Victim of a Heavy Brain

Forgive my woe-is-me attitude but my noggin took a beatin’ this week. Well, not the skull, necessarily, but definitely that mass of tissue inside calling itself a brain. You see, all week I’ve been stretching my own knowledge and computer capability to work on our new church website. I know website design — design, that is — but not so much the behind-the-scenes structure that enables design to take place. But this week I’ve received a crash curse in both HTML and ASP web code all while adding and correcting content on the new site. Every day when I came home I felt beat. My brain felt heavy and mush. My eyes slightly blurred and unable to focus. I guess staring at small letters on a computer screen took its ugly toll on me. Sitting in a desk chair in the same position, making minute movements of the mouse and tiny pecks at the keyboard didn’t help much either!

But this is my job. At least it was this week. Truth is, my wonderful job allows me to do many different things with electronics and computers. In the span of a week, I’ll go from website work to designing posters to editing sermons to information collection and condensing to fixing a broken DVD player. Many times it’s great fun. Since we live in such an electronics-saturated age, guys in my position must be in great demand. Especially at places where the majority of staff is of the previous generations. Not everyone has kept pace with technology. Even I struggle to keep up and I’m young.

Many times my brain quits and I devolve into a puddle of mental goo. Talk to my couch. It knows.

Some jobs are difficult because of the great physical strain they require. Every day I pass by construction and landscape workers lifting heavy metal, running heavy machines and, well, just doing heavy things. They work all day under the sun, subjecting their bodies to wear and tear unimaginable. A few times I’ve helped out a neighbor with his landscape lighting business and each time I realized that even digging trenches, moving mulch, and other landscape activities are not for my body. Not as a career, anyway. Years layer, I now know that my back won’t allow such labor. It’s in bad shape.

Some jobs are difficult because of the great mental strain they require. Just look at our presidents, past and present. Every one has gone gray within a few years of taking office. The incredible pressure and mental strain ages them beyond the normal.

Some jobs are difficult because of the great emotional strain. Like funeral home directors, marriage counselors, or pastors. I’ve been there on that last one. Being a shepherd is really tough on the emotions.

Some jobs are difficult because they play in some ways on all three aspects of the person — body, mind and emotion. This is my job. My spine is compressed from hours of sitting and my eyesight is getting worse. I have to be mentally sharp to write and edit text, answer questions, gather information, and quickly learn how to do things with our technology. I have to be emotionally present because working under deadlines takes a toll on the emotions. Anger, frustration, disbelief, resignation, regret… all accompany a job that is deadline-intensive. I also have to be emotionally here because I work for a church and my job — and my joy — is to serve the various ministries here. I have to care about them to serve them. Caring takes emotion.

This is what I’ve learned this week. Every job has difficulties. And every job can be equally difficult. But every job can also have its reward. My reward is to be able to take two days off at the end of the week to rest and take care of my home life. I’m too tired to do much in the evenings so Friday and Saturday are like gold to me. I can blog, I can shop, I can plant vegetables in my garden, I can… do those things that help my heavy brain heal.

So happy Friday! Time to go get something to eat and try not to think about web code.

– John