and love, you can’t give it away

Thank you to everyone who made it out for one of my three birthday events in the past week. I deliberately picked times and places that would draw a crowd already – Asgard on Wednesday, Common Ground on Friday, Phoenix Landing on Saturday – to make it easy for people to show up. Also, because I have lots of good memories associated with these places, and would never mind having more.

I drive myself pretty hard on the things I find important – fitness, writing, finances, this weblog. But I picked this past week to indulge. I still worked out, but I ate greasy food I’d normally avoid. I still wrote, but I didn’t force myself to stare at an empty page if the words weren’t coming. I still got up early, but I sat around reading (or watching The Shield) in my pajamas rather than hurrying into the shower. Birthdays are as good a period as any to let the routine slide.

It felt good, of course. I can see why some people want to do it all the time. But idleness like that only works in contrast. I can only let the bills pile up and the novel grow dusty for so long before I start itching to make changes to the world again.

Sometimes I wonder what I’d do if I came into a mythical amount of money – the illusory hot stock tip, the briefcase of money at the train station, the winning lottery ticket. I couldn’t see myself living a life of mindless luxury. At least not for more than a year. Probably travel the globe and weblog about it. Learn some exotic and expensive skill (sailing, hang gliding, wine growing, etc). The hands itch for, as Sterling Hayden put it, “some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment.”

So: the consumption cycle ends. The production cycle begins anew. Enough cake. Back to work.


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