Wednesday, August 10, 2011

does it preserve sanity?

living in a windmill would definitely preserve my sanity.
a friend, who lives a similarly freelance life, mentioned to me the other day the question she often asked herself as she was about to embark on an activity: does it preserve sanity? and i came across an activity today that i realized most decidedly does not preserve sanity. at least not my sanity. and it got me thinking about what components an activity has to have in order for it to preserve my sanity.

~ i have to be able to understand it - the process, the steps it takes, how it works.  it's perfectly ok if it takes some work to figure that out (see next component), but there has to be an underlying discoverable logic.

~ it has to challenge me. if it's immediately easy and i get the hang of it quickly, i get bored.

~ it has to seem fair. i have to have an equal shot at it.

~ it has to be what it appears to be. if i feel it's somehow a lie or not what it seems, the sanity (and the patience) go immediately.

~ the activity has to give me a sense of satisfaction - either that i accomplished something that i can see, got something out of my system or built the foundation towards something else.

~ if it involves other people, i have to think that they are intelligent at a level commensurate with the activity (sadly, this is where the sanity bit often falls apart).

~ it has to make sense (this is different than whether i am able to understand it) - again, there has to be an underlying logic at work, one which is ultimately transparent.

it seems a little bit weird to be pondering the preservation of sanity while the world melts down around us, but on the other hand, perhaps that's the perfect time to do so.

how do you preserve your sanity?


Bill said...


stephmabry said...

Sewing and quilting. I have a job I...don't like so much (to put it nicely) where I don't feel like I DO anything - it's lots of data entry and paper-pushing.

Sewing and quilting allow me to MAKE something, to have a finished project that I can stand back from and say "Hey! A few days ago, that was just cloth. Now, it's _____!" I've only been doing it nine months now, but I love every minute. :)

celkalee said...

I gave up, its easier.

Ally said...

I'm not sure that I do preserve my sanity. That's a great question. It bothers me that I can't answer that. Must think on it.