1:00 AM…After a long day of answering bells and explaining the benefits of an education in the musical arts for 11-year-olds to skeptical parents, I find myself once more at work late into the night. As I write this, I’m at a juncture in the modification of a mandolin where I’m waiting. That’s right, waiting for glue to dry. It’s the same old story…the purchase of a right-handed instrument for a left-handed player requires a metamorphosis which I have already discussed in an earlier post. I’ll not continue my harangue against the needless defacing of a perfectly playable instrument, but suffice it to say, I’m not particularly happy about the process.
But, this is not just another gripey blog post. I have come to realize over many of these late night work sessions that these are just little mini-representations of life in general. We work; we play, we learn. I used to view all of my work here as play, but that has changed over the years. Repetition becomes drudgery after awhile if we let it, so the jobs I once took such pride and enjoyment from now are just another thing on my schedule to look forward to having completed. It seems that it’s not so much the “joy in the journey”, but relief in reaching the destination. I’m working on that, but it’s slow going.
The thing I do take enjoyment from are the little breaks I have, just like now, as I wait for glue to dry or a dirty part to soak. I take a moment to look over the job, most of the time with pride in my craftsmanship, sometimes to see something that I have missed and need to add to the “to do” list. I sit down for awhile, drink another cup of coffee, and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. The job is not done yet, but I’m making progress.
I’m finding as I age that I’m taking a few more symbolic breaks from the everyday humdrum of life, waiting for the glue to dry, so to speak, and looking over the progress. Today is another good day for that, since the Lovely Lady and I are celebrating another year of living and loving together. For thirty-something years (I could come up with the exact number, if pressed), we have enjoyed each other’s company and shared each other’s joys and sadness, triumphs and disasters. We’ll spend a little time today looking over the past years of our shared history, a momentary pause as the glue of another part of the project dries, and then we’ll be back to the nitty-gritty of living. And I’m content with that. It seems to me that the project is an exceedingly worth-while undertaking.
I’m pretty confident that hard work is a blessing, not a curse. I know the “sweat of the brow” passage in the Bible belies that slightly, but I hardly think it means that our Creator never intended for us to break a sweat. There are extra difficulties which weren’t intended to be put in our way, but we grow throughout the process, nonetheless. It is up to us to find the lessons to learn and put them into practice.
It would seem that the glue on this particular project is dry by now, so I’ll leave this enjoyable little break to get back to the drudgery…err, I mean…joy of completing the job at hand. I hope you’ll join me again at the next break.
“Try to relax and enjoy the crisis.”
(Ashleigh Brilliant~English author and cartoonist)
“It is not good for all our wishes to be filled; through sickness we recognize the value of health; through evil, the value of good, through hunger, the value of food; through exertion, the value of rest.”
(Dorothy Canfield Fisher~American educator and author~1879-1958)