6.27.2008

Hard Work

I have a pretty hard job. It's not the kind of thing where you can
mail it in; on the contrary, every day I have to bring my "A" game, as
all we do is serve clients who expect no less. The work requires
constant networking, reading, writing, thinking, processing, and
problem-solving. And I love darn near every minute of it.

But yesterday I did some really hard work. I took a personal day and
prepped my daughter's room for painting. In an old house like ours,
in which people do the strangest things - for example, the phone cord
that ran alongside a groove in the trim had been painted over - this
is a multi-step, all-day process. Chip off old paint and wallpaper,
patch holes and cracks, sand everything smooth, clean off all the
walls, give the baseboards a good scrub with water and rags, tape
around windows and doors, put down painter's plastic, and, finally,
prime the walls. I'll leave the fun part - putting on the actual
paint - to my wife.

I got done a hair earlier than I had anticipated, even after a
thorough cleaning of the general area, so I decided to take my work
day outside. Raking, sweeping, breaking up fallen branches - a
surprising amount of clean-up in an alley less than eight feet wide
and a backyard the size of a postage stamp.

I hit the showers pretty smelly, and achy all over to boot. But with
a room all ready to be painted and a trash bag full of leaves and dirt
sitting on the side of my house, I feel a sense of accomplishment that
rivals the euphoria of hitting "Send" on a final report to a client.
I might have taken a day off, but I still did hard work.

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