Drains

Okay, so… we did not get the rain we were promised yesterday, and consequently it is hotter and more humid than Satan’s armpit out there. I walked the 100 feet to the fence — slowly — at 8:30 this morning to empty our blue jay/squirrel feeder, and by the time I walked back to the house I was dripping.

It’s repulsive. I hate it when it’s like this.

Not only does the humidity make me uncomfortable, it is also a drain on my energy. So instead of being out there in the humidity I am inside with many things to do, and no energy to do them. And this is bad. I find that on days like this, my computer takes over and the things I have to do on the computer — writing and research — get done, while the rest of my tasks don’t.

I have a love/hate relationship with this laptop some days. I love software. I love podcasts. I love the internet. I love my email. I love having constant access to information and services and people. But I hate how it drains away hours of my life without my noticing sometimes. And because it is portable, it can come with me everywhere. For playing music and podcasts while I work, it’s great. But for the allure of access to the outside world, the hypnotic pull of the “ping” noise as email comes in… it’s evil.

So I have to make a conscious effort to budget my time sometimes. I have to get my writing done as expediently as possible — not always an easy task when inspiration or news and information are in short supply. It’s getting to the point where I am considering giving up a couple of my writing gigs because it’s just taking up too much time in my day. (And I am not getting paid, so it’s hard to justify sometimes.)

I also have to ensure that my time with my laptop is NOT spent sitting, but rather the two of us working together — using it while I exercise, for example, or having it provide accompaniment while I work on cleaning or cooking or whatever. I am pretty good at this part… but if the siren song of email or my newsreader or whatever calls out, I can lose a half an hour like *snaps fingers* THAT.

And the internet provides me with access to shopping — which can be, but fortunately is NOT, a drain on our bank account. Thank goodness I am so cheap. I am wicked cheap. I shop online, but only for bargains. And even then, I can talk myself out of buying even the biggest sale items if, for example, the tax works out to be too much or the shipping cost is too high.

So the laptop may win some battles, but cheap trumps everything.

I know that soon, there will be a demand on my time that will make all this stuff disappear to the periphery — she will be the major portion of my day’s focus. She’ll take the place of my laptop in providing me with company and amusement. Her schedule will force all the rest to fit into smaller parts of the day.

In the meantime, though… time ticks by with the ticking of the keyboard and my energy flows away with the rising humidity. Thank goodness we haven’t got much money to spend, or my day would be down the drain.