Over the weekend I went into a local grocery store to buy tickets for the UB40 concert next week. While I was purchasing the tickets a customer over heard and asked, “are you going to sneak in red wine?” I laughed and replied, “isn’t that mandatory?” thinking that would be the end of that discussion. But the customer continued, “want me to tell you how to do it?” By now I had figured out I wasn’t just conversing with any stranger at the grocery store… this guy had seen some shit. And by the looks of him he had also snuck a wide variety of illegal contraband into many venues and possibly countries for that matter. I answered, “please do, I don’t have much experience sneaking wine into concerts.” He began describing, “well, you go to the thrift store on the other side of 3rd, buy an arm sling, and then wear the arm sling into the concert. The bottle fits perfectly above your arm… and who is going to check an arm sling?!” he said with so much conviction, it seemed he had outdone himself once again.
I relayed this story to my husband who was patiently waiting for me outside. We both laughed at the creativity and how he embodied the rebellious essence that makes Oregon so rad.
It wasn’t until days after this encounter that it occurred to me just how much work wearing an arm at an outdoor concert in 95 degree weather would be. Any injury requiring an arm sling would be a huge pain in the ass. And how long would you have to wear it? I suppose one could just wear it through the security line, hide or empty the bottle of wine and then take the sling off. But in a small venue, that sounds challenging. So would you have to wear it for the whole concert?
After pondering the lengths to which someone would go for cheap wine I started to ask myself, what do I work too hard at? What are the areas of my life where the output of energy greatly outweighs the perceived benefits? Or more importantly, what perceived benefits am I so attached to that I don’t even question the work that I put in? Because that is what it comes down to. A large portion of affordable Wine (or God knows for that guy!) is so important, that he probably doesn’t even think about the benefit of not wearing an arm sling. Whereas for me, since I don’t really care about wine, why bother?
Perhaps it is how blinded by passion I am about not diagnosing clients with mental disorders that I sacrifice a full private practice and steady income. Or maybe it is the huge box of art supplies I have moved across the country twice but rarely use. Or maybe it is how I continue to think if I just schedule my day better I could accomplish so much more… which seems to leave me more tired than accomplished. Or maybe it is how I continue to declare “I don’t need some white dude to give me a piece of paper that says PhD to do what I believe in” even though pursuing a PhD could be a more effective way forward….
It feels like I have many perceived benefits that keep me really busy being stuck lately.