Growing up I hated to read. I’m pretty sure it stems from my days in Junior High and High School. I always was a pretty good student and have always loved stories. But, there’s something about the environment of English class and the process that the English teachers used that rubbed me wrong. And, before you all start making jokes about my English teacher “rubbing” me…trust me that wasn’t the case. Perhaps if she was hot…but this isn’t one of those stories.
No, see in school, we were forced to read. Look, I understand why they chose the books they did…that’s not so much the issue. My issue was based on this typical English teacher statement, “Read chapters 2-4 tonight and be prepared for a test on them tomorrow.”
That’s just not how I work. Then or now. When I read, sometimes I get really into it and will read the better part of a book in one sitting. Other times, I’m exhausted and can barely get through 10 pages without falling asleep. But, back then, you were punished if you didn’t read enough OR if you read too much.
So naturally I rebelled.
Now, however, I love to read; can’t get enough of it. Perhaps one day I’ll create a favorite books list for you all. I’m currently reading In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson. He’s the guy who wrote The Devil in the White City. These are non-fiction books that read like fiction. Highly recommend. But, I’m seriously struggling with Garden. Not because it’s a boring story…no it’s awesome. I’m struggling because life is really nuts right now. Very stressful on all fronts. So, I’m tired. Two pages in and I’m struggling to stay awake. Five pages…zzzzzz.
The funny thing is my kid has to read a book before school starts this year. Before? Wow kids today really do have it harder today than we did. Shhh – don’t tell them that. Thank god they don’t read this blog!
Apparently my kid has to read East of Eden – the classic Steinbeck novel of good vs. evil. His adaptation of Cain vs. Abel as told in the characters Caleb and Aron.
You may love this book. You may hate this book. But, you’ve got to admit it’s a classic. What’s funny is I haven’t “read” this book since high school. In fact, I put “read” in quotes because, I’m not sure I ever really read the whole thing and if somehow I did, I’m sure I never really “got it” back then.
Flash forward to now and it got me thinking about the story line. It has very religious undertones. For those of you who’ve been reading my stuff you’ve seen glimpses into my “beliefs”, which can be summed up this way…
I’ve never been a deeply religious person. Heck I’ve never even been a shallow religious person. I believe in something bigger, but it’s not necessarily based on a specific religion. Don’t get me wrong, I have no real issue with religion. People can believe whatever they want. Just don’t shove it down my throat.
In an effort to get junior to actually read and remember the book I got into asking him questions about the story. I guess after the past couple weeks of this it’s kinda gotten stuck in my mind. Heck, worse things could get stuck in there…like a Katy Perry song.
And, as luck would have it I got to thinking about Caleb and Aron…Cain and Abel…the struggle of good and evil. Then it hit me. At work we have a Caleb and Aron only they are named Cubicle George and Admin Amy. As an avid reader (both of you out there) you already know about Cubicle George’s personality and his evilness. If you are new to this blog you can read about George here…go ahead…I’ll wait. Back now?
Admin Amy is someone new to you. Amy is our company’s Executive Assistant, otherwise known and The Admin. She gets shit done. She knows everything that’s going on. If there is one person that you need to befriend in the company it’s The Admin. She’s always got a smile on her face even when she’s running around frantic. She’s an extremely nice person. She is the epitome of good in the company.
Monday was tough this week. Tougher than most. George was on a warpath. Posturing as he does. Sending out meeting notices as he does. Generally driving everyone nuts…as he does.
Amy was running around as usual, but always smiling as she does. Bringing sandwiches to some random exec meeting as she does. Always stopping to ask how you’re doing in a way that makes you actually think she cares…as she does.
The struggle of good vs. evil in my own little slice of corporate America.
Flash forward to Tuesday. The alarm goes off and after 2 or 5 snoozes I got up to start my day hoping it would be better than Monday. I know life is stressful, but I also know it comes and goes. This “stuff” going on today will fade only to be replaced by something else. Regardless of the wisdom I’ve accumulated, driving into the office today I was feeling a bit worn out. Tired. Down.
I was looking for inspiration to get me through the day. And, then…I saw it.
What a beautiful post sunrise morning sky. It was almost as if…nah.
Then, later in the day I went to one of the many meetings on my calendar. As usual, I showed up on time to the designated conference room named after some seemingly random national park. And, as usual, there was no one there. Laptop opened I started to surf and catch up on the latest “here’s the reasons why we hate Paul Ryan” dialog in the press. And, then…I saw it.
Written on the white board was this a message from a coworker. A plea it seemed, looking to setup a meeting for guidance from…nah couldn’t be.
Could it? Could it be that someone, somewhere was giving me signs?
Was it possible that the original Birkenstock wearing man was coming to my office?
Was someone telling me to believe in something…someone…bigger?
Could I be saved?
Hell. Crap! Heck if people can see Jesus in a piece of toast surely it was possible that Jesus could come to our office.
Jesus please take the wheel, er, keyboard.