Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Running On Empty

Well, it's happening. I woke up this morning and thought to myself "I really don't want to go to work today". This has happened before in my life. It's happened to all of us. So perhaps it really doesn't mean anything. Perhaps nothing really is happening. Perhaps I am having a Monday morning feeling like everyone else in Alberta. It was a holiday here yesterday.

I think what makes this different for me is that I don't have to work. Up until now I have felt like I had to work. Up until now I have felt that going to work was one of the more important "self-identifiers" I had. My work is fulfilling and meaningful. I derive substantial emotional fulfillment from what I do and how it impacts the lives of 105,000 students and 13,000 staff members every day. In some ways may be considered a distraction that draws my attention away from ALS.

 So why don't I feel like going to work today? I think there are a couple of factors at work here. First of all, I can no longer drive without hand controls. This means I have to ask my son to drive me to work. The hand controls will go in my truck in a few days but for now I am dependent on him for my mobility. This is distressing. It distracts me, makes me look at "going to work" instead of "working".

The second factor may be just my usual start of the day slump. I am a slow starter, struggling to get up and go. There is an old poem that Pete Seeger put to music where the chorus goes "How do I know my youth is all spent? My 'get up and go' has 'got up and went'. That's how I feel most mornings. This is normal for me. So perhaps I am just having another rough start.

It didn't help that I read a book last night. I read John Grisham's "Playing for Pizza", a cute little story about an NFL star from the US playing in the Italian NFL. I like his writing style. It's brisk and economical, moving along at a good clip and not too strenuous. His books are mostly based on some level of fact and in most cases they tell multiple stories in the course of the main story. I read until half past midnight, so I am starting slow.

Perhaps it would be wise for me to not decide to quit work today. Perhaps I should wait for a few days, until at least I get the hand controls in my truck and a good night's sleep. But someday, in the near future, I am going to run out of gas. Someday, in the near future, I will finish my projects at work and think to myself "Why bother?"

Someday, in the near future, I will run out of gas.

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