Sunday, July 27, 2008

Motivation To Spare

There are people who seem to have unlimited reserves of energy, motivation, and ambition.
I’m not one of them.
The fact is that I only have so much energy, motivation, and ambition available to me, so I have to ration it out, as whatever I have upon waking has to last me for the whole day.
One of the major problems I run into is that I use up a good 80 to 90 percent of it just forcing myself to get out bed in the morning.
Thus today I made sure that getting out of bed was a leisurely, low-energy operation, leaving me sufficient motivation to go out and mow the lawn almost immediately upon getting out of bed, allowing me to beat the worst of the sun and heat, and get it all done before the brief thunderstorm hit.
I had enough motivation left over that, after having a balanced and nutritious breakfast of an ice cream sandwich, I took a shower and headed out into the world to pick up the things that I forgot to pick up yesterday.
Naturally this meant that I was caught outside for the worst of the thunderstorm, which hit its peak just as I got home and was standing outside my car trying to yank out the recalcitrant bags that seemed to know that it was raining and were therefore making the task of removing them from the car much more difficult than it really ought to have been.
Still having some motivation, I looked around the house and decided that it needed a good cleaning, so I got to work.
I’ve been doing a lot of that lately.
That is to say, I’ve been doing a lot of looking around and deciding that the house needs a good cleaning, and then just leaving it at that. Actually acting on that decision has been another matter entirely.
Today, however, was different, and as a result I’ve just finished cleaning up and now the house is all sparkling and Febrezey.
I’m not sure why today was different; maybe I built up some reserves by doing so little – even by my standards – on Friday and Saturday.
Even so, I often say that today will be different, yet that so seldom turns out to be the case.
More accurately, I often say tomorrow will be different, particularly as I’m lying in bed at night and have forgotten just how much effort the simple act of waking up takes on my part, so when tomorrow becomes today I find myself saying, “What the hell were you talking about last night? Today isn’t any different.”

Well, Except For That One Department:
I think a lot of people assume that I don’t like children.
This isn’t true, or at least it’s not true that I have any particular dislike of children that goes beyond my general dislike for the greater mass of humanity.
Certainly I’m not uncomfortable around kids in the way that some people are. After all, I have nieces and nephews who are children (or have been) and whom I love dearly, and I’ve changed more than my share of diapers in my life – far more than my share, when you consider that I have no children of my own – and given that despite any appearances to the contrary, I’m not an inhuman monster, even when I’m out in the world and see some little girl singing a happy little song to herself, or hear some boy asking his dad a bunch of unanswerable questions, my heart will swell, Grinch-like, to three times its normal size and bring a smile – or what passes for one – to my face.
In fact, it usually irritates me when I see a kid do something cute and the kid’s parent(s) doesn’t even notice, or is annoyed by it. It makes me want to stop the parents and say, “Oh come on! Even I thought that was adorable. Why did you even bother having kids if you’re not going to pay attention to them?”
(Bear in mind that none of this makes me actually want to have any kids of my own.)
However, I don’t like noise, and noise and children seem to be inextricably linked, so sure, sometimes, when I’m out trying to get my shopping done or whatever, I will often cringe at the thought (or the reality) of all the kids that are going to be swarming around the store with no concept of “inside voices” or no means of communicating their needs other than through screaming, and I will avoid that kids’ play area at the Dulles Town Center like it’s been quarantined by the CDC, but no, in general, I don’t actively dislike kids.
Except that kid at Target today who was running down the aisles in a serpentine pattern, wildly windmilling his arms as he went.
I do actively dislike him.

No comments: