Discipline

Exercising is easy, he thinks. All he has to do is to head over to the gym after work 2 times during the week, and venture out of the house on a Saturday to do the same. Those 2 hours of sweat and toil will reap rewards far beyond what the alternatives could do.
Those first few weeks are easy. This is New, this is fun, this is exciting. He feels good. Better perhaps, than previously. But then an excuse creeps in – work must be completed. Clients attend with ever-decreasing patience the delivery of their work. And suddenly the alternative has become the norm once more, those heady days of exercise just a hazy memory.

The Dishes Will Be Done! How long does it take to do one rackload a night? five, ten minutes? Five or ten minutes where he can dream off to wherever his fancy takes him, his hands busy beneath him, scrubbing and rinsing and stacking in smooth, fluid motions, the rythm of the cleaning providing timing for his thoughts. And a load a day? Why, at this rate, there’ll always be some dirty dishes, but it won’t be insane.

Yesterday, he arrives home. His head hurts. He is tired. He does not want to do anything but sit down and vegetate in front of the idiot box. The thought occurs to him that this same feeling has been pervasive of late. He considers that perhaps he should exercise to regain some of his lost energy. Looking around the cluttered room, he realises it is really gross : dishes of some age now sit on the table. There is a stain of spilled coke underneath these. In the kitchen, the dishes have clawed their way out of the sink and mulitplied until now there are little enclaves of dishes on top of the stove, on the counter, on the shelf, on the table and even on top of the refridgerator. The stove itself, it appears, is pock-marked with cooking stains and is slowly choking underneath. When used, it protests loudly with smoke with upsets the alarm. The building is alerted to our plight and knocks on the door suggest that we should do something about the smoke. And something is done. It is fanned. The windows are opened, the air is cleared. And post-dinner, venturing once more into the kitchen, he decides it is too much for him. He cannot possibly conquor this beast, so why even begin. And so he goes to bed.

The bedroom, of course, suffers much the same fate: The clothes, which for a week had been dutifully put away upon washing, dutifully placed in the basket post-wear, have formed into a fuzzy swamp-thing, crouching on the far side of the bed, hiding all sorts of hideous creatures within its mass. This too, is too much, and he simply goes to sleep, on sheets he’d intended to change a good five days ago now.

Discipline is the hallmark of the adult. Vastly improved over even just a year ago, there is still far to progress in this domain. One day, doing dishes nightly will be afterthought. Putting clothes where they should be will be common place. Exercise will be routine, not a break in selfsame. And Moe Berg will be sung along to in all honesty.

But tonight, tonight there will be a reckoning. And the wagon will be climbed back upon, for at least a little while.

Update: 9:30 am, 27.2.2002

Last night, 3 loads of dishes were done. A clogged sink was Drano-d, stove was cleaned and 2 loads of laundry were completed and put away. A further 2 loads were readied and a pile of clothes that was clean, but not put away was dealt with. This morning, garbage was taken out, living room tidied (a little) and in my bag I have the necessary clothes to head to the gym. Will I keep this up? Doubtful, but I’ll try.