Life is a fight against entropy, I think as I gather up Waterloo sparkling water cans, half-empty mugs of coffee and three pairs of sweatpants strewn over the sofa, grudgingly restoring the apartment to order. Thanks to lockdown I've very belatedly entered some approximation of adult domesticity, and mostly I find it... hilarious. Like: you have to keep cleaning the apartment on an infinite weekly cycle in order to stop it from collapsing into disarray. You have to keep buying groceries, and keep looking up recipes, and keeping baking cookies at the same rate you consume them. Even my body requires continuous effort: I have to work out four days a week, buy winter clothes, replace my makeup, get my hair cut and highlighted, just to stay the same Ava-shaped blob I currently am.
> I've never been good at maintenance.
OMG, thank you, this entire reflection feels so familiar. Maintenance is so _dull_ and uninteresting, it's the same thing as I've done a million times before!
One thing I've been thinking about that has helped me is seeing repair as creative—it's both getting back to a previous stable state pushing back against entropy, and also getting your environment, yourself, or your relationships _ready_ for what might emerge next. Through repair we make the whole a bit more whole and alive, generating _new_ things not just preserving old things, and in that way the process is repetitive but the experience is always new. And then, if this is done with care and attention, after a few repetitions the whole might actually reach more sustainable stable state that has "nonresonance with entropy", meaning it will stay in a flow state for longer (though not permanently) so we can focus on other stuff that we actually feel our laser attention pulled toward.
The other thing that's helped is recognizing "intermittent continuing"—low self-shame in stopping and in starting again. Yes, okay, I'm involved in 5000 projects and interests, and yes, there are larger projects that require sustained, long term attention to actually finish, and I keep forgetting things and getting lost in something new, but attention is patterned. If I don't beat myself up about stopping a project, I'll be less likely to feel bad about starting again.
Anyway, thank you for this post! Subscribed.
Beautifully articulated :)
I admire your writing Ava. I feel like my life is in this perpetual state of shifting 2-3 things I have the capacity do well, while under the illusion that someday I'll find a perfect zen balance. Really looking forward to reading your book :)
Did someone bury Jar Jar up to his eyeballs