Monday, January 21, 2008

Isn't It Ironic?

I had the day off from work in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. I had a whole list of things that I wanted to get done. I don't like to use up time paid time off because I am afriad that I will need it in an emergency, so I like to use company holidays to the fullest. Today I got up at a decent time, went to the gym and then to the grocery store and to Costco, and then came back home with the intent to start checking things off my list.

The first thing I decided to do was to shovel the snow off the driveway and sidewalk. Well, I got into a rhythm and decided I would continue along down my neighbors' sidewalks. At this time it was about 2:30, so I thought surely people would all be at work (because I heard that most people don't get this day off). I cleared the sidewalk down two houses on both sides of mine. I had a nice chat with an older gentleman down the way as I helped him with his driveway.

I, by no means, am writing all this to boast of my service. Typically my good neighbors clear my driveway, for which I am very grateful. I tell this to highlight the irony of the situation, because as soon as I decided that I had done enough and that my back had had enough exercise, my neighbor across the street arrived home and immediately got out his snow blower. I thought, had I waited just another hour before I started, I wouldn't have had to do anything. And it would have taken him half (if not less) the time to do what I had accomplished.

It reminds me of the chorus of the song sung by Alanis Morissette:
"It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures."

An additional verse could read:
"It's finishing shoveling your neighbors' sidewalk when
Someone comes over with a snow blower."

Yes, there is benefit in what I did: I got exercise, I got the warm fuzzies of service, I got some fresh air. I wish I could say that I got some sun, but there wasn't any of that. I don't regret doing it; I just can't help but chuckle at the timing. I also got a great snap shot of the dichotomy of the old school and new school technique of snow removal:

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