Monday, May 22, 2006

The "Not Real" vs. the "Real" Part 2--Dishes, Laundry, and Such

Seeing as how I've just talked about how I need to continue to work on the balance between "not real" and the "real," I thought it would be highly appropriate to note that "not real," virtual, or abstract, activities--including intellectual ones--often don't significantly help one to complete "real" chores, something that monastics have been balancing for centuries and Thoreau also addressed within Walden.

To illustrate, some examples of abstract, virtual, or activities that some might otherwise class as "not real" (though some of them are actually my job at the moment): spending much time in thought and on the computer completing class-work-related activities, and at home with the TV on, whether watching a DVD or something else, or with it off and nourishing my creativity with a good book, researching venues to which to send my novel, working on new short story and novel ideas.

Some examples of "real" activities that I cannot make my cats do while I'm working on the above: washing dishes, doing laundry, vacuuming, filing those last few boxes from last summer's move (mostly filled with real papers I haven't gotten around to going through, but don't want to outright throw out).

Were I to figure out how to train my cats to handle these and other chores, I'm sure I would have much more time to work on both my "abstract" and "real" communication tasks, as well as the reality-based long walks I'd love to take more of now that it's gorgeous weather out. I'd love to take any suggestions for completing these activities, either virtually or via cat-labor. If not, I'm sure I'll get to more of them soon now that my West Wing marathon has come to an end.

(Side note: I did dispose of the paper-filing problem this weekend by lining the boxes up, draping a sheet over them, and calling them a coffee-table. It makes a good place to put my laptop, and the cats like to sit on it. So let no one say I accomplished nothing real and useful while in graduate school. I left out the case of paper for sending out novel manuscripts, however, so I could continue to trip over it until the book gets accepted somewhere.)

No comments: