Coffee, Existence, Faith, Philosophy, Problems to Solve, Time, Wisdom, Writing

Hobbit wisdom in a coffee break

It’s a quiet afternoon in the lab today. On a coffee break, partaking in two of my favorite activities: consuming and spewing.

Here’s my afternoon spew….

This is a precious moment. A punctate lot of time in this short lifespan. In the words of the wise fictional character, Bilbo Baggins (the most famous of Hobbit-sss), I’m preemptively avoiding being “…butter scraped over too much bread.

I learned over the years that it is important for me to not jam up every single waking minute with work. Next month will be incredibly busy, if my calendar is correct. I have a slew of experimental projects that I want to complete by the next grant cycle. The schedule has little room for anything other than reading the scientific literature and performing experiments.

I will be a robot with purpose

I’m looking forward to the bench work. These past few months were filled with office work and administrative duties. I know it comes with the territory, but it would be nice one day if all I had to do was the fun part of my job. I don’t like being an automaton pushing papers.

Joy in repetition

There is a rhythm to work, no matter how tedious; I try to enjoy the mundane parts of working in a lab, as much as I do the exciting parts. I tend to think about how a little child plays with a helium-filled ballon. He’ll let it go; the balloon floats up. Then the child pulls it down again. It goes up; then down again.

By repetition, this child is filled with joy.

How a child can find joy in repetition is not lost to us. The tedium in a job can be fulfilling, if you grasp the bigger purpose of it. I think in our modern culture we have generally lost this mentality. The underlying purpose of repetition is good. In fact, repetition is what allows a scientist to gather trustworthy data.

What is the bigger purpose of repetition?

More wise words from Bilbo: “It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Alas, the bigger purpose is to seek the Greatest Adventure of all, and it starts with a simple action done over and over–a step of faith.

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