Tag Archives: etching copper

Epiphanies, Routine and Boss of the Dustpan

Epiphanies can arrive at the most mundane times. A small moment of surprise in an otherwise routine day. For many years, the corporate grind was my routine. Perpetually sleep-deprived, a well-oiled routine allowed me to function. Disengage brain – engage routine. This quotidian way of life became both comfortable and numbing (yeah, there’s a Pink Floyd song in there somewhere). Unemployment awakened me from this self-induced coma and forever freed me from dreaded routine. Woo-hoo! Be my own boss! Something like that.

Handmade Willow Earrings, Sterling and Etched Copper
Handmade Willow Earrings, Sterling and Etched Copper

Fast-forward two years to the present, and to a daily routine that continues to be purposely fiddled with. Even though warning bells sound if too much routine wriggles in, a certain rhythm has lilted into the daily music of my life. It’s rather sweet. To that, add the recent ping of an epiphany. Unannounced, of course, as these things will do.
It happened in my studio while cleaning Big Ben, a 10-foot long monster of a workbench, built for the ages using two by fours reinforced with angle iron. Ben was adopted from an old suite in the industrial complex where I now work. He was wrangled into my studio a year ago (which is a whole other exciting, death-defying story) and he’s probably going to be there forever. Big Ben was being prepped for a Big-Ben-worthy copper etching job.
While in the midst of a routine activity – sweeping debris from Big Ben’s surface using a shop brush and dustpan – my little epiphany arrived. Ping! I was my own BOSS. No one made me sweep and reorganize this work area. No one was timing me. Yes, routines, responsibilities and deadlines do exist. But this thing, this project, and this life, are of my own making. I own it and everything within it – good or bad. I CHOOSE this life. That was my little epiphany. I choose this life. And I love it. Three seconds later, with an inward grin, I begin sweeping again.
What do you choose to do with your time? Do you dream of a different way? If you could do anything, what would it be?

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