I’ve been working reasonably hard recently. My body, not used to such unfair punishment, has been complaining.
After a day in front of the computer and on the phone, my neck, my back, my throat and my free-spiritedness hurts. Yet after a couple of weeks, I’ve noticed the pain, or perhaps the realisation of the pain, slowly diminishing.
A gentle reminder that we get accustomed to things.
Our ability to adapt is powerful. With attention in mind as this month’s theme (which when I attend to it again, I realise I have not been doing very well) – it’s worth pointing out that we stop noticing things the more we get accustomed to them.
That’s both good and bad – advantageous and disadvantageous.
Patterns help us develop good habits, and bad. Familiarity helps us see new things and ignore old.
It’s useful to bring this into focus.
For example, there are things that I find hard at first, such as work, running, meditation, not planning, being disconnected or simplifying – that become easier the deeper I delve and the harder I try. If these things remained as difficult as when starting, I would fail to persevere (even more than I do).
Yet there are also things that I become accustomed to quickly, like the tiredness London initiates, advertising’s prevalence, routine, the amount that people (myself included) drink when socialising, processed food, the weather, envy, not saying hello to people in the street.
It’s a shame when you begin to accept things that are wrong, just because they’re normal.
Reading back over my previous post about returning from Africa, I realise how quickly I’ve lost some of the wide-eyed-ed-ness.
It’s time to develop good habits, however hard they are to start, in the knowledge that they’ll become easier (while, of course, remembering not to try to pull too many of them off at the same time – Franklin-style)
Meanwhile, I’m trying to be attentive to the pieces of life that are unacceptable yet become normal because of a lack of awareness. I’m trying to imagine what it would be like for a Kenyan to see what I see and experience what I experience – to prevent the negative influences and habits breeding.