Sunday, December 18, 2011

Swimming Against the Tide

CatMan always says he's never met anyone who swam as hard against the tide as I do.

Photo by marj k on Flickr
I've always striven to be a laid back person, but I suppose that statement alone speaks volumes. Over the years I've become much better at taking it easy, but it's still sometimes a struggle for me.

Enter the kitty tree project of the past few weeks...

The entire time I was building it, I was astonished at how difficult it was to drill holes in the wood. Seriously, I had to lean on the drill with all of my might, and it really felt like you had to be Hercules just to get the damned drill to go in.

But I just figured that I was being a wuss, so I struggled, and cursed my way through it, and finally managed to get the thing built. As a final step I decided to screw it into the wall stud so it wouldn't fall over when a certain fe-lion launches his little body from the top perch.

With much whining and grunting I got the hole drilled through the framework of the kitty tree, through a spacer and into the wall stud. Then I had to screw in a 3 inch screw to hold it in place. It was in a rather cramped spot, and my knuckles started complaining after a few turns of the screwdriver. So I decided to chuck the old Phillips bit into the drill to screw it in. I don't usually like to do this because I'm not good at making the drill go slow, and tend to strip the heads out of the screws, but I was tired and figured, why not?

So I chuck the screwdriver bit into the drill, pull the trigger, and it promptly backs the screw out of the hole. At first I just stood there dumbfounded. Then suddenly it hit me that the entire frickin' time that I was building this kitty tree (and gawd knows how many other ill-fated projects preceding this one) the drill was set on reverse!

Holy Moly! NO WONDER it was so hard to make the stupid thing drill holes!

Tell me again, why do Swedes have flat foreheads?

Oy Vay! I mean, it's bad enough to make a stupid mistake like that in the first place, but the part that just kills me is that instead of stopping and trying to evaluate what the problem was, I just decided I had to push my way through it.

CatMan's thinks this is one of the more amusing things he's witnessed of late, and has been enjoying calling my Wrong Way Corrigan... after the famous aviator who "accidentally" flew from New York to Ireland instead of California because of an "instrument error."

But it really makes me wonder... what other things do I make harder than they need to be? And when things go wrong, why am I always so quick to jump to the conclusion that it's "just me."

I guess it's sort of a mass disorder in this culture. I mean, every time I hear on the news that "productivity" is on the rise, I sort of want to throw something at the television. To me this just means that more and more people are sucking it up, pushing harder and losing just that much more of their humanity in the process.
I guess on some level we all must get something out of it, or we wouldn't keep doing it. Perhaps it's just easier to push than it is to slow down and feel things. And lord knows, if there were any way to push the calendar forward and just skip the holidays, and all of the family guilt and bullshit that accompanies them, I'd be right in there shoving with all my might! Perhaps pushing myself around just serves as a good substitute.

Anyhow, I'll leave you with one of my very favorite songs, by a fellow named Chuck Pyle...

If the little play button doesn't work, you can listen to the song here.

Here's wishing you (and me) a bit of inner peace this holiday season!


  1. Oh my my my my my my my. Can I relate to this.

  2. I'm with Steph. I do crap like this all the time. I just think it's part of our charm. :)

  3. LOL! I can relate to this, too. It's like I almost feel like the end product is better the more I struggle, when the end product is...well, the end product, regardless of how it got there. I notice that I do this with my pottery. I know of plenty of easier, faster ways to do what I want to do, but my preferred method ends up looking a little better (and taking ten times as long). If I ever want to actually make money off my pottery, I'm going to have to get over that.

  4. Well... I suppose it's heartening to know that I'm not the only person who has made a career out of bashing her head against a brick wall.

    And Jennifer you're totally right... it can't be any good unless you had to suffer good and hard to get it... whatever it is!


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