Two things happened today.
First, my boss kindly noticed my lack of motivation at work and suggested that it'd be really nice if I fixed it. There's not really any arguing with this: we got shit to do, and to the extent that my head is in the game, I haven't been giving a rat's ass.
Second, my team and Marketing went to volunteer a few hours at the San Francisco Food Bank. Last year, they counted hard candies out into bags. The year before that, they sorted donations. This year..we packed hot dogs.
Bulk-frozen hot dogs, in four boxes, each about a four foot cube. Put the hot dogs in bags. Put the bags in boxes. Put the boxes on pallets. I tried to estimate the weight of hot dogs we were dealing with; I thought maybe a ton and a half between the four boxes, but without finishing all of them, we loaded five and half pallets, which worked out to be 2 tons minimum, possibly 2.5, and there was still plenty left to do.
I hadn't really thought about it in years because I don't eat hot dogs much any more, but you know how frozen hot dogs can break? It turns out that if you pack thousands of them together at random, you get about three-fourths whole hot dogs and one-fourth...bits. Little hot dog pieces, lots of the very end tips. It's unattractive, and I feel genuinely sorry for the people that end up eating whatever hot-dog soup that gets made into. I won't get started on the various things wrong with America. Packing hot dogs still beats working at Burger King. Two. And a half. Tons. Of hot dogs.
Caught some of the last third-degree black belt tests tonight, and spent some time considering my dedication to...anything. Some of it is ego--"I can do anything they can do". But that's a shallow crutch to push us over the hump sometimes, not a real source of strength. What I keep coming back to is the charge of my own life: I determine my course of things through the choices I make, me alone, and the rest of the world is just input. I'm not stuck with anything. I've always cycled through remembering that, and now it seems I cycle through it in a matter of weeks. Better than nothing.
When I was little my dad was very emphatic about cleaning my room, for reasons I'm still not entirely clear on (beyond everyone's ability to walk on my floor without impaling themselves on something). But it's fine to have an ego-less mess, if that's how you like it. I realized today that I was being slovenly for the wrong reasons, so I stopped.