Sunday, December 20, 2015

Day 2196

I made it back to the gym today. I wish I enjoyed this more, because it seems pretty obvious that this is a much more effective way to ward off heart attacks and diabetes than working around the house. Housework can be strenuous, but I'm slow and methodical and vacuuming or sweeping leaves off the roof seldom elevates my heart rate. When I'm at the gym, my body knows I've done something. Cleaning the house leaves me tired, but I'm not really feeling the burn. The weariness probably comes from the futility of it all. When I go to the gym regularly, I actually do feel stronger. When I clean the house regularly, it is still old and falling apart. It never really gets clean either. I continue to be amazed that week-after-week the Dyson canister continues to fill up with dust and dirt while the dehumidifier bucket continues to fill up with water. Where does all this dirt and moisture come from. It's almost like the house manufactures it.

When I was young and starting out in advertising, my boss came up with the famous "There is no finish line" theme for Nike. This was a brilliant headline, but it also summed up my feelings about exercise. I want there to be a finish line for everything. I'd like to be able to get into shape and then be able to say "been there, done that," so I could go back to eating donuts. Life doesn't work that way unfortunately. If I don't continuously keep practicing my skills, I lose them. If I don't continuously stay active, I become fat. If I'm not comfortable with the idea of continually being my own personal drill Sargent, I'll probably just sink into a deep depression and give up.

It's more about perseverance than pleasure these days. That's not entirely bad. There is a quiet satisfaction in hanging in there and being able to get up and face another day. I see this determination in Dot every day. Her brain isn't all there anymore, and her body definitely isn't all there. Aging and adversity doesn't seem to phase her though. She wakes up every morning comfortable in the knowledge that she is a dog. This seems to be enough. She enjoys smelling things. She loves to eat. And she sleeps a lot. I have a feeling that she doesn't search for the meaning of life at all. This is probably a better way to live.

I seldom think about the meaning of life on Sundays. I'm too tired. In addition to burning off a lot of calories at the gym, I cleaned the entire house with the Dyson and made a valiant attempt to straighten up my office. It's gotten so bad that I have to approach cleaning the office like archaeology. Today I removed hundreds of small tools, broken watches, computer cables, and other dusty objects off an unused workbench. I cleaned each of these objects and then cleaned the workbench itself, which was covered by a thick layer of dust. I should have cleaned the bench months ago, but it was just too much trouble to clear it off. It looks better now. Things that have been out of place for years are now back where they belong. A few things were thrown away and I even found a couple of things that had been lost for months. Was it worth the two hours it took to de-clutter a small two foot by six foot surface? Maybe. The problem is that the dust will return. Remember, there is no finish line.

I took today's picture of the moon before I went to bed last night. I just pointed the little point-and-shoot camera I take with me when I walk the dogs at the moon and clicked the shutter. There was no telescope, no tripod, no exposure calculations, no real effort at all. When I was in high school I became fascinated with astronomy and would spend hours trying to take pictures of the moon through a small telescope. Most of my efforts didn't turn out as well as this lazy, effortless shot. That's the way life should be. As you continue doing the things you have always done, they should gradually become easier. My aching body and somewhat muddled brain beg to differ. Like it or not, most things become much harder as we grow older.

Lexi is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day