Fighting for the Work

The kids are off to school. Lunches are made, and the dog has been walked. Check. Dishes are put away. Counters wiped. Check. Check.

It is almost time to sit down and do the work.

Later this morning, I have to make a trip to the dump. Our backyard is a mess of basement renovation debris. Carl, our dog, keeps getting his lead tangled in scrap wood and garbage bags stuffed with drywall scraps. Clean up is long overdue. For now, I wait for the truck and the help to arrive.

Right now it is time to do the work. Just about.

First, I'm just going to throw away these orange peels someone left on a plate after breakfast. But the garbage is full. Much too full to stuff one more thing inside with a clear conscience. Somebody has to empty it. I will empty it. I'll even replace the bag. Two bags, because these reused grocery bags leak. That's why the garbage can bottom is collecting mystery slime. That rinse-out and wipe-down will have to wait for another day. When I have more time. Or never.

Finally, it time to do the work. After I use the washroom.

This shouldn't take long. The toilet paper roll is empty. I'll just grab a new roll from the vanity. There is no new roll. Working my way through possible TP stashes, I follow the trail downstairs to the motherlode. The laundry room. I grab three extra rolls so this doesn't happen to somebody else. It takes a bit of extra time, but I'm considerate like that. Especially when I'm dodging the work.

My path is clear now. It's time to do the work. As soon as I put a sweater on. My downstairs office is cold on the best of days, and this is not the best of days.

Now I am sitting in front of a glaring white screen. My hands hover over the keyboard. If I were working for someone else, this would be so much easier. I would know exactly what to tackle. I would have an assignment. A clear next step. Expectations. But I am working for myself.

Do I write a song or sell myself to get a gig? Do I look up potential freelance writing gigs or work on those two articles I have on the docket? Do I tackle the website I am piecing together for an artist friend, or prepare for the meeting I have this afternoon?

Do I spend this morning doing the work, or invest this time doing the work about the work? The bookkeeping and advertising and online schmoozing. Social network 'friends' await my reply.

My wife could probably use some help making a meal plan. It's grocery day.

No. I am here to work. Some days, the only way into the work is the work itself. I will write myself in.

What to write? Where to begin? What is bubbling up within me? What words are trying to get out of me this morning? If I listen, what is that message, whispering for my attention from deep in my spirit?

I start my 25-minute 'Pomodoro' timer, tether myself to the desk and launch a new document.

I type this.

For one more day, I've won.

Dave Von Bieker

Dave Von Bieker, 11243 85 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T5B 3C6, Canada

Dave Von Bieker lives at the intersection of art, faith, hope and love. He has 2 great kids, a fantastic wife, and a mostly good dog. He plays red guitars and drives red cars.