Oh, the things I could have done had I just felt like doing them. Just felt like doing them.
Sometimes at the end of a day when I accomplished very little, I sometimes sum up all my excuses for not having done much with the time I was given. The total is often disheartening. I then realize that my basket is filled more with excuses than with satisfaction. That is so sad.
Today's excuses would be that it was too hot, too muggy, to do anything much outside. And while I did clean the kitchen a bit, I really didn't clean house or sort through those things piled up in the front den or upstairs. I didn't write much. I didn't do any photographic work. Mostly because I was tired and didn't feel like it.
I did help a dear friend celebrate her birthday with lunch and a "just for fun" care package. That was something that actually fills a good portion of my basket for the day. That was worth it.
But still, what is this feeling of ennui that keeps me from doing those things...those things I could have done with my day that would have amounted to something? I guess not every day is a day to accomplish great things. But I did write this blog. And that is one of those things I wasn't feeling like doing today. So I guess I can say, "good for me" afterall.
The heat and the humidity of August can make it impossible to have a rational thought, let alone a flash of inspiration. Even though I live is what should be an "arid" climate, it sometimes seems like the tropics when a monsoon finishes its run off the coast sending waves of heavy, damp air, and a smattering of rain here and there. That in itself can taunt you to distraction when we are deep into the fourth year of a devastating draught.
As I was sitting on my front porch this evening, I overheard a conversation between my neighbors. The woman was watering her great variety of non-draught tolerant plants when she said to her male friend, "I love the yard, especially when it is wet." He chuckled and said, "But we live in an arid climate. This is not natural. You can't force your desires on the environment. You won't win."
"I went to the mountains today," she sighed wistfully. "I just like how it feels like that here...especially when I water."
"Then we should move to the mountains," he said, seemingly fully aware they were not going to be doing that. After a pause, he said again, "You can't force your will on nature."
She went on watering. He went inside to get them both a drink.
I thought about this overheard conversation for a while. No, we cannot force our will on nature. And, man, oh, man, how we have tried. I admit I have be complicit in this "crime" against nature. We move here for the climate from the changeable east cost and midwest, and then try to make this place, Southern California, as much like home as possible.
It seems nature is tired of our arrogance. And as the gentleman next door said, against nature, we won't win.
I was trying to avoid Monday. Of course, it found me. All the things left undone from last week and the broken intentions of "catching up" on the weekend have come back to haunt me. Monday, Monday. Can't trust that day! (Mamas and the Papas) Monday will always tell on you. The world seems to wake up again after a week end of normal activities. Oh, well. The piper must be paid. The accounts must be settled. So what to do?
Run away! That's right. Well, not actually. I am going away for the day, but I have actually returned some calls, addressed some issues and put necessary items in the mail. Productivity feels good...especially if it is true productivity and not just busywork. Meaning. That is what it is really all about. Monday is the beginning of a new week...another new week...one of 52 every year that comes our way. And it is up to us to make of it what we will and not what we won't.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, Monday will find you. Mind as well say hello, shake its hand and be friends with it. And contrary to what the Mamas and Papas sang so many years ago, you actually can trust Mondays. There's something amazing about the new beginnings they always offer if you don't hide from them.
Ten days left in August. September is waiting to sweep in. Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving....and then....well, you know what's ahead. Where, oh, where, does the time go? I am still in June...or maybe very early July. Somehow the seasons, the months...even the days...are rushing by me and am left running after them.
This morning is grey and overcast. The Pacific's marine layer has reached all the way into the Inland Empire. The IE, as you may recall, is fifty miles at least inland from the coast. This does mean a cooler day, more humidity and a foretaste of autumn. But I'm not ready for fall. I still need to live into summer. Perhaps it's the sameness of the seasons in Southern California. But, contrary to popular impressions, SoCal does have its seasons. This is one of them. I call it seasonal disharmony. It is unsettled, even uncomfortable, and can definitely catch you off guard.
So I say the heck with it. It is summer. It is at least until the autumnal equinox. And it is so even as the days grow shorter and the kids go back to school (in August!). It is all a state of mind anyway. Plus I am one of those guys who still wears shorts in winter. After all, it is Southern California.
Take that time bandit. You can't rob me of time and season without paying a price. Or can you?