Break-ing and Work-ing

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Hello from my study at the Acre,

It was a nice and productive day. Quiet when no one was in the entire office this morning or most of the day. It was wonderful and a great way to get a lot done. I am organized and I think I have sufficient resources both at home and at school, so I can work on some things in both places. I have a few grading items to finish up tonight, but nothing too strenuous. If I accomplish all I have set out to do, it might set a record for break-productiveness. I have considered returning to what I refer to as “dissertation-mode”. That was an incredible 11 days, but I am a little older and I have not been working on some of this as long. I do think I can get one article drafted and completed. I have the second mapped out and if I could get that at least started in a substantive way, I would be very happy. I met with a colleague on a third article today. This is another thing that has been on the back-burner (maybe not on the stove) over the last year or two. That along with my tenure stuff are on the plate for the week. I think the weekends are going to be a bit stressful for the remainder of the semester. Maybe, more accurately, the remainder of the semester will be a bit like an incredibly difficult hegira . . .  maybe the originator can provide some assistance (even if I am not of the right faith). 

That brings me to the actual topic that has been on my mind today . . .  while I am busy working, even during break, I am realizing that while I might seem to whine about the amount of work, I actually enjoy all the things I have to do (at least-generally). I cannot imagine just sitting at home on my porch in a rocking chair. I would like to maybe work less at some point, but I think being on campus and among thinking people keeps me feeling invigorated. It makes me feel like getting up in the morning has a purpose. I am quite sure I was not always a hard worker because both my older brother and my father were quite exasperated with me at one point in my life. There have been a couple of those times. The first was in my teen years and, while I think I worked reasonably hard at my grandmother’s bakery, outside of that I was pretty much a “lazy-shit”. Yes, I said that and I admit that. The second time I was such a loafer was after the service and before I went on my year travels with a Lutheran Youth Encounter team. This was the middle of the disco era and Saturday Night Fever was the rage. My life was pretty much a rage, or at least outrageous. The fact that I did not die during that couple year period is only by the grace of God. I think there was probably a third period too. While I worked, and worked a lot, my life was a mess. It was after I left a position at Suomi College. I had lost a job, lost a marriage and was back to serving and bartending. That life style is notorious for providing an opportunity to eat and drink too much and to burn the proverbial candle at both ends. While I have always probably did the candle burning, I fell back into that pattern of late nights and hung-ver mornings, which was the same pattern when I had served and worked as a bartender earlier. Fortunately, again, God is gracious and has, regardless my stupidity at times throughout my life, kept me upright and breathing. 

What I am aware of is no matter how much we make things difficult for God, the creator is constant and works in spite of us (I did not say “to spite” us). Early this evening I had the opportunity to speak with my cousin (2nd cousin actually). She is one of the persons who has always accepted me and loved me, never judging me on my foolishness. She has been part of my life in a substantial way since I was 22. That is three and a half decades ago. She might be the one person I can count on no matter what, at least over such a long period. She knows me as well as anyone. She knows things that probably only two or three people have ever heard me tell. I remember when I was told I needed treatments and she called me. I was in a coffee shop in Houghton (I know . . .  shock that I was in a coffee shop). I remember speaking with her on the phone and we both cried. I think she has probably heard or seen me cry more than anyone in my entire life. She has worked so hard to get where she is going and I am so proud of her. She has done it with self-sacrifice and determination. She has continued to hold a full-time job the entire time. She shared her work with me now and was surprised that people have stepped up in such a comprehensive manner to assist her. I am not surprised. It is always a treat to speak with her and we laugh and appreciate each other so much. Thanks!!

I was looking at things I have written and I guess I am surprised that I am almost daily getting new followers, but I am humbled and gratified. I hope the craziness that seems to roll around between my ears somehow resonates with others. I am not really that amazing, but I do believe I am genuine. I am fragile as I have noted; I am driven (most of the time); I care deeply for those who matter to me; and I make more mistakes than I wish I ever had to admit. What does all of that say . . . I am merely a person trying to understand where this is all going. I am always interested in what is going on around me. As I have noted to others, I am always shocked when someone claims to be bored. I instantly wonder: where the hell do you live?? I do not think I have ever been bored, at least not for any extended period. Perhaps an hour or two, but come to think of it, I am not even sure when that happened the last time. 

Well, what I do know is that it will not be a boring week because even though I am “break-ing”, I am also work-ing. It is a diligence thing. For now it is a way to get my act together. There is so much to write, so much to say, so much to ponder . . .  so much for being bored. I guess it is time for another cup of coffee.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Martin (aka: just human)

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