Minutiae

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It is the sum of our minutes that make up our life. And most of our minutes are spent doing little things; you know what I am talking about: open curtains, feed the cat, make lunches, wake up and make breakfast for the little one… and that’s before you even go out the door!

Most of the time I am fine with the way I spend my minutes. Or, should I say, adulting doesn’t seem a chore, even though I still firmly believe that we are made for greater things than that. I know I can do better than that.

Sometimes though… I need a holiday. A holiday is not when I move from the bed to the couch, although I can do that as well as the best of them! A holiday is when I can put my overalls on, get into the garden and stop when my arms are in danger of falling off. A holiday is when I shoo everyone out, get into the little one’s bedroom and come out when it’s in order. A holiday is when I go up the mountain and strain my muscles to the limit. A holidays is when I visit a friend and actually go through all the stuff that we want to talk about.

It seems that for me a holiday is when I take big bites. It’s not the number of things I am doing, it’s the level of energy I am able to put into what I am doing, the intensity of the interest and what I am doing, too!

So when I know where my interest is, where the intensity and energy want to be then anything else I do makes me feel boring. Like I am not doing what I should be doing. Adulting then does seem a chore, I am short-tempered and distracted.

It drives people around me up the wall, it does! Because apparently adulting is non-negotiable, whereas I am of the opinion that if I am an adult that I can choose the stuff I am doing… within reason. My reason, of course 

Does that sound just a tad whingey? Ok, I’ll admit it! I would dearly love to come back into the house from the garden or off the mountain and find that food has been cooked and the house is tidy and all I need to do is sit at the computer and knock off another course paper. Maybe one day, when I am not a slave to the bank, I will hire someone to do just that, lady of the manor that I am 

Until then, I am learning to use my remaining minutes wisely… or not, as most of them are taken from the sleeping allowance. And being an adult is still 10 times better than whatever passes for second place 

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Pendulum

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You know that type of situation when you want to change a few things (small, big, whatever) but the time is not yet? Maybe you are not irritated enough, maybe the price of change is too high, maybe you get busy with other things, or maybe you just procrastinate.

Sometimes we think about that change for so long that even after we do it it remains at the ideas level and we forget we’ve done it! At least I do!

But most of the time, sooner or later, the price of change comes down and/or we start swearing in native languages (not necessarily ours and not necessarily extant) and we actually get on with the change and accomplish amazing things. This is when people like myself think that you are taking too long if things are done the next day!

Things are helped along if the universe conspires with you and seemingly impossible things become totally do-able even before your first cup of tea. And if said things save you money after the initial outlay, all the better.

The exhilarating part for me is that I can move at my normal speed: fast. I don’t mean running, I don’t do that kind of thing. I mean thinking fast, doing many things in the day (one after the other, multitasking is not nearly as much fun as it’s famed to be), switching fast from thinking time to doing time. Most people seem uneasy if I move fast all the time, but they seem a bit more forgiving if you give them a short explanation as to why you are rushing.

Oh, I have missed that! It takes energy to operate at less than optimum, so I spend a lot of energy waiting and slowing down and standing still. It’s exhausting, but it does serve to make me more socially acceptable. I can even (gasp!) ignore teasing because I slow down. Usually, at normal speed, teasing gets in the way, it’s annoying and makes me think quite badly of people: why can’t they just say what the heck they mean so I can get on with my day? (did I mention I take myself very seriously? 😛 ). But if I slow down then, even if I can’t enjoy it, at least I can let it pass. I can even try my hand at it, but due to lack of practice I am either too soft or too harsh… eh, better give it up as a bad job

Overdoing things… yep, know aaaaalllll about it! I can slot the important things in the schedule, just not everything. The holidays season is here, so the least I can do is say “no” politely when I am overwhelmed.

Note to self!

Energy

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I was completing an assignment yesterday on metabolism, as one does

If there was one thing I took from that assignment (ok, ok, it was quite interesting, so maybe not just one thing!) was that life requires energy. In the absence of energy there is no life. Maybe life is energy… I don’t know, not going there at the moment.

But we need it and each drop of it is parsimoniously eked out to make it last and drive as much activity as possible. The body even uses the waste product (heat) to maintain energy production and storage. The body is also more efficient at utilizing energy than anything we’ve been able to come up with.

So far so obvious. Now we come to the nitty-gritty: how in the world do we mobilize all this energy to serve our purposes? Oh wait, do we have a purpose? Quick, get back to the drawing board and get thee one

But other than being cheeky, it’s not just the purpose that we need energy for – I use enormous amounts of energy for waiting!. The body uses most of the energy just to stay alive (you know, allowing our big brains to control breathing, heart pumping, digestion); in contrast, we use most of our energy for the little things in life, for the non-essentials. Or rather, we have set up our world so that we need to perform lots of non-essential activities in order to maintain said world. Let’s see, we need to use a lot of energy (dig some ore to make into components of a car and the roads, work at a particular job) that will allow us to drive to the supermarket to buy something like food which we then need to store, prepare and cook in order to eat. The last bit is the only one truly essential. The rest is inefficient at the best of times. We have less leisure than the animals we don’t want to compare ourselves with. We ruin our health by specializing more and more when I believe we were meant to be generalists. We also think this is normal and pity the ones who don’t have the “conveniences” we do.

And yet we dream of the simple life. Which wasn’t that simple, as it was brought home to me by reading to the little one about prehistoric life.

Because I am not really complaining as such… my rant is more around the wastage of energy. So maybe what I am looking for is a simpler life. Yeah, I want to have my cake and eat it, too! I want to spend less time (oh, the links between energy and time need another blog article for sure!) for the basic needs ; that means having shelter, water and food close to home, being knowledgeable about health care, paying taxes for the systems I use. Basically I want to arrange my life so that I have most of the conveniences but not so much of the consumption.

So that I can concentrate more on being human…