Thursday, July 30, 2009

Good Habit Bag

Not sure what I am going to end up writing about tonight. I was stoked to share my pleasure and anxious anticipation over the new Hydraulic brakes I just ordered for my hardtail mountain bike. But somehow my antsy childlike eagerness over new bling for my ride lost some of it's edge when I looked in the mirror and saw an old fart staring back. There's rules I guess about being too happy when you reach a certain age. Yeah big deal, new brakes. Shit. What am I? Fourteen?

Maybe I'd tell the tale of the first bike ever stolen from the parking area outside my shop. Embellish it just enough to make it more exciting than it was. But it turned out to be a practical joker thinking he was being clever and funny with his buddy's bike. Had all of us wound up hard for an hour or so.

And then there's the classic rendering of a typical Thursday night ride in weather so hot, the bikes were sweating. But again, just more mud, gears and tears bull shit. Great ride, but definitely one of those "you had to be there" situations.

As it turns out, the highest point of my day was leaving the shop at 11:30 PM and knowing that when I go back into work tomorrow, I will have a spotless workbench to start my day from. I could fill your heads with self serving garbage about how I always keep a clean and tidy shop, work area, and I know where everything is because I have drawers neatly arranged and labeled clearly with what is in them. All my product hangs logically and in a hip fashion....................Yeah, I could do that.

But as ugly as it often is, the truth is my safer bet.

Tonight marks the first time I have seen the top of my bench in .... oh I guess at least a month. Jim, that neatnik jerk, will probably insist it has been two months.

Took me over an hour just to unclutter the clutter that had coagulated there over the last 30 days. I found tools I was beginning to think were gone forever. I found that note I had torn the office up last week looking for. Lost invoices were located. A trail map I had hoped to use 2 weeks ago but was secreted under some magazines on the corner finally came up for air. Tonight I reinforced why cleaning my bench every day is much less painful than the shovel job I had to do tonight.

I finally found that friendly old blue Formica top with the hammer dings in it. Grease spots and coffee stains were all that were left when I finally stashed or tossed everything that was on it. A quick wipe up with some 409 and a clean rag left it glistening. Like it was saying to me, "There ya go bub, this is how you are supposed to treat me." Now I have a fresh uncluttered surface to start my next clutter collection.

All of this unnecessary effort and wasted man hours brought with it another one of those Life's lessons I should have long ago established as part of my "Good Habit" bag. Problem is, I noticed early on, say about age 15, my "Good Habit" bag was smaller than some of the other guys bags. It could only handle so many "Good Habits" at a time. This threw me into a funk. One of those painful realities of the looming future of adulthood rearing up and making me take notice. I was learning about priorities. My less than average size bag forced me to pick and choose which "Good Habits" I would develop and which ones I had to leave on the side of the trail. Like survivors on a lifeboat and in order for some to be saved, one or two survivors have to be tossed over the side. Being neat and orderly seemed a logical first choice. After all, it's all about staying sane throughout the trip.

Onto the next misstep....................

(680 / 2708)


Demeur said...

How quickly you've forgotten those days at military school when everything had to be just so on a daily basis. Oops I forgot that was 40 years ago. My how time flys.

BBC said...

I was stoked to share my pleasure and anxious anticipation over the new Hydraulic brakes I just ordered for my hardtail mountain bike.

Seems like a bit of over doing it to me for a bike. But I am eyeballing such a brake for my new wagon. I won't buy one, will modify one off of a murdercycle I have here.

I'm sure that your shop looks better than mine, it's gotten to be a real mess. I spend more fucking time looking for tools, sometimes for tools I just laid down.