Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Life In the Slow Lane

Do you ever have one of those...

Nope, I'm not going to use that hackneyed expression to start this blog. No. Wait... does that count? I don't think so. Anyway.

Life has been interesting lately, and mostly in the sense that it seems that every time I turn around, there is something there to slow me down. I mean, I'd like to make daily progress on my writing, on the editing jobs I'm doing right now, on the house
my wife and I are building with our own four hands, but no-o-o. Just ain't gonna happen.

Case in point: The recent spate of preternaturally cold weather we have had here in the
Southeastern U.S. has wrought havoc on many farmers, and tens of thousands of people were without power in North Carolina and Tennessee. While we didn't lose power, we did have a problem with water pipes. They froze and burst, and of course it would not be so simple as a single pipe somewhere. Oh, no... it had to be a burst complex water manifold that I managed to create for our homestead's water supply. (You can't see it, but that entire arm of the manifold is split all the way up the back. *sigh*)

Of course this would happen while we have our backup well pump pulled out of the well for repair, too, so no water at the building site at all. This isn't good when you are using concrete and mortar for most of the construction.

Now, you'd think this would mean I could focus on other things, like writing, editing, and so on. Well, not really. I've had one unexpected obligation after another pop up lately, and
generally they are spaced out just far enough to keep me from focusing very much on the jobs I need to do. When I have to be somewhere that is an hour's drive away at 1:00 PM, and I'll spend two hours or more there, basically that afternoon is shot. Reminds me of driving in Atlanta traffic.

Sometimes when I'm on I-75, or I-285, in afternoon traffic, I get stuck in that slow lane behind someone who's lumbering along, oblivious. I am usually antsy to get around them and get home, but for some reason everyone in the world seems to be buzzing by me in the left-hand lane, just far enough apart to be annoyingly tempting, but too close to allow me to speed up and get around the lummox in front of me. So, I'm stuck in that slow lane. Amazingly enough, it happens with life, too.

It's at that point that I can begin to sympathize with the desperate person who texts while driving. "Am stuk n trafik. Tryin 2 gt hom. C u soon." Maybe that's what Twitter is for--the desperate texts of a person stuck in the slow lane of life, trying to get things done but not quite succeeding.

Problem is, I hardly even have time to tweet any more.

Here is the point where I'm supposed to wax philosophical and creative, and come up with some pithy homily about how we can make use of the time we have given to us... about how we can relax and do what we need to do, and let the rest of it take care of itself... about some remarkable way I manage to get things done in spite of being stuck in the slow lane.

It ain't gonna happen. I'm fresh out of pithy homilies and inspirational twaddle. I guess the best I can do is this: Folks, I'm gonna grin and bear it even if it means gritting my teeth. But if that fool behind me keeps honking his dang horn, I'm eventually going to haul out that 9mm semiautomatic I keep in the dash (legally registered and licensed) and go all "24" on him.

Jack's got nothing on me.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Ugh... Atlanta traffic. Eight lanes going both directions and none of them moving...

Those slow people would get run over on I-95. If you're not doing 80mph, you're dead.

Morgan Mandel said...

I can't even stand the thought of the chaos it would be to just paint a few rooms in our house, so I don't attempt it. I can't imagine trying to construct a house and having the pipes burst. There's always something, isn't there? Maybe vitamin B would help. Is that the one for nerves? I can't remember.

Morgan Mandel

Anonymous said...

And before the FBI or some other nosey entity reads the post and comes knocking on my door, please understand that the comment re: road rage and shooting someone is pure hyperbole, not to be considered as something I would actually do. Poetic license, as it were.