Sunday, September 18, 2016

Day 2470

I was thinking about freedom and discipline while I was at the gym today. I've always hated rules and regulations, but I'm certainly not much of a free spirit. I think of myself as a highly disciplined person with a poorly defined sense of purpose. If I start something, I finish it. Period. Don't ask me why I started though. This apparent contradiction certainly sums up my trips to the gym. I'm no slouch and work out strenuously, but I have no goals. I'm not sure if I've achieved anything at all. Maybe I just go to the gym so I can listen to TED talks in the car while I'm driving there.

I hate vacuuming, but I vacuum the house with a vengeance almost every Sunday. That's discipline. Moving the dog beds around, cleaning all the rugs, and then cleaning the brick floors under them takes a lot of time. There is always an enormous amount of dirt and dog hair in the Dyson canister when I'm finished, but the house doesn't look any cleaner. How could I keep removing all this dirt and there's still more? It seems to violate some fundamental law of physics. At some point you'd think all the dirt would finally be gone. I feel the same way about the dehumidifier. Gallons of water are removed from the house every day, and yet the moisture in the air never really disappears.

The combination of a roof that turns into a lake every time it rains, bills that keep arriving whether you spend any money or not, industrious spiders that obscure the living room windows with new webs every evening, squirrels and possums that work tirelessly to destroy the lawn, dust and dirt that seems to have acquired a life of its own, and a dog that poops in the house every time I decide to take a shower, all require discipline just to stay on top of things. I don't feel like I've got the freedom to ignore these intrusions. You've just got to keep going to keep the chaos at bay.

So, am I having fun at the gym? I really don't know. I don't hate going, but I don't love going either.  It's just 63 minutes out of my day. I'm starting to feel the same way about going out for breakfast or even writing this blog. I don't question any of these things, but have forgotten what it was that made any of this seem like a good idea. Occasionally, someone asks me what I'm passionate about. I just give them a blank stare. It's discipline, not passion that keeps me going.

None of this is a bad thing. I'm actually a relatively happy person. Maybe it's just me, but I think a lot of people would be better off if they substituted discipline for passion. Just finishing what you started can be it's own reward.

Tomorrow, I'll start the day by making the bed. I'll concoct a delicious smoothie from strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, eggs, oatmeal, and ice cream. The dogs will get walked. If there's a writing assignment, I'll do it quickly and efficiently. If no work comes my way, maybe I'll wash the car. That's probably enough for a Monday. If something surprising happens, you'll be the first to know.

Puppies are today's Dalmatians of the Day
Watch of the Day