Donuts In Alaska

“Work is like a doughnut: can't say no.”

When you try really hard to conjure up a tantalizing hook, you're going to dig up some ugly truth about yourself, and even uglier puns.

The ugly truth is that I doughnut know how to say no to work.

I love to do: do useful, do productive, do busy, and I never get enough. I am constantly chasing that "Hot Now" light of opportunity, accelerating blindly towards the horizon of my human limitations.

But aren't I lucky? To love something compulsory?

If only the metaphor stretched that far... and please, don’t say it’s Stockholm syndrome, because it probably is.

Doughnuts give more than they take, and not in the good way.

Oftentimes I work to shed loneliness, feelings of worthlessness, fear of failure, boredom... and in their absence, I acquire bad sleep habits, irritability, self-doubt, and oh my goodness, ceaseless work invites the most horrible carb and sugar cravings.

You’d think that achievement would be a healthier motivator than vanity.

Apparently not, because... doughnut.

But that’s what summers are for, right? Recovering from the consequences of bad habits formed throughout the year, establishing newer, healthier boundaries.

Quitting doughnuts won't fix it.

Workaholics like myself run into major problems making and keeping resolutions. My addiction and impulses to work incessantly so closely resemble productivity, that I rarely recognize them as problematic until I'm suffering the consequences.

It doesn't take long for my restful resolutions, dusted with sugar and disguised as Rest, to become more destructive than my previous lifestyle had been.

Apparently, active rest is a surreptitious form of doing.

When I found myself figuratively binge-eating figurative doughnuts in Alaska, it wasn’t because I made it happen -- it was because I didn’t see it coming.

Russia? Nope, I can't see past the moose eating shrubbery!

This is how you end up hunched over an overheated laptop in one of the most breathtaking, adventure-laden regions of the planet.

It doesn’t matter where you live or work or make your life -- if you don’t let rest occupy space there, joy won’t come to stay.

I needed what every workaholic needs: a diversion. And like an act of providence, two friends, born-and-raised in Alaska, invited me on a wilderness adventure.

Work doughnut satisfy your cravings.

I did not catch a single fish, snagged my lure at least 30 times (emptying my friend’s tackle box) and broke his dad’s new fishing rod. I may not have been the luckiest fisherman in Alaska this summer, but I was definitely the happiest, and that’ll survive longer on my plate than a doughnut, or even a grilled Alaskan salmon.

The point, I think, is that life isn't meant to be accomplished. It's meant to be appreciated.

Pictured: Me, unashamedly bedecked in typical Alaskan attire while my friend lights our campfire with a blowtorch.

The doughnut-craving is a symptom of want and need.

To curb my addiction, I didn't need to remove the craving, my desire to matter, my desire to be useful, creative, and successful and to live a joy-filled, balanced life. I simply needed an alternative to doughnuts.

My Alaskan adventure wasn’t an intervention, stopping me in my tracks and ripping a doughnut out of my hand.

It was the journey I needed to realize that I would rather float down a river that promised a thousand mosquito bites and no fish than be the most successful person in the world, hunched over a laptop.

Experiences like this must be why Alaskans value a float down the river more than a 25-hour day in the office (even if they don’t bring home the fish).

Open your eyes! Find an adventure! Catch some salmon, (or not). At least order it next time you dine-out. You’ll see the price and understand why I am much more willing to share a lesson-learned than I would be to share a plate of salmon.

For the record, adventures aren’t donuts -- they’re Thin Mints (a lesson for another day).

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