I flailed about, screaming inarticulately and wriggling on my back on the couch. As I did so, I reflected that my work habits might have to change a bit when I start my job a week from tomorrow. But until then, I could scream and flail all I wanted while freelancing from home.
“Why is programming so hard?” I griped to my sister.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it,” she responded, without looking up from her computer.
Programming is hard. Today was probably one of the few days where I spent almost a full day programming (I spend the rest of my time frolicking in fields, when my foot isn’t broken). I’ve realized recently that, once you get started with a difficult problem, it can be hard to let go. Not of the problem, necessarily, but of the mental state in which you tackle the problem. It’s like a kettle of boiling water – it takes time to cool down.
During this time, I’ve found myself more inclined to snack, less inclined to sit still, and unable to lose focus and just vegetate. As an amateur vegetable, I find this troubling. It reminds me of Don. “Plants…you can cut them and they’ll just keep growing.” Trying to get inside the head of a plant is tough, but he has his reasons, and perhaps I have my own, now. “Maybe it’s because people are too easy,” he said, “so now I think about plants.”
In between compulsively checking LinkedIn, Twitter, and emails, I find myself agreeing. I am easy to predict. I am activity and notifications and the buzzing of a cellphone. Leave me a message in a cubby one day, and I will check it for the next seven days. So easy to train.
Plants, on the other hand, live or die by the light. No training will keep them from it. Their only other option is death. Steady, simple, inexorable. A symbol of tranquility, yet the biological engines of the Earth.
Why? How do you continue? I don’t want your reasons. I just want your stillness.