Towards the end of my run, I almost always run all the way to the coffee shop to cool down while reading Washington Post. S is at the bar this morning, and asks if I am working today.
“Have you ever seen me work?”, I joke.
I’ve just had to defend myself when they harmlessly accused me of not ever wanting to work . I gave up two of my shifts when my manager called to ask if I am willing to give up my hours. A partner was in need of more shifts due to his personal circumstances. Ok, I had said, without hesitating much. Though, I was a bit sorry to give up my shifts. I do enjoy my job. I love my job. It just has to be at a perfect proportion. I tread on a very thin line for reasons that not many would understand.
“I do love my job, you know that, right?”
I am in the back room, chatting with my manager, making sure that she understands it’s not like I hate working here. That was not why I gave up my hours. And she knows, of course.
When my eyes land on an article about an ex-Navy officer turned an entrepreneur in the booze business, I knew I’ve found the potion. ‘Hello, there, my ex-alcoholic-self. It has been a while.’ I say my quiet greeting to her. I can sense her suddenly coming into full consciousness. She is ready to get into action. And it’s only 8 in the morning. I ignore her and continue reading the article.
It narrates interesting accounts of how the bored retired man got into buying a gin distillery-he even took courses on craft distilling at Cornell University-, conducting a research on the future of the gin market, and after $1 million is spent into developing the business, they are now crafting 40 cases of Green Hat Gin. I think it’s a very cool story.
But what really intrigues me is the list of the ingredients that go into producing the gin.
The base of the gin is a soft, red winter wheat from Virginia’s Northern Neck. Their “secret sauce” is the proportions of their “botanicals,” including coriander seed, fennel seed, celery seed, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, cinnamon, lemon grass, grains of paradise, angelica root, orris root and sage. (source)
I am carefully reading the inspiring list, and pretty quickly find myself impressed. I am admiring the collection of the words, everything sounding so exotic, even the wheat from Virginia’s Northern Neck, even though I am only 40 minutes away from the Virginia State line. And there she is, ruining my perfectly pure, innocent, and inspiring moment.
“See all those healthy ingredients? Who knew gin could be so healthy? Huh?” My ex-alcoholic self is trying really hard to convince me. She’s about to prove the heathy benefits of the listed spices. She especially likes the idea of lemongrass.
“Here’s what it says: As a sedative or calmative lemongrass has a soothing, sedating and calming effects on mind which helps to relieve tension and anxiety– Isn’t that what you just need? I mean, we all know about your anxiety issue.”
“Who is ‘we’?”
I am somehow offended by her usage of the word we.
“Well, there’s me, there’s this self-harmer and self-victimizer, co-dependent, and the depressed, and the impulsive, many traumatized ones as well… there are just so many of us. I think in the bible, we are called by one name, Legion. Ok back to lemongrass. Remember those days in Hawaii when you were so fond of those lemongrass chicken sandwich?”
“Oh yeah.. At Ba-Le! I used to eat there all the time! Extra spicy lemongrass chicken sandwich and it was just 5 dollars!”
“Yes! That lemongrass!”
She’s beyond excited now. She thinks she got me. No way.
“I do like lemongrass but not in the gin.”
I sniff at her and finish reading the paper. If I were my old-self, here’s what I would do. I would go to the liquor store, and buy a bottle of gin for some “sampling” purposes. Then the bottle will disappear very quickly. However, I know better now. So here’s what I do. I think about the ingredients that I mix together to craft my very special version of my soulful Christian life.
The base of the life is a soft, pink leather bible purchased from Tennessee Barnes & Noble. The secret sauce is the proportions of its “books,” including Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lementation, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.”
Beautiful Words. Beautiful, awe-inspiring Words. And so many.
Of course, I do need my work to support myself to some degree, but as you can see, the list of my basic ingredients are pretty long, and my work falls into the mixers category. It’s my tonic water. Or lemon juice. I do love my job, and it does bring me some money I need for my physical survival, and mental health, but I know what works best for my soul. And I happen to be in the soul biz. There’s so much more value there.