|This thing will show up later in the post.|
Nice autumn weather, as illustrated in the three images above, rarely lasts as long as we would like.
After fighting pain last night (more on this later) I got out and executed a lovely eight-mile Sunday stroll this morning.
Unlike yesterday, which was warm and sunny, today was brisk and cold and misty-foggy-overcast. Brrr!
Never fear, this one's only 1:10!
Forty-six seconds again!
The following thing smells a lot like a rant, and in a way it is. However, I'm not trying to merely screech and vent. I'm trying to express a point which seems (to me at least) to be rational and properly constructed. If I do my writing thing correctly, the post should end up hanging together nicely (?!?) even though it's constructed of disparate parts. Will I pull it off?
How do costs, consequences, and trade-offs work?
Many grown-up ape-lizards have a good handle on this. But not all of them!
I know a few who believe in the core of their soul that every time they pay for anything they are being stolen from and savagely victimized. They can't or won't see that they are exchanging their cash for the goods and services they don't have but want to have.
In this world view, they should get what they want because they want it, and they should be able to keep all their cash, too.
In reality rational adults understand that they are exchanging their cash for something they value more than the cash they offer in trade. They know that the reverse is true also, that the person selling the good or service charges more than the actual cost of producing the good or service. It seems like a ponzi scheme at first blush, as if everyone is participating in a get rich quick swindle.
It's not, though, because ape-lizard values aren't universal.
If you are selling apples, for instance, and I want apples but am not willing to buy and operate an apple farm, The value of your individual apples will probably be higher to me than to you. You can charge a premium and make a profit, because I value having apples without the work and money and risk of buying and operating my own apple farm. I'm busy with my own job and have neither the time nor the resources to produce my own apples. So I'll pay your premium and be happy to do so. At the end of the transaction we've each gained an advantage over the other because we're each operating from a different apple-value paradigm.
Everything is fine and we each get what we want and get the deal we want.
Until the professional victims show up.
Yesterday I executed a smashing workout. It was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed running the double slopes with a 50-yard sprint across the top. When the endorphins kicked in that top sprint felt like pure freedom. I felt light and strong and powerful and like I was livin' at a higher plane. And I was! It was a giddy and delightful feeling. That feeling -- the runner's high -- is worth pursuing in and of itself. The pursuit adds zestful experience to my life and also makes me more fit physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's a win all across the board.
The economy of the thing works like this. I trade potential, capacity, time, and effort for increased physical, mental, and emotional fitness. I value the the goods I'm trading for more than I value the effort I must put forth.
But wait, there's more!
At my rather advanced age of not a fucking kid anymore, hard physical work comes at a price above and beyond mere time and effort. Part of the price is pain, and pain is a consequence of the physical damage working out causes. The physics of working out means that a hell of a lot of force is applied to muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and joints. When pounded by the forces from working out, affected body tissues develop micro-tears and micro-fractures. This is true whether the body is six or sixty. It's also true that the body can and will self-repair such damage. For a "not a fucking kid anymore" aged person, self-repair takes a bit more time. The process itself is painful. It's not terrible pain, but it can be distracting.
Last night it was pretty distracting. As I lay in bed the repair process caused my lower legs, ankles, and feet to throb with pain. This was as it should be -- I'd pounded them mercilessly. The day's dedicated exercise totaled 144 hills, 28,600-ish steps, and more than 14 miles. The 25 year-old me would have had similar discomfort. The left ankle was more painful than the right, being the location of a couple of achilles surgeries. I have no room to whine about that. A couple of years ago I was in danger of losing that foot and perhaps even more as an infection raged inside the calcaneus, or heel bone.
Enduring pain was a price I was willing to pay, because I valued pain-freeness less than I valued the benefits I could purchase for pain, potential, capacity, time, and effort.
I tried to relax into the pain and sleep, but I finally gave up and took some aspirin and naproxen. Within 20 minutes the pain eased enough for sleep to come. Those medications came to me in a transaction where I valued having them more than I valued the cash I traded for them.
And what a blessing to have such things available to trade cash for.
After I took the meds I slept very well. In the predawn hour my nightly visitor touched me with loving support as she always does.
This morning I was still creaky and sore, but it was a normal creaky and sore.
The fitness I'm working to achieve requires a tradeoff. Hard work, dedicated effort, pain. Those are costs, but as a consequence of paying a fair price I receive increased fitness, wonderful experience, and a zestful feeling of good health. It's a good trade, and it accrues heavily to my benefit.
But I don't get the benefit for free, and I would be stupidly moronic if I expected to. And I'd be even more stupidly moronic if I thought I was so special that I was entitled to just have the benefit after someone else paid for it.
There are several other ways to look at life through an economic lens. We'll do that in future, perhaps.
From the batshit crazy file. I put these away today. My winter sweatshirt and chore jacket. It's a combination I've worn a-chorin' since about 1995. The sweatshirt is relatively new, less than a year old. I've been wearing the jacket for a quarter-century. Anyway, I hung them on the coat hooks near the front door in early May.
It might seem backwards to be hanging the combination up just when the weather is getting cold.
However, back on April 28 it was a cool, breezy, spring morning. Allie went with me to check cows, and grabbed the freshly laundered chorin' rig because she wasn't nearly as well insulated as I. She wore that rig a lot better than I ever did!
It still smells like her too, like warm, happy girl. That'll fade with time, but the jacket and sweatshirt are a now a national treasure in this part of reality. The rocks are still where she placed them, btw.
To continue the batshit crazy theme, the lighter above (and below) made itself known to me as I charged down a dollar store aisle at full tilt this morning. It was ensconced in a display case of about fifty of the things. How did I see the message adorning this particular lighter? Why did I stop and back up and grin and have to have it?
I miss her and I will never not miss her. I am crushed by her death and I will never not be crushed. The grief will be an always thing, until I am no longer a living thing.
But that crazy-beautiful girl let me love her, all of her, unconditionally. And she loved me back.
As batshit crazy as it sounds, she's still here with me, and she makes herself known in countless Allie-clever ways. Makes it okay. It's sad, but it's happy too. Make any sense?
Of course not, it's batshit crazy!
Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.