Something called The Happiness Project is proposing this list of questions intended to "help you think about yourself, your daily habits, your nature, and your interests." Any blogger worth her template would of course jump at the chance to turn this into a post, and I was going to do exactly that, but geez, it's long, so it's out here in Ventville instead.

If something is forbidden, do you want it less or more?
I don't think the actual level of want changes, but the amount of effort I'll put forth toward obtaining it will likely diminish, so ultimately I auppose that qualifies as a "less."

Is there an area of your life where you feel out of control? Especially in control?
I have definite control-freak tendencies, especially when I am confronted with a situation where I think someone who should be exercising control isn't. This was one justification for the World Tours, which had an overall plan but which contained a whole lot of slop no hotel room would ever be booked, for instance, until two days before the expected arrival, if then. This way, if something diverted me off the original path, there would be few consequences: unless there was some other tragedy, the worst I'd have to suffer would be the cost of a room I couldn't cancel in time. It is situations like this which keep me from totally embracing the control-freak tab, though it must be admitted up front that there are experiences I shun because I fear the prospect of spiraling out of control.

If you unexpectedly had a completely free afternoon, what would you do with that time?
If I have errands pending, I'll take care of them, and if there's an event I would have missed otherwise, I'll participate. Otherwise, I'll go home and take a nap.

Are you comfortable or uncomfortable in a disorderly environment?
Whose disorder is it? If it's mine, it's not too disorderly, and I usually know where to find things. If it's someone else's, I will complain, loudly.

How much time do you spend looking for things you can't find?
Rule of thumb is half an hour or ten browser windows, whichever comes first, unless the need is dire. (I really need to find a better place for the plunger.)

Are you motivated by competition?
Not particularly. I'm not competing against anyone at work against the time clock, maybe and off work, I tend to pursue activities that don't require competition. The closest exception to this would be the often-vain pursuit of a Bag O' Crap during a Woot-Off, and this is affected much more by luck than by the quantity, or the quality, of personal effort.

Do you find it easier to do things for other people than to do things for yourself?
Only to the extent that I sometimes feel a flash of vestigial guilt for indulging myself in a manner I have not previously attempted, which generally goes away on repetition. Otherwise, it's about 50/50 either way.

Do you work constantly? or think you should be working?
My typical workweek is 45-50 hours; I feel that this is quite enough, thank you very much. In terms of maintaining my online presence, such as it is, I allow enough time to complete five posts a day and four Vents a month. The rest of my time is pretty much my own, and I'd like to keep it that way.

Do you embrace rules or flout rules?
Generally, it depends on which way seems to present the greater advantage, though I tend to be law-abiding by nature, to the extent that one can actually be law-abiding when a government is going out of its way to pass more and more laws seemingly every single day.

Do you work well under pressure?
Not as well as I would like, and I probably complain more than some people might like. See "Do you get frustrated easily?" below.

What would your perfect day look like?
I have no idea. It has never occurred to me that a day might actually be perfect, or anything close to it, so I've given it no thought. I do know that travel, for me, is seriously invigorating for about two weeks, and then it starts to become tiresome. In general, though, any day I can sleep in is good, and if I don't have to get dressed, it's better.

How much TV do you watch in a week (include computer time spent watching videos, movies, YouTube)?
Even allowing for the fact that I spend a lot of time hunting down stuff on YouTube, it's likely less than six hours, except maybe during NBA season.

Are you a morning person or a night person?
I am a 10:30 pm person. I'm pretty useless in the morning, and by the time I've taken care of my usual evening routine, it's 10:30 and I probably shouldn't start any new projects, but it seems I always do.

What's more satisfying to you: saving time or saving money?
Time. I can always get more money, but I have only so much time.

Do you like to be in the spotlight?
Not especially. I appreciate being looked in on once in a while if I didn't, I'd never have had an online presence at all but being the center of attention is not something to which I aspire.

Is your life "on hold" in any aspect? Until you finish your thesis, get married, lose weight?
I'm almost sixty years old. It's too late to have anything "on hold." And the first two aren't in the cards at all.

What would you do if you had more energy?
My issue is not with a lack of energy, but a lack of stamina: I can set a pace pretty well, but I can't sustain it for as long as I'd like to. If that were correctible and to some extent it is, since I have slightly more now than I did eight years and 65 pounds ago I could get more done around the house, especially the outside of the house, where the weather is unpleasant half the time.

If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it?
This would be the guest bedroom, since the bedroom I should be using as the guest bedroom is stacked yea high with boxes from the last move, still packed, and if I unpacked them all I'd need several new bookshelves, and if I had several new bookshelves there'd be no room in there for an actual bed, meaning that using it for a bedroom would be out of the question anyway.

What people and activities energize you? Make you feel depleted?
Travel, of course, recharges me, and the people along the way, even the ones I don't actually meet, do wonders for adjusting the attitude. Even being stuck in a traffic jam in the Bronx was sort of enjoyable. Work is depleting to a certain extent, though I am hesitant to blame this on individual people; yard work is depleting during the summer, which I blame on the fact that it's all, you know, outside.

Is it hard for you to get rid of things that you no longer need or want?
Oh, horribly so. And the fact that more than once I've bought the same book or record twice indicates that I don't keep track of such things well enough in the first place. (I do have four copies of Pet Sounds, but there's a reason for that.)

Do you get frustrated easily?
I've pretty much gotten my workweek down to a science; I can predict how long a particular job will take within a few minutes, and can plan any given day accordingly. But there's a downside: inasmuch as some things at the shop go through a processing cycle, and since I'm neither at the beginning nor the end of that cycle, I can expect those plans to be screwed up on a regular basis. Last week's production on this cycle took me seven hours. Ideally, this would be split more or less equally among Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, though I'd prefer to keep Wednesday open because it has other scheduled stuff that takes most of the afternoon. As it happened, I got one hour done on Tuesday, and had to do the rest on Thursday. Most people, I suspect, would shrug at this. I was disturbed, though not to the point where there were physical manifestations to be seen.

On a typical night, what time do you go to bed? How many hours of sleep do you get?
Sunday through Thursday, a quarter to eleven; the alarm goes off at 5:59, which means that if all went well, which unfortunately it doesn't always do, I'd get a shade over seven hours. Friday and Saturday, it's likely to be midnight before I hit the sack, and 9 am before I climb out of it. Is this a way of compensating? They say you never make up a sleep deficit.

If at the end of the year, you had accomplished one thing, what is the one accomplishment that would make the biggest difference to your happiness?
At this point, individual accomplishments don't mean a whole lot to me: I want the kids (and their kids) to be doing well, my friends to prosper, and a small number of individuals to be eaten by wolves, and none of these are things I can accomplish on my own.

The Vent

  1 July 2012

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 Copyright © 2012 by Charles G. Hill