You’d think with all this cloud cover it would be a lot warmer than it is, but I’ve had to use the stove for a couple hours nearly every morning. That means hauling in pellets and cleaning the stove, jobs that usually don’t have to be done in the summer when I’m busy with outdoor work.
And then I added to my work load by falling in love with a rug. The most important quality of floor covering has always been the ability to hide dirt, but somehow that totally slipped my mind when I was given a beautiful 5-by-8 rug with a pale wheat background. It isn’t big enough to cover the floor and clashed with the old carpet, which is now basically dirt color, but it delights my eyes and my bare tai chi feet. Eventually I scored an 8-by-10 pale gold rug that’s a perfect frame for it.
I was admiring the effect when I realized that in the winter I’ll be cleaning the stove and dragging a muddy furniture dolly loaded with pellets across it. I finally figured out how to make it work — I’ll roll the carpets up before the dirty part. It’s doable, but so much for my plan to begin taking things a bit easier.
Moderation has always been a stumbling block for me. I’m either running flat out or in a state just short of coma. I guess I come by it naturally, having a mom that taught me anything worth doing was worth overdoing.
She insisted that moderation was for sissies and life should be consumed in big bites. Unfortunately, she ate, drank and smoked like she worked and played. It’s a good bet that whiskey, Winstons and bacon had something to do with her death at 47. If I go by my family history of longevity, I’m about 20 years past my expiration date.
The best health advice of today is to stay busy, in a controlled, moderate manner and have a passion. What the Japanese call an ikigai, “The reason we wake up in the morning.”
I’m doing pretty well overall. I don’t drink or smoke. I take my vitamins and exercise. While my right arm had three months of inactivity last winter, the rest of my muscles got enough use to keep from melting like warm jello.
I have no shortage of passions. Piano remains a joy and painting becomes more and more interesting. The evening wildlife show delights me. But I’m owned by an old house on an acre and I like to be warm.
So I’ll keep trying to balance what I want and what I can do. I really want this tactile and visual delight, and I tend to stack rugs like an Arab camel merchant. Rugs are insulation and I can convince myself that because of them I haul fewer pellets. Did I mention that delusions tend to be a family trait?