So it’s half past midnight and I’m still up. I really should be in bed by now. This has been a short, hard week. Not hard like “oh my god, I don’t think I can do this” – there’s just been a lot of work involved. I haven’t done much outside of waking up and going into the office, coming home and working for a couple of hours, and then going to bed.
The work is getting done, but I have this lingering sense of guilt whenever I’m not working. For example, I’ve been emailing with clients in Taiwan until around midnight or 1 every night and getting in to the office until around 10:30AM. I’ve been leaving the office between 6:30 and 10 every night. My week started with an 8:30PM conference call on Sunday night (Monday morning in Taiwan). And still when I hit the snooze bar at 8:30AM, a little niggler in the back of my mind says “you’re supposed to be in the office now” (8:30 is my normal start time – not that I get in before 9).
I know there’s no real sense in paying attention to this itchy thought process – that if I scratch it or in any way start to pay attention to it, it will simply become more inflamed and demand more of my attention. So I’ve mainly been ignoring it. The other move is to go down the road of rationalization/justification: “I was in the office until a ridiculous hour last night,” “I need at least a couple of hours to myself every day – there’s no reason I need to be working now,” etc.
That line of thought can be dangerous for me, because it leads to “they’re not paying me enough for the sh*t I put up with,” and eventually “don’t they realize who I AM?!?” Bad thought, that.
In addition to ignoring the itchy, niggly, guilty thoughts and forging ahead, I’ve also been catching the hours of downtime as best I can. Tonight I left work at 6:30, planning to get to Campmor and Radio Shack before I met Anthony for sushi at 8:30. I got home around 7 and realized that if I cut the Campmor trip out, I’d have a whole hour to decompress and read my book before Anthony arrived. So I did just that. And it was wonderful.
Scott, Anthony and I left from my house at 8:30 and had sushi – well, Scott the Fat Vegan had edamame and something else (because fish-brothers have faces). I more or less gorged myself and it was wonderful. The three of us chilled at my place for a bit afterward and then Anthony bounced and Scott and I talked hiking gear and relationships until just about now.
Tomorrow I’m going to leave work early – hopefully around noon – and meet my buddy SoloJoe up in the ‘dacks for to go on the hiking escapade. [If you didn’t pick up the Hungarian accent there, you probably need to watch some more porn.] Tentatively, we’ll bag four peaks over nineteen miles on Saturday (or just two in about 2/3 of that) and then bag another two easy ones on Sunday. I have a conference call at 4AM on Monday, so I need all the head-clearing, sweat-creating, relaxation time I can get between now and then. Sorry Christine, I won’t be at your party tomorrow night. =(
I’m certain I’ll either forget or never get around to posting it, so here’s the quote from Wednesday’s zen-a-day calendar:
When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.
I’m a big fan of Suzuki’s discussions. As far as I can tell, he’s really the Eastern dude who made Zen available and graspable (that’s probably an oxymoron) for Western dudes like me. Alan Watts is the Western dude who’s credited with bringing Zen to this continent. I think. Anyway, I dig Suzuki.
This quote put me in mind of a Lauren Flax post from way back – when she was doing the Spark thing. Her piece is called Burning and you can get to it by clicking the link and scrolling through that post until just after the pictures. Though why in hell you’d want to skip a word of what Lauren Flax has to say is beyond me. Sheesh, effin’ disposable society.
THERE IS NOTHING *BUT* INSTANT GRATIFICATION. THERE IS NOT ANOTHER KIND.*
Suck on some of THAT zen, em-effers.
*Because we only have this instant, silly: nothing “lasts”.