Monday, July 19, 2010

For the Sake of Production

Whenever I feel a bit stymied in life I tend to throw myself into an activity. This is especially true when I feel stymied because I know I should be pursuing a certain task, but I don’t really want to. Strictly speaking: I prefer for the substitute activity to appear productive without actually providing value to anyone. I can keep myself happy doing nonproductive, but energy-absorbing tasks for an obscenely long time.

When I have something to do that I must do, but I don’t WANT to do – I throw myself instead into something I really WANT to do, that I haven’t had time to attack yet.

At the moment I need very badly to paint my house.

Instead, I spent all day yesterday reorganizing my workshop. Today, I’m going to go home and re-upholster something, or possibly find a bunch of things to throw away that don’t really need to be thrown away urgently – like shoes.

I love throwing away old shoes.

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll probably re-stack some wood, pressure-wash my boat, clean a few fishing reels, and mount a scope on my favorite deer rifle. Later, I’ll probably get the ladder out and survey my roof, then spray some bug killer around my gutters and sweep the workshop again.

Wednesday I’m going to clean the tires on my boat trailer, burn some cardboard boxes, and organize my reloading bench. I’m saving the best for last though.

On Friday I’m going to collect a load of Home Depot and Lowes purchases I’ve made in the last 12 months (still in shopping bags), but not used; and return them. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where I can’t extract money out of Home Depot and Lowes.

The returns department is amazing. You get the intense gratification of making the purchase, THEN get to feel like they’re giving you money when you take it back.


Sometimes, if I’ve had a really bad week I’ll pretend like I don’t have a receipt. Then, when the customer service person smells blood in the water and tries to offer me a gift card instead of cash back (dirty trick); I’ll whip out a stack of receipts and grin at them. “Must’ve been right here in my pocket all along!”

They hate that.

This trend of frantic, unnecessary activity will continue until I can find nothing else to do around the house and then, because I must remain in constant motion, I’ll be forced to finally paint the house.

The result is - I end up doing a million things I don't need to do just to avoid completing one very necessary task, THEN I end up going the necessary task anyway.

I don’t know why I do this to myself.

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