Realizing what you do and why you do it goes a long way towards fixing it. That’s what I’ve always believed, anyway. That’s why I’ve been trying to slow myself down.
I try and do everything quickly. I eat fast, I read fast, just about everything is done at double speed. If I have time to myself I try and get everything that I want to do done, all at once, at super speed. It doesn’t work. What happens is that by trying to get everything done, nothing gets done. I go from one thing to the other and then just shutdown. Overloaded. The same thing happens with decisions. For instance, if I have extra money and want to buy, say, three things; I will think it over and over until my brain fuses and I end up not getting anything. Good for saving money but not so good for getting a new toy. Or lamp. Or anything.
By making a conscious effort to slow down, to concentrate on one thing instead of several, I’ve managed to get some things done this weekend. Not as much as I’d like, sure, but at least it was something. Food tastes better if it has time to hit the tongue instead of flying right over it. Books make more sense when you spend time reading them and not trying to watch TV shows at the same time.
I have lots of time now. I’m not rushed by external forces. And, seeing as how I’m completely un-date-able, there isn’t anyone else around to distract or switch tasks on me.
The other day I took a drive. I had to go to some store or another and didn’t feel like going home, so I struck out onto the highway. I drove north, just for the fun of it, and then left the highway to explore some of the smaller roads. I had my camera in the trunk and thought maybe I could find a place to take some pictures.
I found myself on a small road bereft of cars. It was just me, some houses, a few cows, and nothing else. I drove past a building that had an old rusted truck next to it. I thought it would make a pretty good picture, especially in black & white. But I didn’t stop.
Why didn’t I stop? It’s not like I would have been holding up traffic. Maybe someone might have objected to me taking a picture of a rusted up vehicle? Maybe, but does that stop anyone else? In the end, I convinced myself that if I had my camera up front I would have stopped. Between you and me, though, I think that’s a lie.
Whenever I’m feeling down in the dumps or that life has gotten confusing there are two sets of books I turn towards to help sort things out. One is anything by Carlos Castaneda. While I don’t take everything he says as gospel, he has a lot of interesting things to say and there’s a lot to learn from.
The others are two books on Taoism by Benjamin Hoff: The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet. I don’t have any of my Castaneda books left, but I did just get the two Hoff books and I’m reading The Tao of Pooh now. I have figured out that I am, in fact, an Eeyore. Again. I always realize that every time I read through the books and it always comes as a slight shock.
But that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone; most of my time is spent complaining about something. It isn’t that I mean to do that, it just sort of happens. Some may be generous and call them observations but we all know I’m just bitching to be bitching.
One day when I was with my therapist I sat down and declared that I would not complain, not even once. She, of course, started asking me questions that she knew I would be hard-pressed not to grouse about. I managed it, though. I actually had to stop and think about every answer I gave. And she laughed and laughed.
It was hard.
And so I resolve to complain less about things just for the sake of complaining. Sure, it’ll be difficult but it will make me stop and think very hard about how to say something without it sounding like a complaint. Maybe it’s time to leave a bit of that Eeyore behind.
Which is a bit funny because I’m about to complain again. But I think it’s a valid complaint. It’s about money.
Specifically, it’s about the cost of an “ebook.” An “ebook,” you’ll remember, is a book that is distributed in digital form rather than the more traditional papery way. Lately, everyone has been up in arms about piracy and stealing and stuff. Sure, it’s wrong but when you see things like this:
Well, you begin to wonder.
For the paper book you need: the book to be written, edited, proof-read, typeset, and printed. You need paper, ink, printing presses, people to man (or woman) the presses. You need the books to be shipped out to re-sellers.
For the electronic version you need: the book to be written, edited, and proof-read. And, let’s be honest, even the editing and proof-reading can take a back seat these days.
So… Why the price difference? Oh, wait, there is no price difference. So, why would I buy the ebook version?