“The Gift Itself”

Last week, I had an evening when I was all What am I doing with my life?

Thinking this way has led me to some positive changes–new living situation, new job, trying to be a better human–but sometimes it’s counterproductive. It’s a fine line between a reasonable examination of one’s life and madness. Last week, I had a couple hours of madness, overwhelmed by doubt and all the choices I’ve made and have yet to make. Something I have learned is that the best thing I can do when I start feeling this way is to just do something–exercise, write some letters, do a load of laundry, call someone, play my piano.

And now, thanks to Jules, the next time I feel that way, I could just make a quart of chill the $&@% out.

I don’t just find those recipes at the Thug Kitchen hilarious: I find them inspiring. Today I made some of that $&@%ing lemonade, and it is $&@%ing delicious.

While I was at it, I spent some more time thinking about this John Green quote that’s been on my mind since Travis linked to it earlier in the week. Thinking about writing as a gift is useful to me, because almost always when I write, I have specific people in mind who I’m talking to and something I want to share with those people. It’s fantastic when those people notice and react, but it’s amazing when other people notice and react, too. And if no one notices, I still get something out of saying something I needed to say.

Why do I have to say these things? That remains a mystery.

That John Green bit relates to our work at the library, too–to a lot of work, really. Doing¬† a thing well has inherent value, even when people don’t stop and make note of it. There is, for instance, no library patron who thinks Wow, I love how this library always has nice, sharp pencils, but it makes me happy to ensure that the nice, sharp pencils are always there when people need them.

Last, I read this article in the NYT that isn’t exactly groundbreaking but speaks to a direction I’ve been moving in my life. I want to work and be useful to the world and the people around me, and I am always concerned about making life less horrible, but I don’t want everything to be work. The part of me that’s driven needs to take a few more breaks.

Which brings me back to that quart of chill the $&@% out.

And a sunny day.

And a good book.

4 thoughts on ““The Gift Itself”

  1. Thank you for Zen Pencils, Thug Recipes, and the idea of calming the #@$(*%&* down. There really is a fine line between the unexamined life, and dissecting dust mites…

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