Well I woke up this morning feeling physically damaged and emotionally defeated by yesterday's significant challenges.
But you know, there is a lesson here. It's a lesson that I have "learned" many times before, and yet have apparently not learned yet. Two clichés come to mind: 1) "Work smarter, not harder", and 2) "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and somehow expecting the outcome to be different". Yes, it's true... I have spent many days single-mindedly focused on a demanding task, only to be frustrated and physically spent (or worse) at the end of the day and the next day. So why should I expect anything different?
There are several relevant aspects to this situation, (one of which is "why am I so compelled to work on such a large scale?) but ultimately this is a question of attitude. Let me share a little of my (not so mature) thought process yesterday... I was thinking things like: "I don't have the money for new tires", "I don't have the money to buy the right tool to do this job" (buying the right tool would be an example of "working smarter, not harder), and "there's no one here to help me with this, so I have to keep beating myself up doing it alone."
But what is all that, if not a bunch of feeling sorry for myself, and complaining? And is there really a difference between feeling sorry for oneself and complaining? If we look at every difficult situation with the goal of "how can I best ameliorate these challenging circumstances?", is there ever a scenario when complaining is the best course of action? Uhh, no. And yet so many of us do it. I know I do. For some reason, likely psychological and likely stemming from childhood, it is comfortable to feel sorry for oneself. It is easier than getting up off your ass and doing something proactive to better your situation.
Earlier on this blog, I complained about not having access to someone with electronics skills. But right around that same time, I contacted a friend, Mikey Sklar, who lives about five hours south of Taos, and began a conversation about some of my electronics needs. For some reason it took me a few years to do that. It was more comfortable to complain about it. I could have put up signs in town, too, asking for electronics help, but I did not. It woud be interesting to see where that would have gotten me.....
Oh, and also, I went online today and bought the right tool to finish up the tire job!
Anyway, feeling sorry for oneself is a dead-end proposition. I'd like to excise it from my life. Maybe writing about it here will help.
My struggles yesterday did give rise, however, to an idea for a piece of art.... Imagine a lone figure, small and in the lower corner of the frame, holding a wrench, and looking up at an enormous and incomprehensible agglomeration of machinery which is somehow not working... springs shooting out and oil dripping everywhere... It's kind of a cool image, especially if the machinery were rendered in a sort of menacing way. Given my thoughts over the course of the day (encapsulated above) I am not certain it's sending the right psychological or philosophical message... but it's open to a lot of different interpretations.