I’ve always wanted a lucky coin. When my grandfather passed away when I was 9, they buried him with his coin. It had seen World War II, his marriage, children, and eventually death. The thought of a constant companion in that manner struck me as a child, and made me very desirous of obtaining my own. All my efforts were doomed — no coin was special or unique enough to be The Coin that would follow me everywhere.
This Friday, I got a coin while working at Kabab and Curry. It was different, and magical, if only because I was told it was from Narnia. I remembered my long-forgotten efforts to find a lucky coin, and this one seemed to fit the bill. It was special, both in the serendipity of its origin and it’s appearance. That’s all I needed, and I was excited to have it.
I forgot about it for a day, and when I woke up Sunday morning I started looking for it. No matter where I looked, I couldn’t find it. I found the exact pair of pants I wore to work, where it should have been: gone. I checked all my laundry: nada. I tore my room apart, and then put it back together. Nothing on the bookcase, in any book, under the bed or between the furniture and walls. Then, I tore through my desk, paper my paper, looking for it.
At this point I became aware of how much I was over-obsessing, but I couldn’t stop. I took a flashlight and checked every nook and cranny of the car. I called everyone I spent time with Friday night and asked them to look for it. I took all the trash bags I had thrown away, dumped and checked them. Nothing, except a lot of gagging from spoiled food.
I kicked myself. For losing something that was ostensibly important to me, for assigning meaning to something inanimate and relatively transient due to how easily it would be lost, for looking for it for so long, for failing to find it, and making about a 9.5 on the Effort scale for something that should have been a 1 or 2.
Then, I looked at it and realized just how much I got done. Lately, I’ve been in a rut of what I call ‘shoe-shining’, for lack of a better term. By that, I mean the masturbatory work of talking about work or watching other people working. I was doing silly little work to keep myself busy and feeling important, instead of big work that actually leads to change.
My misdirected mania had led me to clean my room, desk, kitchen, car, sort and do all my laundry, all in the space of two hours. That’s more than I had accomplished in weeks. I realized if I could focus so intensely on something so small, focusing on bigger things would pay huge dividends, in terms of what it would accomplish and how it would make me feel.
I’ll probably never find that coin again. If I do, I’ll be really happy. If I don’t, I’ll be really happy. It will always be my lucky coin. It reminded me what passion is.
Cleaned the house, did my laundry. Saw the cat, ate a salad. Practiced persuasive speaking, had some ice cream. Grinded out boring work. Pushed my limits for new and beautiful work.
In bed with Sigur Ros. I feel whole. Quiet and beautiful night.