I feel like I know you well enough now to tell you that it’s Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. and I’m still sitting here in my undies. Yeah, it’s that kind of morning—not a morning that I feel like I know you or an undies-only morning, but a Wednesday morning. Another one.
You know what I mean, right?
Aw, yeah. High-five.
And like most Wednesdays, I’m planning on spending the entire day putting considerable effort into not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve got my own sliding scale of what, exactly, that means, and as it sits, I’ve been typing a little bit, which, admittedly, is not the funnest thing I’ve ever done. So I’m sure you can imagine the pile stuff I’m avoiding if typing is what I’ve turned to for relief.
But you have to consider that I’m also contending with hundreds of people and dozens of organizations that feel like they know me well enough to have an opinion about what I’m supposed to be doing. Paperwork, maintenance, assignments, responsibilities, obligations, planning, meeting, discussing.
Sigh. It can all be quite underwhelming.
And I know that by continuing this fool’s errand, I’m only a short fall away from twelve-hour days of collecting cans or long nights of shaking a styrofoam cup at folks and asking them for their spare change—the work I’m putting into not doing what I’m supposed to be doing is actually bordering on being more work than the original job—but that only bugs me a little bit. So why should it bug you?
“It’s you, not me.”
I invented “it’s you, not me,” by the way.
Okay. Sure. I can see where you’re coming from … mostly because I’ve been there.
It’s the place where you blame others for your own shortcomings, your failures, and your inability to—in this case—not do what you’re supposed to be doing.
So I’m inviting you, young grasshopper, to take my hand and walk down to this slow-rolling river of procrastination and soak yourself, even if your inner mom told you not to get wet.
The cool and contrarian thing about it all is that I’m not supposed to tell you what to do, because by definition, if I do that you’ll just do the opposite. And that’s the beauty in this beast: if I’m not supposed to tell you what to do, I have no choice but to tell you what to do. And you can dig that, can’t you?
Yeah, man. Right on.
So let’s just try to help each other out here, because (1) I’m getting, like, totally bored with all this explaining, and (2) I like the way things are going and you obviously like telling me that you don’t.
Here’s the plan: I’ll continue to do what I do, you continue to do what you do, and all the while we’ll both try hard to make few concessions.
Okay, I’ll go first: I promise, at least twice a day, to clean something I made dirty, fix something I broke, or heal something I wounded—in short, I’ll do something I’m supposed to do.
Now you go.
What? You can’t think of anything?
Sure, I can give you a few suggestions: First, chill the fuck out. You’re ruining everyone’s party.
Okay, now, try this: Show up late to something, but bring a box of donuts with you—that’s a classic. Or take one of your fifteen-minute breaks five minutes early—extending it to twenty minutes—and then go to lunch five minutes later. Even Steven. You could always fart, say, “Excuse you,” and then point at your girlfriend. Everyone thinks that one’s funny. Or you could just go skateboarding. We all know you’re not supposed to do that.
And I’m not telling you what to do this time, but maybe you should try it right now—this first lovely Wednesday morning of the rest of your life.
You might want to put some pants on first, though.
Again, just a suggestion.