Punching In  

This daily photo challenge has been interesting for me thus far, but I dare say it's hardly the stuff that legends are made of. At about the halfway point, the majority of my pictures have been hastily taken and posted in the final hour of each day. It's not that I'm without intent to do something more; I have my camera on me at all times, but very little seems to come up. Then again, maybe I just need a shift in perspective to start seeing the hidden treasures of the world -- you know, "see the unseen" and all that assorted crap. I already failed (miserably I might add) on my month-long personal boycott of processed sugar, and would rather not have a similar fate befall this 31-day photo run. However, in defense of my other failure, had I known from the beginning that sugar is a ubiquitous (in small amounts) ingredient in bacon and sausage -- the cornerstones of my miracle diet -- I probably wouldn't have ever thought it an achievable goal in the first place.

Last night I was spacing off in front of the TV, quietly lamenting on the hurdle of engagement I can't seem to clear at the day job. On paper it's obvious how I should feel... I work at a highly respected institution that does amazing things, most of my co-workers are great people, the compensation package is killer, and I'd like to think I'm pretty good at what I do. It's not as if I'm slacking, I just feel detached from it. I know I don't want to do this kind of work for the rest of my life, yet I want to ensure that the time I spend doing it is satisfying. So last night I'm sitting there, contemplating my professional situation against a backdrop of the Discovery Channel, when my attentions are distracted by the current programming. How It's Made, a straightforward offering of engineering porn for nerdcore wannabes like myself, is midway through a fantastic piece on the birthing process of windshield wiper blades. They took just a moment to highlight the magical part in which the blades get their edge, and how the rough forms must be inserted into a machine two at a time -- by hand. It was somewhere around this point that the universe slapped me on the back of the head with its big right hand of perspective. I mentally placed myself in the shoes of a professional "Windshield Wiper Edger Pre-Sorter/Feeder," and it only took me about 15 seconds before I was ready to go on a shooting spree.

At the core of my realization is that -- engaged or not -- my job title is only a title, and nothing to base my self-worth or future potential on. While it's highly unlikely that the job I should be doing right now instead of writing this blog post will be remembered as my life's work, it's definitely going to be a part of what got me there when it's all said and done. Besides, in the interim I lack other options for funding my lavish lifestyle of Lean Cuisine dinners and domestic beer. To put a bow on it:

"Be happy with what you have. Never stop trying to improve yourself. Things could always be worse."

This advice does not apply to and those working in windshield wiper factories. For that group I offer this pearl of wisdom:

"Get the fuck out. Right now. Whatever it takes. And seriously, stop buying ammunition."

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4 Reasons to Live

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