Day 324: The Little Things

Arrgh. I got out of bed on time, got exercising within 10 minutes of getting up, rocked the exercise, and I’m STILL just getting to the podcast now. Because there were dishes to do this morning, and food prep, and… life business.

Life business kind of sucks sometimes. There are things you want to get to! Move-forward things! Onward-and-upward things! But then there’s all the dumb stuff you gotta do. Make lunch. Shower. Eat.

There’s also other chores coming up from chore buttons, which I should really talk about at some point. Actually, I think I’ve mentioned it before and said I’d explain later, so I’ll explain now: using a button maker, I’ve made 100 numbered 1″ buttons, with a number and a task type. Like yesterday was “85 TIDY.” I have little list of 100 things to do; 85 is a tidy job, and it’s “clean out and put everything back in the silverware drawer.” All 100 buttons are in a jar, and we pull out a button every day. My wife also has her list. The idea is to stay on top of all the little tasks that need to get done (“dust the tops of the picture frames” kind of stuff) in less than 15 minutes a day. It’s pretty effective. It’s also mostly Dumb Stuff I Gotta Do. 1/10 of the buttons are fun or relaxing ones, like “read” or “game.” Anyway.

Chore buttons!
My chore buttons.

It cycles back around to the “intent” thing I was talking about last week, and doing things with intent instead of just doing things because you have to do them. I did the dishes, but did I lean into doing the dishes? I tidied the silverware drawer, but did I rock the tidying of the silverware drawer?

One of my fears about a “lean into” approach is that it seems exhausting. Maybe I don’t want to lean in! Maybe I just want to get through this stuff.

At any rate — it’s a bit frustrating, knocking the things out early, having a mind to move forward with some other projects, then getting “lifed” into submission.

Day 234: Activities of Daily Living

Yesterday’s fast went well! I had a mini-cave at the very end and ate a banana, two tablespoons of peanut butter and two cookies because I was afraid that a completely empty stomach would kill my sleep. But on the whole it went well. “Avoid the kitchen” was the key thing.

Today’s back to regular eating, and not “eat two days’ worth of food” eating. So logging again.

I was thinking about ADL on my run this morning. ADL is “Activities of Daily Living,” which is a term I heard a lot back when I was working with pharma. It’s used as a measure of people’s ability to function with certain conditions. Stuff like taking a shower, doing the laundry, grocery shopping, walking to the store. ADL is basically the business of life. It’s used as a yardstick to see how adversely people are affected by conditions: if your arthritis is keeping you from getting your groceries, that’s a measurable impact on your ADL.

It’s also the “wasted” time, in my head, a lot of the time. Making lunches. Doing the dishes. Not recording a radio show, but uploading it, writing the description, hitting “post.”

There’s an old Zen saying: “before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” Doing better as a whole doesn’t change the fact that you’ve still gotta do all the dumb stuff you gotta do. But I think it changes your internal approach to it.

So I’m trying to be a bit less resentful of ADL and a bit more embracing of it. I’m not saying I’m going full “seek your bliss while mopping the floor,” but I could be leaning into my routine tasks more. Be more present while doing the dumb stuff I gotta do. It might make it all a bit more fun.

I don’t have a specific plan for this, it’s just a general thought I had. Kind of like “do easy” a while back, it’s a good philosophy to noodle on from time to time.