There is such a thing as POC, or Productivity Obsession Compulsion. The only reason I can make such anoutlandish claim and practically add a new chapter to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder or DSM is because I got it (the affliction, not the manual).
I do not measure how valuable my day was by how loving I was to my family, how helpful I was to my friends or how generous I was to this cause or that one. Not even by how many books I sold. No, I measure the value of my day on how much I got done.
Here is how it gets tricky: Nothing has to be done well. It only has to be done fast and in large quantity. If I've shoved giant piles of leaves from one side of the yard to the other, written 7 pages-albeit crappy ones-, tweeted to the wind, coaxed my kid into finishing that lame project, driven him all over town looking for a video game I disapprove of, cooked a flop of a three course meal (They don't like octopus with creamy polenta after all), then only can look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day. I have been productive!
Today I got little done ( my husband showed me how to use his camera and we took a walk, ate leftovers for lunch and I wasted time on the computer the rest of the day) and I feel antsy and guilty. I feel as though I wasted my precious day. I was a bad girl. Hence this blog post which is really an attempt at cramming some productivity into my day and assuage the guilt.
I often think of my fantasy life, the simpler life that I dream of. But if I were to be placed in a small village in France and have everything confiscated from me, all my toys and distractions, all those things I click with, look at, and make stuff with, how long before I get island fever? 1 day? Five minutes? Would I be able to look up at the sky, count clouds and smell the boursin? If I don't start learning to be happy with a slow life, slow food, slow thinking, slow travel now, it isn't going to happen on its own.
When it comes to being green it's not enough to Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. But it's not enough. First you have to Refuse. Same thing with being sane. You have to learn to say no to a whole lot of things before you can slow down your life. You have to learn to stop the wheel from spinning. It's an addiction.
I'm trying to wrap my mind around this.