...bespattered bliss

Once I advised the next-door neighbor child to always seek fun in his chores.

His mom responded, “Sometimes work isn’t fun.” 

I was taken aback! If I can’t make work fun, I stop doing it. I learned early on that work had to be a game. I remember when I took one sunny afternoon to move all bricks in the backyard to make a yellow brick road leading to Oz. When Dad made me put them all back, that was a week-long tear-filled drudge.

Then I learned that work must be fun!

I have to find ways to stave off the boredom in life’s drudgery or I’d be tempted to abandon my toys and go home. I dance with the vacuum, reward bathroom cleaning with M&M’s and after reading about Babe Dedrickson, I strap scrub brushes to my feet.

I challenge my imagination to make work fun and have been doing it for so long—this manipulation of my mind—that it doesn’t have much basis left in reality. I can jaunt off pretty much anywhere and find entertainment in most anything.  

The world today utilizes mud as an integral part of creation and repair. Mud acts as glue, mastic, slurry, and mortar, so it’s easy to look really busy while playing with mud. Could this be the reason for my mud mania?

Dear Journal, Today my fun is mud, wallowing in it with both arms up to the elbows. Blobs have dropped on my feet and are smeared across my chin. My lashes are gray with dust and the white powder inside my nose is not drug induced. Neither is the supreme happiness I get from immersing myself in mud. It’s primitive, simplistic and serenely joyful. Go figure, 

Although I love all kinds of mud, I have a particular fondness for gypsum.  [2] Gypsum has superior qualities.  I prefer its smoothness; no lumps, bumps, no rocks or foreign objects.  Unidentified objects in mud can be potentially disgusting, and although I like intrigue, challenge and unpredictability in most things, I don't like it in my mud.  Why does it make me so happy?  

Why do I spend so much of my time in the mud? Is it a benefit of the wisdom of age—appreciating the here and now—being in the moment—searching for and enjoying the simple things in life?

Nope, it’s even simpler than that. I’m learning like a child the importance of consequences.  I am making myself fix everything I break! And, it’s convenient to use mud to repair my mistakes.

Dear Journal 2002, This season, I'm using mud to repair the neighbor's house.  The four-year old thinks we're fixing it because Mommy broke it.  He doesn't understand that we go there to prevent my starting another project and causing more damage to our own house.  Assuaged only momentarily, T.

As it dries, and things tighten up, I’m a little uncomfortable, but I look at myself in the mirror and see a face split wide open in a smile, and the laugh lines deepening with the pure delight of mud. 

Reality Bite:   Mud facials... is this what they meant?

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