“Putting my feet up on a settle after a hard day’s work.” | Pippin Took
“Only, you’ve never done a hard day’s work…” | Merry Brandybuck
*verrrrrrry nonchalant laughter*
“We are sitting on a field of victory, enjoying a few well-earned comforts.” | Pippin Took
The Return of the King | Movie Version |
You know those moments when you reward yourself for doing absolutely nothing at all? Like you’ve made a list of things to do today, things that MUST get done, and then you do zero of said things and feel no remorse or shame whatsoever. In fact, there’s such an enormous lack of you caring about your laziness, that you sit yourself down and watch a movie while eating brownies straight out of the pan…one by one….until they’re all gone.
Or, slightly better, you reward yourself enormously for doing precious little. Like you write one page of your paper or wash a few dishes or mow the lawn or run one measly little errand and then you take it easy for the rest of the day. Like you just go AWOL and you couldn’t care less and you justify it by focusing on the fact that at least you did something when you very much could have done nothing.
C’mon, lovely humans, you for SUREEEEE yes know what I’m talking about so check your heart as I also check mine 😀 The King of Christian Comedy would be oh so proud (John Crist is something else, I tell ya :P).
I think we’ve all had those moments to one extent or another. My latest one happened on Monday.
It’s Final Exam season at my University and anxiety is running high…along with sleep-deprivation, hunger, and procrastination galore. People are caffeinating themselves all over the place and barely eating. I must confess that I’m one of the guilty ones….Monday morning I made myself a 10 oz. cup of coffee from The Keurig and sat down in my office with my Bible and Spurgeon’s Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith (highly recommend!!!) and settled in for my devotions. It was lovely even though I had to fight to concentrate since Toby and Kristoff were regaling one another with thrilling golf stories right across the hallway from me. But it set the tone for my day and I can’t stress enough the importance of having your devotions despite the busyness of life. It’s not easy and I’m not saying I’m a pro at it but, lovely humans, make time for the Most High and give Him the best that you can. When life gets crazy busy, that’s all the more reason to have your devotions and to stay grounded and focused.
Ellissa came in shortly after I did and we procrastinated like nobody’s business. The deadlines were piling up but we were paralyzed by it all. It’s such an odd feeling. Like you know you should be working and studying and writing papers but you just…can’t. We realized, for like the hundredth time this semester, that our brains are just exhausted. We’ve been doing this whole college thing for 6 years now and we just don’t have it in us anymore. Our minds are shot. We have nothing else to give. It feels like we’re just dragging along until we mercifully reach the end in about two weeks.
It’s funny ’cause we all had grand plans when we came to the University as little baby Freshmen. Some of us were gonna go all the way and get our PhDs and then come back and teach. Some of us were gonna do this. Some of us were gonna do that. All of us were gonna leave our mark, that was certain. Now….haha…now, we look back on our little baby selves of 6 years ago and laugh. We’ve given the University our soul and that’s quite enough thank you very much. Funny how as you get a little older, the things that once seemed so important suddenly don’t really matter anymore. We wanted to leave our mark but now, we just want to be free to live, to really live and come alive in the things that actually matter.
There were therapy dogs on campus today and a bunch of us weary Graduate students went over to play with them after our 3-hour exam (upon which rests the fate of our entire Graduate career…we’ve gotta pass it in order to graduate…talk about pressure!). Watching my comrades sitting on the floor, some of them leaning against the wall, some sitting cross-legged, but all with the same bedraggled weary look, it struck me just how tired we really are. We didn’t talk much and most of us hadn’t eaten breakfast and for those several minutes, we just stared at the dogs in relative silence. Freedom never tasted so good. It’s coming in waves, though, because we’re not finished yet. But after each exam is finished, after each paper is handed in, it’s like another chain is lifted and we’re one step closer to the fresh air.
Back to yesterday.
Ellissa and I left our office and went to a stress-reliever event almost half-way across campus (which isn’t saying much because our campus is kinda small). They were handing out colouring books, coloured pencils, these cute water bottles, chocolate, stress balls, and sugar sticks. As if that’s how desperate everyone has become…We’re so panicky that shoveling straight sugar into our mouths seems like a good idea 😛
Once back in The Office, we coloured…..and coloured….and coloured as if we had zero responsibilities. There really is something incredibly soothing and relaxing and calming about colouring. Your mind literally just empties until you’re thinking of nothing at all. Not even about what you’re colouring. Time seems to stand still. Or it seems to be slipping away. Or maybe it’s doing both at the same time. In any case, I for sureeeee yes recommend colouring! It’s not just for kids 🙂
I went to The Keurig station to sharpen one of my coloured pencils over the trash can (and cracked the flimsy little heart-shaped sharpener right down the middle….) and Toby came by to make a coffee. As he opened one of the mini-fridges, I saw a box of Dunkin’ Donuts. Now, normally Dunkin’ is sub-par for me when it comes to donuts but there’s something about Finals Season that just makes you throw all your healthiness out the window. Sugar just seems like the logical thing to consume at a time like this, I dunno haha but I got excited and went back to the office to share the good news with Ellissa. She got excited too and so we took a little field trip back to The Keurig station which was, by now a little crowded.
Ronald had taken Toby’s place at The Keurig, Toby was warming his lunch in the microwave, and Kenobi was waiting in line behind him. Ellissa and I maneuvered around and through them and I bent to open the mini-fridge. Because everyone in The Office is sort of like a family and everyone’s curious as to what everyone else is up to, the guys couldn’t resist asking questions. Toby wanted to know what we were looking for and the other two sort of stared at us expectantly. I took out the Dunkin’ Donuts box and then they sort of got excited too. We all waited with baited breath as the microwave hummed and The Keurig buzzed and I lifted the lid.
Mmkay, yeah, I’m being dramatic. No one was holding their breath 😂
I lifted the lid……aaaaaaaaaand what should be inside but……coffee creamers and coffee stirrers. What.A.Let.Down.
I closed the lid and replaced the box with a huff of disappointment and Ellissa and I started to walk back to our office, shoulders slightly hunched in dejection. Ronald said what we all were feeling “what a cruel trick to play!”.
And then Toby did something rather lovely.
He called to us and we turned around….”Hey, you guys want donuts? I’ll buy you donuts.” What.A.Gem. Ladies and gentlemen, chivalry lives on. Ellissa and I sort of protested…sort of because I mean, who’s gonna refuse free food? But Toby shot down our half-hearted protests and insisted with a “no seriously, what kind do you want?” Ellissa and I are both introverts and we’re not good with the whole thinking-on-our-feet thing….we need time to process, even for small things like placing a donut order on the fly. I think Toby sensed our awkward confusion and told us we could write down what we wanted and then give him the list. The list. As if we were gonna ask for five million different kinds of donuts and loads of munchkins…..as if…..The thought did cross our sleep-deprived, hungry, foggy brains but it didn’t settle there. You shouldn’t take advantage of people when they offer to do you a favour unasked.
I made the short list of two donuts and then walked out to give it to Toby….only to discover that he had disappeared. Kenobi alone remained at The Keurig station waiting for his food to warm so I asked him where Toby had gone. He directed me down the hallway and I ran into Aurelia who was at the front desk filling in for Sheila. She told me that Toby had gone off to buy donuts……..without waiting for the list he’d asked for…….Odd but not unexpected. Everyone in The Office is a little odd in a lovely way 🙂
And buy donuts he did. He returned with a box of munchkins for Ellissa and I and a box of regular donuts for the rest of The Office. I see why he hadn’t waited for the list…..Another idea had popped into his head and then he just ran with it. Donuts arrived and great was the rejoicing and Toby was Office Hero for a day. Seriously though, that’s what the verse in Acts means when it says it is more blessed to give than to receive. Sort of like I did with the brownies in A Tale of Brownies, Toby saw an opportunity to bless others and he took it. And while it was grand for those of us who were on the receiving end, it was better for Toby, the giver.
After that, food just started appearing. Someone brought in 3, THREE packs of Double-Stuffed Oreos…..like what were they thinking?! 😂 Everyone kept complaining about the over-abundance of sweets as they walked by but the complaints were just for show ’cause most of the Oreos disappeared by the end of the day (the last package was finished this morning). After awhile, though, one’s body can only take so much sugar. Between donuts, Oreos, coffee with sugar, chocolate Easter Eggs (oh, did I forget to mention those?…hahaha), and the chocolate Ellissa and I carted off from our field trip across campus, diabetes was knocking on everyone’s door…heavily.
In the end, Ellissa and I coloured our hearts out until she left for the day and I decided it was time to buckle up, reach for my courage, petition the Most High for help, and get some work done. Panicky procrastination is NOT the way to go, lovely humans. You’ll just keep feeling more and more panicked the more you ignore your responsibilities. As Gandalf said, the only way out is through. Sometimes you feel like Merry and Pippin did in the quotations at the top of this post: you’ll feel like you’re sitting on a field of victory enjoying a few well-earned comforts even though you didn’t really earn them at all because you didn’t really do anything at all. And sometimes, that’s okay, but most of the time it’s not. Don’t get self-indulgent no matter how tempting it may be. You’ll probably pay for it later when you’re wishing you hadn’t wasted time rewarding yourself for doing little to nothing. I have definitely been there more times than I care to admit. Clearly, I haven’t learned my lesson yet….At least not all the way. But with the Most High, I’m learning to push through the funk, ignore the whispers of self-indulgence, and do the work the He has set before me each day.
I’m going to be leaving The Office and all its lovely Adventure pretty soon so this may be the last post in The Office Shenanigans series. We shall see. If it is, I’m glad of all the lessons the Most High has used The Office to teach me. I’m glad He allowed me to meet all these lovely humans and step outside of my comfort zone and try new things. It was a brave new world indeed and all praise to the Most High that He is making all things new.
| We’re in a War, my friends, and we all need Courage on the Front Lines ❤ |