There are times, you know, when it’s really hard to keep going. Even if all you have to do is keep doing the thing you were already doing, which doesn’t really make much sense. I mean, I’m in one of those times right now and all I have to do – ALL I have to do – is keep my job. And keeping my job is honestly easier than losing my job or quitting my job. My job is the easiest thing to do, possibly in the entire western world. I’ve got it down. I don’t have to think about a single piece of it. It pretty much does itself. I’m not in any physical danger. I’m protected from the elements. I have almost zero chance of getting something wrong or messing up in any way. Easy. Effortless. The same. And, still, there are times when doing that is incredibly, unbelievably hard.
Right now, I want to stop. To do the challenging thing and quit. I want to quit and start something new. Something hard, that I might mess up. Something that would give the brain I’m carrying around inside my skull a reason for using the blood that flows to it. I am wasting blood. I want to use it, and my brain, and my body, ideally every day. I want to leave this weight-filled safe and easy job and finally DO something. I feel like it’s time.
Until I don’t. I’ve gotten close before. I’ve gotten really close. I’ve spent days and days in this place where I am now, where I want to stop. I’ve spent entire mornings planning the hard stop. I’ve woken up and, before even opening my eyes, started my day with reciting the words it would take to do it. I hear the words going through my head as I make that first trip to the bathroom, while I brush my teeth. I’ve punctuated the speech in my head with the turning of the faucets while I prepare my shower. I’ve practiced the gestures while waiting for my conditioner to set. I’ve envisioned the physical steps I need to take while putting on my pants, shirt, socks, and shoes. I’ve worked through the likely responses as I buttered my toast. I’ve cast fellow travelers in different roles as I stood at the bus stop. I’ve been ready to do the hard thing.
And yet, somehow, I end up climbing back into bed at the end of the day, after another full day of work, needing to go back again the next day. I stay on the easy side. I avoid the hard stop.
Eventually, after repeating this scenario day after day, I get to the other side. I never know when it will happen. I just wake up one morning and don’t have the words in my head. I open my eyes and approach my day with gusto. My morning routines, my daily routines – they stay the same. I’m still me, doing all the things I do. I don’t need to be done. I don’t want to be done. I am ok. I’m sometimes happy. Hell, sometimes I’m Ecstatic! I can ge to the point where I basically bounce through my day, doing everything I need to and extra things I don’t have to. I can do it. I am DOING it! And, if I let myself be honest, I look at the me of the want-to-stop days and I don’t understand. On those days, I really get just how very easy I have it. How active I actually am. How much I use my brain and blood and body on the regular. I see things more clearly and I have a hunger for my work. I sense its importance in both the big picture and in the little picture – and I realize that both pictures count. On the good days, I’m almost invincible.
You know what’s really odd? It doesn’t matter if it’s a good day or a done day – I always know my work is easy. That I’m “lucky”. That I have what I need. On a good day, that knowledge is enough. On a bad day, that knowledge is enough. It’s the “enough” that changes, not me, not the work, and not the day. Enough is Enough, right? That’s what they say?
So, every day – every single day – it comes down to that moment after waking and before my eyes open. It is in that tiny moment that enough is determined. Is today going to be a good day? Will Enough be Enough to put a light behind my eyes and a spring in my step? Will Enough be Enough to carry my brain, body, and blood through their paces? Will Enough be Enough to keep me doing the easy thing and keep my job?
Will, in that tiny moment, be the day that Enough is Enough to get me through the necessary steps and speeches and actions to do the hard thing. To take the challenging step. To, finally, Stop?
You’ll have to ask me tomorrow.
**All 30-minute musing posts are fiction**