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The Reason You’re Tired is that You’re Just Too Thinky

I clicked on this Science of Us article because I also feel exhausted after sitting in front of the computer all day.  Like disproportionately tired considering I haven’t done much more than think and type.

The article outlines how your brain uses up enormous quantities of oxygen; how it requires 20% of the energy in your body as a baseline and then thinking hard uses even more energy.  It totally makes sense, until it doesn’t make sense.

Because here is the thing: if thinking hard makes you tired, then why am I up all night, unable to sleep because I am THINKING?  Shouldn’t the thinking be wearing me out and making me sleepy?  Shouldn’t it be using up all of my energy and tiring me instead of making me feel more awake?  Surely worrying burns through energy faster than, let’s say, writing a blog post.  Bedtime is when I am doing my best, anticipatory stress work, much more so than when I’m in the zone and think that I will accomplish everything on my to-do list.

I need to poke around through some of the links in the article.


September 24, 2017   2 Comments

No Roundup Because I Thought The Earth Might End

I thought the world was going to end, but it turns out that it probably isn’t.  Wheeew.  Though I was so certain that tomorrow was it for mankind that I stopped rounding up posts.  Didn’t make a lot of sense to highlight great blogs no one would have time to read.

Okay, maybe I just heard about the world ending thing today from the Washington Post, but it sounded like a better excuse than saying Rosh Hashanah derailed my week.  Between the cooking and the cleaning and the services, I didn’t have time to write up the stuff I bookmarked.  So you’re getting a non-post, and we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program next week.

Provided the world doesn’t end before that.

So… when is the next world ending prediction?

September 22, 2017   10 Comments

The Snakebite of Death

I told you that I had four thoughts that came out of reading Elan Mastai’s All Our Wrong Todays.  You can go backwards to the first thought, even if you haven’t read the book because these thoughts aren’t tied to the text but rather float above the page.  In other words, reading these posts will not ruin the book, and at the same time, they’re not (I think) confusing.

Next thought.

As I said, at its heart, this book is about Mastai processing the loss of his mother at an early age.  It’s science fiction, but it’s really about how we live and the meaning of our relationships and the impact we have on one another.  At least, that was my take-away.

On page 301, the narrator is talking about the aftermath of a death, when you reach a moment where the pain of the loss can turn you in a multitude of directions:

You love someone for fifty years and then they die. People talk about grief as emptiness, but it’s not empty. It’s full. Heavy. Not an absence to fill. A weight to pull. Your skin caught on hooks chained to rough boulders made of all the futures you thought you would have. How do you keep five decades of love from souring into a snakebite that makes your own heart the threat, drawing the poison up and down the length of you?

How?  I’m asking this literally.  How do you keep from drowning in anger at the world after you lose someone whom you have loved for fifty years?  Or, really, five years or five months or five days?  We’re a community steeped in loss.  We know how much loss can change a person.  That loss hurts because it stems from love; whether it is a cluster of cells or an unborn fetus or a person walking around on earth.

There is a lot of anger in this community that bubbles up from time to time, more so years ago when everyone knew everyone else and less so now that the ALI community has become scattered over time.  It’s not anger at each other but more anger at the situation.  You have love.  You want to give it to another human being.  The universe is working against you, thwarting you from giving that love to another human being.  It hurts.  It can become an internal snakebite just as easily as it can fuel your passion in another direction.

Even outside of family building; everyone has people that they love that they ultimately lose.  How do you keep your anger at the situation — at being furious with the world for taking someone you love from you — from poisoning you?  Will everyone get to the point where they’re not sad it’s over but smiling because it happened?  Because I don’t think that’s true; I don’t think we all get there, every time.

Your thoughts?

September 20, 2017   8 Comments

The Consequence of Intimacy

My favourite book I read this summer was All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai.  It’s a really hard book to describe without ruining anything along the way, but an easy book to talk about out of context (meaning, even if you haven’t read the book) because at its heart, the book is Mastai processing the loss of his mother at a young age.  I mean, yes, it’s also about time travel and alternate realities, but peel away the quirky and it’s a love letter to all the people we will love and lose.

So there are four things I want to talk about with the book.  Again, you don’t need to read the book to understand them, and reading about them will not ruin reading the book yourself.


So the book opens with an idea that stems from Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.  That “when you invent a new technology, you also invent the accident of that technology” (p. 14).  So you invent the car, and at the same time, you invent the car accident.  Can’t have a car accident without the car.  And the reverse; as we invent things to prevent the car accident, we are also inventing the problems that could arise out of those solutions.

The main character — the narrator — states on page 15:

I’m not a genius like Lionel Goettreider or Kurt Vonnegut or my father. But I have a theory too: The Accident doesn’t just apply to technology, it also applies to people. Every person you meet introduces the accident of that person to you. What can go right and what can go wrong. There is no intimacy without consequence.

So when you connect with a person, you also create in that moment, the possible bad outcome of that relationship.  We can debate the term “bad,” but at the very least, you will lose that person after a long time of loving them.  That will hurt.  But you could also have that relationship negatively impact your life, from changing your self-esteem to moving you away from places where you would have otherwise gone.  You may not even know that the relationship is tugging you in the wrong direction, or all the otherwises that were in your path and now they’re not.

We talk a lot about the people we’re happy that we met because they changed our life for the better, but we spend much less time talking about the people we regret meeting.  The people who have had a negative impact on our life with their “accident” looming larger than their invention-like side.  It’s a weird thing to think about: The people you wish you had never met.  People you’re sad were at one point in your life.

We can paint a rosy picture, claiming that every interaction is meaningful and adds to who we are as a whole; positive or negative.  But this book so beautifully explores that cost of loving someone, or, at the very least, letting them into your life.

Your thoughts?

September 19, 2017   6 Comments

#MicroblogMondays 160: It’s a Mystery

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


A newsletter I read linked to a fascinating (but old — it’s from 2004) long-read article about the mysterious death of an Arthur Conan Doyle expert, Richard Green, and the Sherlockian way the community has gone about trying to figure out what happened.

This is a little different from a regular Sherlock Holmes story because it involves an actual person. I don’t want to say too much about the article and ruin it, but read it.  You’ll find yourself pausing during it, noting strange wordings and wondering if they have any meaning.

I love mysteries for the same reason that I think most people like mysteries: we want to believe that everything can be known if we give the situation enough attention.  Or, a quote from the article understandable with the world today: “The more illogical the world seemed, the more intense the cult surrounding Holmes became.”

Do you like mysteries?


Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored post.

1. Cathy at Still Waters 11. Modern Gypsy 21. Charlotte@ muchadoaboutnothinggg
2. Impatiently Infertile 12. Counting Pink Lines 22. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal)
3. Mali (A Separate Life) 13. Isabelle 23. Chandra Lynn (Pics and Posts)
4. Mali (No Kidding) 14. the OCD infertile 24. Inconceivable!
5. Middle Girl 15. Raven 25. Shail
6. Shilpa 16. Traci York, Writer 26. Keerthi Vydyula
7. Turia 17. Empty Arms, Broken Heart 27. Laughing IS Conceivable
8. Unpregnant Chicken 18. Risa Kerslake
9. Cristy 19. Just Heather
10. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 20. Amber

September 18, 2017   21 Comments

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