Friday, October 30, 2009


Yeah, that's me. After the flurry of productivity during August, I became the laziest slug on the planet. I even gave in and planted store-bought seedlings in the garden after taking so long to plant seeds that I overshot the prime weeks. The shame! Now, here we are just shy of the start of November with nothing in particular on the slate except watering a bunch of cheater's lettuce and broccoli and vaguely wondering what magical amendment my soil needs to keep everything from dying halfway to full growth yet again.

The interesting thing is that I don't have anything that I have to do. The things that need to be done get done. I go to work, the house is reasonably clean, all living creatures get fed and clothed. I even got rid of creatures so I would have less to look after, because it was driving me batty. I'm talking about the rest of my time, and the issue of whether time spent doing "nothing" is wasted or not.

On one hand, there's the "less is more" argument--that by not filling every moment with projects, one can experience the actual moment more completely instead of thinking toward the next and the next and the next. Now, ask me if I spend time being that aware of the moment. Eh, not so much.

On the other hand, there is the growing awareness that life is pretty ding-a-danged short, and I shouldn't waste time failing to learn Mandarin and how to design a website and shoe a horse before it's proverbially and literally too late. Why I think I should do those things or other things like them, however, I have no idea.

And on the third hand, there is that streak of busyness encoded in my DNA from all those Puritan, mercantilish, pre-America ancestors, for whom a minute wasted was nothing but a shilling thrown down a well. Everyone thinks puritanical strictness was about offending the gods, but my genes know better, and they're mighty cranky about my lack of productivity right now despite their total silence on the subject of "you have a better idea?"

Sometimes I get the feeling that if I bought a convertible and maybe one of those Italian horn necklaces and took up SCUBA and just happened to have the XY chromosome combination, everyone would smirk and nod knowingly and call this a mid-life crisis. But I'm XX for good, I already know how to dive, those necklaces look lame, and convertibles are hell with hair like mine.

So I guess like any good post-Puritan woman, I'll get on to getting on with it. Eventually. Whatever "it" is.