May 09, 2012

The unfortunate days

The Art of Living on Someone Else's Effort - Chapter 1 (Draft translation)

I had sore feet. I was heading home after a hard day at work. Not hard work itself, but hard in the way the day had gone through. It was one of those days when nothing seems to go right and that every small step is slowed with dozens of small obstacles on the way. I started the morning full of energy and got over the first obstacles with momentum, as if to ignore that they would come across, repeatedly, throughout the entire schedule. The following setbacks began to undermine my patience and for lunch time I thought I had got out of the wrong side of the bed. By mid-afternoon I started wondering about what had I done to deserve so many stoppers. Finally I went home with a foul mood and feeling like having wasted all day unproductively.

Funny there were so many such days, when everything slowed down and I seemed to never reach the end of tasks. However, from time to time, things were solved out by magic, almost as if all the pieces were fitting together the right way and at the right time: your boss smiled, your colleagues collaborated around and even the coffee tasted like never before. I used to think that both the happy days at work, as well as the unfortunate ones, were part of a whole. They were the result of constant effort and dedication, only that this result did not appear gradually, minute by minute or hour by hour, but stumblingly: success did not show up yesterday, but does today, tomorrow will not, the day after tomorrow will show up again, and so on. The fruits of good practice seemed to emerge unpredictably and capriciously. I believed that it was this average that mattered and told myself I should be evaluating my performance at longer periods of time instead of trying to make every day a perfect one. Still, when a day like that was so frustrating I could not help my mood to resent, and specially with those stubborn new shoes causing me so much pain.

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