In his 7.8 Hurt Locker review, Roger Ebert writes that Jeremy Renner‘s Sgt. James — a Zen master at defusing IEDs — is who he is because of the following core beliefs: (1) bombs need to be defused; (2) nobody does it better than James; (3) he knows exactly how good he is, and (4) when he’s at work, an intensity of focus and exhilaration consumes him, and he’s in that heedless zone when an artist loses track of self and time.”

Bingo! There are dozens of columnists out there who can out-Sgt. James me with one tied behind their back, but I know the lay of the land. Every day I grapple with the upside of doing this column — the intensity of focus and the occasional exhilaration — as well as the downside of living in that “heedless zone,” which means putting off or forgetting to deal with necessary and rudimentary day-to-day stuff and having to constantly pay for these delays and omissions in small and large ways.