A Change of Pace

by Danny Zawacki

Doug Teschner, the Country Director for Peace Corps Ukraine while I was there, had a bit of advice he offered to newly sworn-in volunteers that has stuck with me over the years. He said, if you are doing the same thing every day and every day for ten days you want it to change, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing that thing. At the time he was talking about being a volunteer and letting us know there is no shame in admitting it might not be for you, but now it’s something that sticks with me and I try to apply it to my everyday life.

Ellie pointed out today or yesterday that I seem to have a lot of bad days at work. Blogging about them has made it clear. Now I wouldn’t go as far as say I’ve had ten bad days in a row or even to consider leaving my job, but she has a real point. I do have a lot of bad days at work. Blogging about them has not done anything for the better. So why continue to blog about it? Why not take the higher ground and try to brush it off. Would it be hard for those things to get to me if I forgot about them at five o’clock? I think it’s time to find out.

So if I do not sit at my computer and tap away my complaints, then what am I to write about? What is there that could fill my topics for every day of the week? What could this possibly have to do with Ellie and me watching Julie and Julia this evening? Everything. For those of you who have seen the movie, I am not, not, not planning on cooking my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and for those of you who haven’t seen the movie, spoiler alert. However, I do want to focus on food. And cooking. And growing. And creating. This last one added in because I know the house is going to make me do things I haven’t done before and I’ll want to show off the work. But also because cooking and growing are creating. They’re creating art and manipulating life into something enjoyable and I cannot imagine a better way to focus my mind after a bad day at the office.

At some point in the past few months I talked about how I spend all day dreaming about what I’ll be cooking for dinner. That still holds true. I also spend all day thinking about my garden and woodworking projects I want to tackle. And, more recently, I think about the home remodeling Ellie and I will be doing once we move into the new house. These are the things that get me through the day and make me want to love my job more than I do, so I can afford to remodel a house and plant a garden and plan a dinner.

So I want to focus on the creative things in my life. I want to focus on the positive side of everything. And I want to be the cheery and optimistic person I am in real life, in writing. (Editor’s Note: Danny is also super sarcastic and blunt and cynical in real life as well, he just doesn’t think it adds to the topic at hand). So from here on out, I’m revoking my honesty about everything, the honesty that started this whole thing back in November, and I’m going to start lying to myself going to be more upbeat.

Please hold me to it.

 


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