Thursday, April 03, 2008

Breaking: Earth Hour!

I'm taking a break from herculean task of exploring "effort" to bring you this breaking news on "Earth Hour," which has organized cities around the world to take a symbolic stand in defense of the earth by shutting down all our lights for an hour.

Ok, so I'm a little late on this one. Earth hour was March 31st at 8:00. Anyway, consider this detour a little interlude on "effort."

Earth Hour. I dig.

When life gets really busy, if I'm not careful, I can gradually slip into a bed-time pattern that's about as productive as beating myself to sleep with a hammer.

Because I keep busy, I tend to use my last few hours, minutes, seconds of every day either trying to "be productive" or completely crashing and vegging out on the internet (we don't have TV.)

While forcing myself to "be productive" can give me a strange masochistic satisfaction, there usually isn't anything productive about it. Usually it just means I spend some time worrying about some stuff that I can't really do anything about and end up going to bed with a mind as jumbled as the cartoon network. Then I don't get as much done the next day because I'm still tired from the day before.

Eventually, all that tiredness builds up and I just shut down. Usually, I try to "relax" by doing something entertaining. The problem is this: playing video games, watching TV or movies or surfing the nets doesn't actually help me relax. Not physically or mentally. It doesn't alleviate the nagging feeling (or rather, autonomic nervous response) that there are vicious cavemen chasing me with spears. It only distracts me from them. When I wake up the next day, the cavemen are still there.

So either way, every night, I end up collapsing into bed, exhausted, like a brief period of black-out before those pesky cavemen pick up their spears again. With no feeling that I've even lived between the rounds.

After a while, it gets easy to accept that feeling as "normal" and we're self-hypnotized into a mindset of getting through the week. From that point, the best thing we can hope for out of life is merely to tolerate it.

Earth Hour wake up call.

Earth hour was so powerful for me precisely because it broke this hypnotic trance. Shutting down the toys and lighting the candles broke me out of the pattern of living that had come to feel so natural, just as our oil dependent lifestyles seem so deeply entrenched.

What was I so worried about? the cavemen didn't catch me. And I woke up the next morning with my mind, body and EYES more relaxed than they had been in a while. Earth hour helped break me out of a pattern and reclaim my life back from the objects (work, "meaning," entertainment) that had come to control it.

When I do get back to writing about "effort," I know that this will be part of it: a balanced approach. Studies show that breaks and naps increase productivity.

And I plan to make shutting down the lights and unplugging at night a new habit for me.


Confusion Say said...
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Confusion Say said...

Yeah this stuff is everywhere downtown. Billboards, taxi cabs, the el. However, by the time I looked at the clock I realized it was 9pm already. Then I realized all the lights were pretty much off already save a few.

I think this is a good daily activity as you said. Also I think it let's you focus on loved ones too, hey whoa there's someone that wants my company? Yeah I was going to write a post about my obsessions today and how they effect others around me, well until I got sick. I learned something from Gray (my bird)this morning about myself. Hey I can learn things from animals... not weird okay!

I'll try and post it tomorrow if I'm feeling better then.

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