A Birthday Gift — Or How I Discovered The 11th Commandment

moses_spanYou have no idea how hard it was to maintain my silence.
I knew the why. I knew the how.
This whole thing happened because I had violated a sacred code.
And so it had been decreed: “Nathan, thou shalt not labor on thy day of birth.”
It is a lost commandment, and it was revealed to me recently through a clear intervention in my life.
I don’t recall the last birthday that I went to work. Typically, by the time November 12 has splayed itself across the calendar in a last, desperate attempt to repel the onslaught of winter, I have had more vacation time stored up than I could possibly use by the end of the year. Therefore, plans in hand or not, I have resolved to take my birthday off. It’s been a tradition that has served me well.
Due to my new job and some recent excursions, I did not feel I could keep with the tradition this year.
I attempted to labor on my birthday.
Unfortunately, the gods were not pleased with my decision.
The day started out normally, but dread slowly began to bleed in from the corners until it swallowed the whole picture.
In technical terms, a computer thingie happened at work that made for a very difficult day for myself and others.
But even weeks later, as the incident was discussed by our team and the guilt gripped my stomach, I could not produce the words to admit my role in the event.
I just know that, from this day forward, I must not labor on my day of birth. To do so angers the gods and invites punishment upon myself and those around me.
I will never be so selfish as to work on my birthday again.
“Nathan, thou shalt not labor on thy day of birth.”
I proclaim it in this public space for all to hear and remember.

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