July 23, 2009

The bad Buddhist

from the Karate Kid:
Miyagi: Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important.

I just spent the last few days trying to put a smile on the face of my 2000 Echo, newly re-acquired from my son and in need of some care and maintenance. As a poor student, my son didn't have the cash to maintain it - or the time. Anyway, I cleaned it, washed the upholstery, touched up the scratches, and put on a wax coating.
Then it came time to remove the wax. Wax on, wax off. By this time my hands and arms were begging for mercy. But I couldn't just leave it covered with waxy streaks....
As I struggled with the project, I got to thinking about how much I prefer the wax-on parts of life - the initiation of projects - rather than the tidying up of the finishing bits. I have untold numbers of unfinished projects and actively resist finishing things. I have to do my novel drafts in the "3daynovel" contest to force a deadline, otherwise I lose interest and put it aside.
I used to be a fifty-yard dasher in junior high school - the one track event I was good at. I've always been good at the rapid response to a challenge, much worse at sticking things long term...
Another learning this MS will give me. As a chronic disease, it's going to stick around for awhile. I won't be able to give it up or put it aside when it becomes tiresome. I'll have to deal with it as it comes, strive to be as complete as I can despite it. Instead of driving the agenda, I will have to sit back and just be.
Not my usual way, not at all. But a way of grace nonetheless. Maybe I'll learn something vital. Like how to accomplish things carefully, without overdoing it so that, unlike with the car, I don't spend days in pain following all out effort.
And to not forget to breathe. Very important.

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