Drinking with Feste

I write to you today peering out from a deep fog of exhaustion. The weekend was hectic, and I’m looking forward to being able to take a day of rest sometime soon. Everything should be packed away in moving boxes in the next hour of work, and then I’ve only got to disassemble a few pieces of furniture and clean up. I can’t wait.

I don’t feel like the weekend was all work, though. Despite spending a good deal of time cloistered in my apartment packing, I did get out a bit. I chatted with friends and I had a cheap Chinese meal a few blocks from my house. They would have delivered, but I needed to change my environment even more desperately than I needed the stir-fried string beans.

I also spent part of the weekend goofing off with a good friend. My friend Laurie says that you know how you feel about an issue by paying attention to which friends you call to ask about it. I think that’s true. Our friends inspire us in different ways, and when we consult them or agree with them we fall under their particular spheres of influence. We allow them to season our moods with their own special charms. The friend I went out with on Friday night adds mischief to my personal mix, and I know that about him. When I say yes to an evening out, I know that I won’t be able to stay as serious and focused as I might with someone else. This is a good thing. It’s not that my friend can’t be serious—when the mood strikes him he is as insightful as the proverbial wise fool. We had a good time, and I needed the break.

It’s important to take these rests amidst the struggles, because otherwise life becomes a relentless toil uphill with a boulder that won’t stay put. I have no need to claim the labors of Sisyphus. I think I’ll take the joyful life of Cathy instead.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

126. Next time you have a big project make sure to take some breaks for fun in the middle. I set a kitchen timer this weekend and took a fifteen-minute break for every forty-five minutes I worked. I worked a lot faster because of it. If you get stuck, call a friend for advice and comfort. You know which one of them has the answer.

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