Heat sink


Several miles to the north and east of me, the hills are literally on fire, outing my complaint about high temperatures and no air conditioning for the pansy-lightweight-whinerfest that it truly is.

And yet.

There are realities to every season, turn turn turn. And one of the realities of Southern California from late August to late October is that it can be unbearably hot for large chunks of the day over great swaths of time. Add to that some big commitments I've just wrapped up, a few that are ongoing and some mamalukes, as The Chief Atheist used to call them, coming up, then subtract the number of sweat glands it would take to bring me up to the normal cooling powers of your average sweaty bear, and it's no wonder I'm feeling a wee bit weak right now.

I'm not exactly Spanish yet in my commitment to the siesta, but I'm almost overly proud to say that yesterday, when the heat and smoke were at their worst, I had enough good sense left in me somewhere to retire to the one air-conditioned room in the house and lie down. And I'm not a napper, there's this horrible, residual-only-child thing in me that always feels like the real fun happens as soon as I leave the room, but once I got horizontal with a little snoozy reading material, my body took over and just conked me on the head. I awoke three hours later not exactly perky, but far, far less cranky than I'd been for the bulk of the day as I hauled my overheated carcass from here to there on even the abbreviated schedule I'd planned for it.

So here is my pithy thought for the day: there will always be a party going on as soon as you step out for a breather. You will always be missing something groovy and awesome. You will think wistfully of the good times you might have had as these groovy and awesome parties are recounted for you later on.

Also? There are only so many hours in a day, and you only get to be awake for so many of them at your peak energy. Choose wisely. Then stay well hydrated during them, especially during your hotter times of the year.

Also-also? My old shiatsu bodywork instructor used to carry around a teeny-tiny pocket calendar. Think those ones the banks used to give out for free, then cut in half. We're talking microscopic.

After each session, when we'd set our appointment for the following week, we'd each whip out our respective scheduling devices: her teeny-tiny one (and, like, a golf pencil), my ginormous, Filofax-clone-of-the-moment (because, ever restless and in search of the Perfect Solution, I would change it up periodically). I had a slot for each fifteen-minute segment of my apparently very important days in one incarnation.

Anyway. One week, I couldn't take it anymore. "How," I asked, "can you possibly cram all the stuff you need to do into that teeny-tiny calendar entry?"

She looked at it, then up at me, and shrugged. "I can only do three things in a day; this means I can only schedule three things in a day."

Now, this was a gal who did shiatsu and was a working actor; she could have more going on in an afternoon than a suburban mother of five did in a week. But there were only three things she would schedule; the rest, well, they happened. Or not. That was free time, during which she worked on any (or many) of her other myriad projects.

Three things today: a little meeting, a little shrinkage, a little accountability action. And yes, a lot of driving in between (not such a hardship when it's the only other place you can enjoy a/c), plus...whatever.

And three things tomorrow, regardless of how finely I can carve up my calendar. And maybe three things daily until this heat breaks. Might as well make something pretty out of this mess, right?

Stay cool. Stay rested. Stay hydrated.

And if it fits your mood (and/or your calendar), let me know how you're carving up your day during this hot, hot end of August...


Image by Joe Lanman via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.