Thursday, June 17, 2021

Cycles of Maintenance

While so much of our attention is on some forward-moving trajectory, have you ever stopped and thought about how much of our actual live is lived in cycles great and small?  It would be interesting to add up the hours spent each day, each week, each month, each year, engaged in maintenance, the constant renewal of things that wind down and need re-winding. A short list (with many variants possible): 


Several times a day

• Eat and drink

• The opposite

• Brush your teeth (I hope!)

• Wash your hands

• Wash the dishes (or load the dishwasher)

• Charge the phone

• Check your e-mail


Once a day

• Make the bed

• Unload the dishwasher or dish drainer

• Feed your pet

• Shower/ Shave

• Get dressed

• Sleep


Once a week

• Food shopping

• Laundry

• Water plants

• Take out garbage/ recycling/ compost

• Gas in the car (hopefully longer)

• Clean computer screen


Once every month, two or three

• Cut nails

• Haircut

• Air in bike tires

• Check the oil in the car

• Replace ink cartridges in computer

• Take out a new pen


Once a year

• Get some new underwear (every 5 years if you’re male)


And so amidst the more profound meditations about collapse and renewal, comings and goings, hellos and goodbyes, these little reminders that nails grow and need cutting and then start growing again, incense sticks run out and need replacing and then burn down again, things get dirty and need washing and then get dirty again. Quirky ways to mark the passing of time and to invest in the next round. 


Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe it’s time to clean my computer screen.

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