When I talk bribery, I'm usually talking about bribing myself. And what I really mean is setting up a situation where I am away from distractions and forced to get some work done--either because of a reward at the end, or because of what I've set on the table next to the laptop--to keep me at the table and working.
I scored big tonight. I had an hour to kill this evening while Eliza was at a party. I sat at a window table at Healy's Westside in Forest Park, ordered a Revolution Anti-Hero, and opened up my computer as the waitress lowered the shade to block the sun that was in my eyes. I didn't ask for the wifi password.
Could I knock off one more 1055-character meditation in an hour? One more chunk of a series whose deadline is approaching rapidly? Could a good IPA help me speak with Jesus and Peter by the Sea of Genessaret?
Especially when followed up with a soup plate of today's special: spaghetti noodles topped with chili and hot melted cheddar cheese. Kind of like what you would make at home when randomly dumping leftovers together.
It was an abundant way to work at a piece of writing that was going to be a wind-up to showing God's surprising abundance as its climax. I may hate the writing in the morning (I'm afraid to look right now), but at least there's something there to revise.
There's plenty of troubling stuff going on around me, with family, friends, work. The usual sort of life worries that I feel all all-too-responsible for fixing. I spent an hour or two driving my head into my pillow last night as I wandered through the worry labyrinth in my brain instead of sleeping.
Life is difficult, but so often this seems to come as a surprise. I, for one, expected a life made mostly of fuzzy-focused happy endings, but they never seem to arrive--or if they do, they don't stay more than hour or two. At my age, the consciousness of life's limits is very much with me--not so much in terms of my own finitude, but in the knowledge that trouble will continue to find me and those I love, because trouble is out there waiting for all of us.
But a good beer and a good bowl of whatever they called that daily special can sure take the edge off. The happy, dancing girls and the scoop of coffee ice cream offered to me at the birthday party when I went to pick up Eliza didn't hurt either.
Sure beats the great catch of fish that represented God's abundance to Peter--at least in my world!