Have you ever gone to bed early wanting to crush some serious sleep so you can literally attack the following morning in a whirlwind of movement and purpose? You set your alarm for 6 am (although you can’t remember the last time you ever woke up that early) with plans to eat a light breakfast then run wherever the wind takes you, just knowing that the wind will stop blowing before your legs get tired of moving? Then you proceed to sleep until noon and wake up a groggy mess only to answer your cell phone with the person at the other end asking why you’re still asleep on such a beautiful day? I have.
It’s called over-ambition syndrome (OAS, if acronyms get you hot). This crippling disorder affects me more than I’d like to admit. Today was one such occasion where I planned to hit the bike trails and also go to the gym (even on an active day, its typically one or the other). Then I kinda just got home from wage slavery and…fuck, what did I even do? I got some pricing on travel insurance and filled out a contest application, but that, along with dinner would have taken a go-getter an hour. There are four hours of my life now unaccounted for. That depresses me 😦
Another manifestation of OAS was at the beginning of summer when I decided that I would work an extra hour or two every day plus come in on weekends since I was getting all the overtime I wanted. This lasted for about three weeks when I realized that my summer was too precious to spend cooped up in a warehouse, and also that OT sucks when you’re the only one there with no one to talk to. Therefore, all my long-term financial projections which hinged on a minimum 60 hour workweek were scrapped. Incidentally, it should be mentioned that I have had a very relaxing and enjoyable summer, proving unequivocally that work is for suckers.
The final instance of this disorder, since I am quite fond of striking deceased equines, would be the time a few months back when I decided I was some kind of industrial Gepetto, and aspired to fabricate my own metallic Pinocchio at work using sheet metal, rivets, springs and assorted junk. The project never reached completion but it would have looked something like this:
Yeah, that’s right we’re talking “Starscream cool” here. So what went wrong? Well, the whole project started when I saw all this scrap sheet metal laying around at work and decided I could make a
bitchin’ totally ungay sword using tin shears, a grinding wheel and my recently discovered knowledge of the rivet gun and its multitudinous uses (like riveting for example). I proceeded to fashion this sword using Cloud Strife’s buster sword from “Final Fantasy VII” as inspiration. For those who didn’t spend the better part of their adolescence looking for a way to resurrect Aeris, that sword looks like this:
While the sheet metal was a pain to work with, I met with all the success that an untrained, first-time swordsmith with a limited set of tools can presume to hope for. It was this success which was damning to me, as it convinced me that I should proceed to create life…or at least an oversized, jagged, metal action figure which could wield the mighty sword (I know, give the guy a rope and he wants to be a cowboy).
Let me just take a second and reiterate the word “oversized.” The sword was originally designed to fit in my hand and be swung like a machete. For a “me-size” machete to double as a “toy-size” sword, even a longsword, we’d have to be talking about one big damn toy. And so it was, I defied the conventional wisdom of designing weapons to fit those who wield them, and began brainstorming the specs for a wielder not only strong enough to carry the sword, but large enough in comparison to it so that he didn’t look like he was over-compensating for anything (see figure 2).
I think you know how this ends. I ended up bringing my sword home to show my friends then realized that it wasn’t cool dragging a two foot sword around town. Hell, its not even practical without a sheath. This realization that I had spent hours (oh yeah, all told, it took probably five hours to get this bad boy done once I factored in tracing, cutting, drilling, riveting, stamping and grinding) on something that was completely impractical and of far too much sentimental value to even sell, kind of soured me on going forward with the Starsream/Pinocchio abomination. So the fabled “Sword of Boredom at Work” now sits in a place of prominence above my desk, a constant reminder that
I should keep my feet grounded during my flights of fancy potential burglars (and dragons) don’t want none of this.
Back to Over-Ambition. I have alluded to the fact that I will be travelling this September for a protracted period of time. I am excited more than I can say, but with 28-country agenda and no planned itinerary to speak of, it will take all of the personal discipline I can muster to remember the excitement I feel now when things get tough. Because at some point, at some obstacle, I will lose this initial naive enthusiasm and have to look within me to find another reason to carry on. I plan on coming back with more than the proverbial sword.