Thursday, January 28, 2010

It does get done....

In order to help me with the dishes my 22 month old son has to stand on a chair at the rinse sink. Once we are done, which he announces with the simple declarative 'Done', he moves on to other endeavours. As the reigning adult I decide he needs to put away the chair he was using. I tell him a couple of times, just in case he has forgotten the little he knows of the English language, and then leave him to it. I have to help him move the chair off the towel we use to soak up spilled water and then he starts the journey from the sink back to the table. It’s not a straight line journey. In order to get the chair pointed in the right direction when he arrives at the table he must circle the kitchen. It is a small kitchen so it shouldn't take long.

But wait. On the way to the table he comes across an old pair of mittens abandoned on the floor. It would be more fun to put away the chair with mittens on.

But wait. He discovers water on the chair. The mittens do not work wiping up water so he has to get a napkin. Once again the chair is ready to be put back in its place.

But wait. This would all go so much easier with music. So that annoying electronic musical beast he was given for Christmas must be started. A tinny electronic version of The Saints Go Marching In echoes around the house. And the chair resumes its journey.

But wait. Isn't that the toy biplane he built a couple of weeks ago sitting over there on the bookshelf. Yes, having it sitting on the seat of the chair would make the journey easier. And the chair resumes its journey.

But wait. Is that Max the Wonder Schnauzer watching the boy and his chair? It is. And he must go over and pet Max. It's the civilized thing to do. And the chair resumes its journey.

Finally, after countless minutes and an unknown number of seconds, taken from the ever shortening life span and patience of the reigning adult, the child has completed his journey. Mission completed, chair back in place. A short dull task made longer, more interesting and a lot more fun by a toddlers approach to life. And now I can appreciate those minutes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Proof of my abilities.

Last night I decided to take a new approach to turning off the bedside lamp when we went to bed. By concentrating very hard I psychically turned the lamp off. My lovely wife claimed it hadn’t worked because, as a non-believer, she could not see the darkness I had created. To mollify her I reached behind me gave the switch a flick which seemed to align the physical world with her perceptions so she could see the darkness too. We slept soundly.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I resolve not to procastinate anymore

The first of the year. New Year’s Day. It is January 1 on the Gregorian calendar. In European culture it is a day to celebrate and its history runs back through old Rome.

Today it is a day to celebrate, make some top ten lists, look over the past year and decide on a few strategic resolutions. Celebrations are always a good thing. Always. Top ten lists are a vital way for people to communicate today. It’s a wonderfully concise way to transfer tidbits of knowledge from one hungry mind to another.

And finally the review of the past year, made all that much easier by those ever present top ten lists. We review what our favorite celebrities have been doing, who has had affairs, whose sex tapes were made public and who is jousting with the divorce demon. We might even take a minute to note which pedophiles have passed from life into sainthood.

Most of all we try to look into our own lives and determine our deficiencies. Things like smoking, over eating or general sloth. And to combat these deadly sins we make resolutions. Fine, noble, upstanding, outstanding resolutions. We take a look at our lives, our society and our influences and decide how we might improve ourselves.

The most common ways to improve ourselves and the most common resolutions seem to be to quit smoking, get out of debt, quit procrastinating, eat better and drink less. Laudable goals all but I’m not sure how successful most people are with them. I saw one study that said only 12% of people are able to keep their resolutions.

Rather than making resolutions it may be time to find an alternative. Look back on the past year and see if there might have been something that could have been learned. A message from daily life which could have enlightened tomorrow. Take that lesson, examine it, learn from it and move on to the next one. And maybe the second lesson will be not to limit it to a yearly exercise.