The Tools of Our Enjoyment

With a gift certificate from my father, I bought a notepad of 100 lb. paper (think cardstock) and a rollerball pen at the art store.

I’d been making my to-do list on waifishly thin notebook paper in ballpoint - loyal, steadfast, and bland. It was time for a change. Hence, the thick paper and liquid-y pen (which, the description reports, is designed to “endure changes in air pressure,” making it perfectly safe for air travel - carefree flying at last!). So if you’re wondering if they were essential, the answer is no.

Day one with the new accoutrements: I am hooked like a fish on bait. The great sonorous sound of the pen marking the page - I wish you could hear it! The paper is dignified and serious, meant for high-minded business. My list, which includes “ranch dressing from fridge” and “FU” (my unfortunate shorthand for Follow Up), looks like it belongs in the National Archives.

I’m on Day 11 or 14 now. This pen and this paper aren’t cheap replaceables like my old ones. They are tools. Tools I enjoy an awful lot. I write with gusto and grand flourishes; the to-do list is dressed like it’s Friday night. And I love the loud swipe of the pen striking a line through a finished item - Done!, it booms, D-O-N-E!

So I’m recanting what I said earlier. These are essential. They are tools of enjoyment. And alongside all those things we must do, we must have enjoyment, too.

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