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Monday, August 3, 2015

Success, Yeah, ok, but where does it end?

There is no greater reward than a job well done.  It is the satisfaction of seeing a project through to the end, admiring all of the hard work that went into its completion, and knowing, deep inside, that it was made possible by a person's efforts.  It is an intoxicating, powerful, motivation.

Think, for a minute, of the men who build bridges. It is slow, tedious, difficult work, dirty, and often dangerous.  Often the conditions are cold, or hot, windy, or wet, and almost always uncomfortable.  But, when they are done, and they look at what they have accomplished they can say, "yeah, it's a nice bridge, big deal."  Construction workers are not widely recognized for their introspective, contemplative nature. And they amble off to the next bridge.

Maybe that was not such a good example, maybe, it is time to consider the author, toiling away at a word processor, hunched over a noisy, clicking keyboard, in front of a flickering, fading monitor, eyes glued to the letters marching across the screen.  Letters forming words, words grouping into sentences, sentences gathering into paragraphs, all in the dimly lit room.

There is a cup of tepid coffee in a chipped mug  from a local insurance agent who had retired years ago, and half of a bottle of warm water keeping guard on the right side of the metal desk, and half eaten peanut butter sandwich sitting right on the edge of a plastic plate, watching over the other.  When the last edit is finished, the last read through is done, and everything looks and flows just the way it should, he hardly even notices.  A new story is forming, and there are new avenues to explore, it is a never ending process of thinking, planning, typing and editing.  Maybe that is not the best choice, either.

What about a chef, or a baker, who strives to mix beauty, and taste, and aroma, into an irresistible work of art. Sitting regally, with just the right mixture of color and textures until it makes men weep, and women swoon, and then gets eaten, and followed by brandy, and conversation and tomorrow it has to be something new, something different. This might not be the best example, either.

Or maybe not. Maybe the best reward is not thinking too much about it.  Maybe we aren't meant to find happiness, satisfaction, or inner peace. Perhaps we are meant to reach for ever higher goals, until one day we fall short, and then we can find peace. Or, possibly we have been trying to hard. Why be a damned fool about this stuff. Let somebody else skin that chicken. We have already done so much.  It might be better to just relax, and settle for a little less.

Man, I feel better already.