Sunday, April 10, 2011

Contract Renewal 2011

"Go ahead and open one of the envelopes. They each have an identical contract for your renewal date of April 11", came the voice on my cell phone. I fumble through my stacks of papers and retrieve one of the overstuffed envelopes and slide my finger under the flap. The contract looks similar to last year's. And the year before. And the year before that. "We want you to especially focus on Section 3, paragraphs a, b, and e, wherein the signee vows to do no intentional harm to him or herself. You were being observed during the past 12 months. That deal with the wine and sleeping pills - not cool! And what's with the bacon on Sunday mornings? I hope you got that wake up call from the workplace health screening a few days ago. Your cholesterol level is no laughing matter. And need I remind you of your trip to the ER with your high blood pressure out of control?" I feel exasperated now, but replied,"Ok, Ok, let me just read through it for a few minutes. You know, in my own defense, I was really depressed and upset a lot this last year. I'm on an antidepressant now, does that make the Management happy?", I asked, with just a hint of sarcasm. The voice came back, caring this time. "Look Hon, this isn't about making us happy, it's about you making the most of your life. You know, showing up and giving it your all every day. Which brings up another concern of Management; you really weren't putting your heart and soul into it for quite a lot of the time this year. Somedays, it seemed like you didn't show up for Life at all. We've been sending you helpers all along." I felt chastised. I was being chastised by some unknown "Management" that was far too intrusive in my day to day life. I cleared my throat. "I know. I've really appreciated the helpers. And all the cool things I'm learning to do by just being open to the possibilities. I'm even taking my husband and daughter over to Hawaii, where my son lives. It's my birthday present to myself." "Now that's more like it. Management, of course, does not guarantee no adverse outcomes along the way. But it has been very good that you've learned not to dwell upon the worst case scenario. So, how about it? Are you ready to sign up for another year? And you realize, too, that just because you sign the contract and agree to accept another year of living on this planet, does not imply that Management will not relocate you at its discretion. Understood?" The voice sounded stern but caring. What a strange combination. "Yeah, yeah - I get it. It's just like every other year." I sighed and hesitated, then reached for the pen across the table. I signed my names. The voice came back over the phone, "Alright then. Thanks you! We'll be in touch again next year - or sooner." My phone screen returned itself to the blue bubbles arising endlessly.

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