what I used to call a “negative give a fuck factor.” I just didn’t care. Refrigerator needs cleaning? So what? What difference does it make? Decorate my apartment and hang some pictures? Why bother? Do laundry? Wash the dishes filling the sink? Read a book? Work on one of my hobbies? There was no point. Forget tackling a project as big as the one I just did. If I managed to start, I would have given up and quit before it was even really underway.

What I didn’t realize of course, is that my attitudes and feelings were drawing more of the same attitudes and feelings that I claimed to hate. Now, I can accomplish things by seeing what I want the end result to be. I enjoy the challenge, and the more exhausted I get, the more determined it makes me to see it through. There is nothing quite like the feeling of achievement I felt when I looked back at the project we worked on. I finally feel like my time is well spent, and I’m not wasting it, or just passing the time. I actually have more stuff to do than I have time for now, and what a glorious feeling that is!

I mentioned in an earlier post that a goal of mine was to lift 736 lbs. on the leg press machine at the gym. I did it. I took my Lady with me, and with her watching, I felt like a peacock strutting his stuff. I was really stoked, and pushed three reps. It was very difficult, and afterwards I was so sore I had to take three days off. That’s okay though, because I set the goal, and I did it. Next up? 826 lbs.

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