Monthly Archives: November 2010

Who, me? Listen?

One of the most challenging things about writing is that you have to listen to yourself. When all you feel like doing with your daily note is whining–and you don’t feel like listening to someone whine–it puts you in a bit of a bind. You can either chicken out and not write. You can write what you feel and put up with someone whining (get over it!). Or you can figure out something to write that doesn’t constitute whining. Those things are ordered by degree of ease, in case you were wondering.

I helped the two youngest make salt-water taffy yesterday. Then general consensus is that it’s more fun to make than to eat. Taffy, homemade otherwise, somehow seems to have a vaguely plastic presence about it. If you like chewing on plastic, it’s all good. If not, it gets old pretty quick.

I attempted to become the reigning champ in Dutch Blitz yesterday, but alas. We were neck and neck for most of the way, but in the end I didn’t even manage a victory, never mind a crushing one.

New “Workers Comp” regulations are being spewed–or rather, sneakily pushed out. It seems that though government doesn’t want to risk public outcry by discontinuing programs, they’re still cutting back–just in a governmental sort of way. If you write so many laws, rules regulations and nit-picky things that your service becomes defunct–well, it wasn’t your fault the health care industry didn’t want to play dice. Right? Right. I was struck today by how very much so life is like watching a train-wreck in slow motion and wondering when it will hit. On one hand, there’s nothing you can do about it, so why are you watching? On the other hand, sometimes it seems impossible to look away.

For instance, consider the person who works for Unemployment. There are a bunch of people who are going to be going off Unemployment–NOW. Right before the holidays. All of their extensions upon extensions have run out. So. . .the Unemployment staff are sitting through briefings on the topic of suicide, in hopes of preparing them for what is expected to come next. If not now, when?

I blame it on the position of the stars.

In particular, I blame it on the position of the one closest to us. The one that doesn’t want to show it’s face anymore until 9 am, and is already letting itself out of the door by 3 pm.

I know, I know, some of you are going to get all caught up in technicalities and tell me that has more to do with where the planet is, not where the star is, but you know what? The details are unimportant. The important thing is that something about lack of daylight makes me feel like the entire universe is in need of reforming, and pronto. To my specs, of course.

I am willing to be patient about it. I’ll even give it a good 6 months for all the kinks to be worked out, as long as we start seeing some substantial progress within the next two or three weeks.

This happens ever year, and every year I am summarily ignored by the universe. When I realized I am being ignored, I get kind of depressed. Some years I can pretend that progress is being made better than other years; I think this year I am ahead of the curve in terms of figuring out that my demands won’t be met. I think I usually make it to at least mid December, and I realize with a start that it is still November. This is going to make January and February very long. And March. And December.

Realizing that I am doomed for the next several months makes me just want to get it all over with as quickly as possible–just hit the ‘fast-forward’ button until things are more suitable for my existence.

Which is all very silly, of course; but emotions generally are.

Go back? No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? The only thing to do! On we go!

Adaptation – dependent on the ability of an organism to change and the training stimulus threshold–must reach overload!–The intensity must be increased enough to change the system.

This is a scribbled note from one of my classes. It’s supposed to be discussing exercise parameters, but I wrote it down because I could hear so much more in it.

In reading past posts of mine last night, I noticed there was a common theme extolling the benefits of change, which, in case you didn’t pick up on it at the time, was really a desperate attempt to convince myself of such a fact. I liked this quote because it somehow succinctly manages to capture both why change is necessary and why it can be so very hugely difficult. In order to grow, we must reach overload! Overload is not comfortable, but without overload, our system is not challenged; unchallenged, decay begins. They tell us that muscle atrophy actually can begin as early as 4 hours into strict bedrest, and you can have up to 40% atrophy after only a week of strict bedrest.

I find this rather sobering. Not because I plan on going on strict bedrest anytime soon, but just because it seems to me that what is being said is, rather bluntly, our natural state is one of dying. We are either actively fighting it, or silently succumbing. And indeed, the only effective way to fight it is a process of overload–simply “being busy” isn’t enough. It is of course more accurate to say it is through cycles over overload and then rest, as rest and reparations are just as necessary as overload, but still: if one is not pushed into the point of uncomfortableness, one is most likely stagnating and atrophying.

Slightly tangent, I found this bit today while looking for something else. One doesn’t mean to put too much into little catch phrases (indeed, I suspect most catch phrases are meant mostly as reminders of things too great to be put shortly), but I was struck by how he phrased “If there is no change and no action then there is no hope.” coupled with “The greatest danger to a man or woman is their own tendency toward mediocrity and selfishness.” It makes me ponder to myself.

Today again, and then tomorrow

Today is the day after Thanksgiving; this is mostly important to note the fact that I have been “off duty” for two days, which is the normal time necessary for me to get back up to proper speed. I don’t mean caught up–there’s laundry and cleaning and emails and school related stuff and blah and blah and blah. I just mean that I am once again functioning at normal capacity.

I miss writing, and I’ve discovered I miss being able to look back over my writing and see where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. Without that reality check, I am indeed forever thinking about how far I have to go and not at all considering the ground I’ve covered.

Often times a thought or a phrase catches in my head, and I think to myself, “When I have time, I will write a short bit on that.” Well, time does come, eventually, but I find I no longer want to write on it. Not because the thought isn’t valid, but because I am now so distant from the original conception of the thought that it seems–not quite stale, I suppose, but certainly not as piquant as it first did. Strike while the iron is hot, or not at all.

But I struggle to write, because I am not functioning at normal capacity. What is the point of doing a crummy job? But, as oft is said, better a bird in the hand than two in the bush. Even crummy writing is better than no writing at all. At this time last year, I was re-reading my chronicles of the previous 8 months, and marveling. With no chronicle–crummy or otherwise–I feel time has stopped. No; time hasn’t stopped, but it seems as though I have. I think it is time to mind my moments, rather than waiting “till I have time.”