Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The value of being mentally sedentary

Today I sit in the back room. Filling in at a private practice. Most of these places have a few exams scheduled per day, and that seems to be consistent over many years of being open (for example, this place has been here since 1999). There's benefit to quietude- I'm writing and listening to conversation. And wandering mentally. But mostly when we are slow, I'm reading email. Surfing the internet. Though I'm carrying a book, it's still sitting in my bag.

I enjoy my simple life. I wonder how long it will last. I wonder how long I'll enjoy it. There's something to being on the top of your game at work. Really thinking about what you are doing is a pleasure. A game. A riddle to be solved. Learning something new is a thrill that can't be replaced by sitting peacefully, mind at rest. I wondered the other night why our country wasn't more worried about being mentally sedentary. We have all this emphasis on being physically sedentary. But our culture is just as guilty of being mentally sedentary. I've noticed, there's a sort of pat-on-the-back for people who have easy jobs, as if they are lucky to be sitting at their posts doing nothing all day. But I wonder at what cost.

Often Justin and I are sitting in the same room doing different things, talking about different things, having a conversation or discussion. Sharing ideas and knowledge. I'm thankful that he's a partner who talks to me about things without being condescending. Sometimes he tells me things I don't want to learn. I feel my luddite wall go up. Mostly regarding things about flight or technology or kiteboarding. I wondered if I should try harder to learn about things I'm not interested in. Am I being lazy? Am I missing out? But then again even if I try not to learn things, I pick it up anyway. Despite the fact that I have no interest in RC planes, I know bits and pieces and terminology, and actually that makes me happy.

So I am going to try harder to learn all things I'm presented with. And think seriously about what in the future will make me happy with work and challenges. And be thankful for all the opportunities to learn new things. And stay away from the devices as much as I can.

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