Four times more effort

The London Book Fair this year was the most enjoyable I’ve experienced. I met some truly delightful people with whom I hope to keep in touch, and came away with lots of new and refreshing ideas.

Chatting as one does at these events with like-minded and generous souls, we take away different thoughts, and ideas that stay with us. Like this one from a new friend, that, apparently, for a person with impairments – like mine, I presume – it takes five times more effort to do anything than for an average bod. In my case, perhaps four times as much effort, or three; but the point was made, and made me think.

If it takes me four times more effort to undertake a physical task, which takes me three times as long, how does that impact on my life? It must mean that I will, probably, get less done in an average day than you would, and that my efforts need to be carefully considered. To put it bluntly, doing jobs I dislike takes me so much effort, that I should not do them. I should spend my time doing what I enjoy.

Well, yes, of course, we all should. Doing what we enjoy is the key to our success. But I suppose my point is that, given the energy and time and thought expended, I should really never do jobs I dislike. And if I have to do them, I must, for the sake of my sanity, find ways to do them that I can enjoy, or at least, appreciate: I do notice that I am slower and more laboured than others, a realisation which is hard, sometimes, to accept.

On the one hand bolstered by having this understood – Wowee! At last someone recognises the sweat that goes into this! – I am rather depressed by having it confirmed: How much effort have I wasted doing jobs I hate? I mean, we all have to do things we don’t like, but in the normal course of events, “other people” – how I hate that phrase – can do them much faster and with less physical and emotional investment than me, so in fairness, they should do them, while I put my efforts into being happy.

Which raises more questions that need answers, like, “Why haven’t I?” and “When will I?” and “What is stopping me?” I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of my effort and time doing things for other people. Of course, again, we all do. But how much is too much?

Thanks for listening.

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