Don’t read this: Contracts.

I’m writing this because I have to. There’s no urgency in what I want to share today. These words don’t have to be aligned in this particular order for any other reason than the fact that I have to write today. No mission. No greater purpose. No raison-d’être. Just a contract. An arbitrary contract to write every other day. Today, nothing is interesting enough to give the contract more meaning.

I have many of these contracts. I guess we all do. Wake up, feed yourself, clean yourself, go to work, produce things, be social, establish relationships, engage in extracurriculars, move your body, clean your environment, go to bed at a reasonable hour. Repeat.

How many days are made up of routine fulfillment of contractual obligation and nothing more? How many are the equivalent of empty words put on a page so that I fall in line with expectations? Expectations imposed on me either by myself or by the omnipotent “they” who say these things need to be done.

There’s a part of me that hates the inefficiency symptomatic of a contract-based life. If I know I’m not going to have a productive work day, why can’t I just tick a box that says NOT TODAY and instead go for a swim, clearing my head enough to be able to tackle tasks twice as efficiently the next day. If I feel I’m in the middle of an unproductive conversation, why can’t I just tap out without offending, saving everyone’s breath and time. If my legs feel like lead as I contort them into yoga poses, why can’t I just stop and go get ice cream.

Well, technically I could. We all could. I just don’t. There’s something I prioritize more than efficiency or immediate satisfaction. I prioritize the promise. As if micro-dents in these contracts are representative of my failings as an adult human.

I honestly don’t know what’s worse: sub-par but consistent delivery on contractual agreements or sporadic “masterpieces.” Today, I clearly chose the former. And now the world has one more thing it didn’t need. You’re welcome.

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