Monday, April 11, 2011

Priming the Pump

"You have to kind of prime the pump sometimes." -Bob Day

Yesterday I heard how in springtime (with its warmth and brightness and freshness) the temptation is to sit back and enjoy it, to go fishing or walking or biking, to simply do things that are fun.  But springtime is also a time where work needs to be done, where seeds need to be sown so there is a harvest in the fall.  So all play and no work at this time of year would be a most unwise route to take (as enticing as it may be after a grey, wet winter).

Too often I swing into the ‘play first, work later’ mentality that I was warned about.  I want all the easy stuff to come right now (or yesterday), to have the fruit of my labours without any labour.  And it’s not like I was raised that way; it is a bad habit I have gotten into and am working on getting out of. 

Part of the problem, I think, is too often we (because I can’t be the only one) look at work like this:  

We would prefer for it to look like this: 

I fell into the ‘American Gothic’ vision of work last week while longing for a ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ party when I got up early one morning to put in some work on a writing project or two.  Not much was accomplished.  As I wrote on a message board I’m a member of “. . . my brain was so confused by this action . . . [but] it was only the first day I’ve done this . . .”  Wah, wah, cue sad trumpet sound (even with the moment of clarity at the end).  Then a friend posted a response that I’ve been chewing on ever since:

You’ll get in a writing groove . . .  You’ll have to work that pump for awhile before the water will gush out.

In other words, I’m going to have to keep working at developing better work habits.  I’m going to have to see the opportunities, dressed as they are in overalls and looking like work (to loosely quote Thomas Edison), and, well, work to take advantage of them, even when it’s not all fun times full of happy tunes.  I have to not only sow seeds, but also tend to them so they can grow and produce a harvest.  In other words, I need to keep getting up early to work on writing projects so I can also clean my house before going to my job and spending time working on growing solid relationships with God, my husband, family and friends. 

Time to go work a pump or two (or three) some more. 

No comments: