~ Excellent collection of Philly public clocks (via Francisco).
~ What would Tocqueville say??!
But in northern Maine, as operating costs have increased, the economy has stagnated and the population has aged and dwindled, a handful of struggling towns have pursued the unusual process of eliminating local government entirely.
~ Airing Merton's Laundry.
~ "Most obnoxious article I've ever read" may be an exaggeration, but let me just say, this is not everyone's experience.
1. Sleep better? What a joke. The last 16 months I've woken up two-three times every night. I never ever woke up at night before.
2. I don't even have time or energy for even short workouts. In fact, I've been hoping for some time to get started with a new exercise regime since Thanksgiving.
3. Cutting the fat means cutting the fun (or a lot of the stuff that you do for yourself). I love having a beer with my colleagues after work and that's hard to do anymore.
4. I go on far fewer quality dates than I used to. Poor Francisco and I sometimes only have energy to fall onto the couch in the evening.
Not to be Debby Downer, but those comments from expectant mothers who are excited about the new productivity that motherhood will lead to are just sad. Someone should tell them that this is only one woman's experience and it almost certainly isn't about the first year of motherhood, when spending all of your time putting a baby to sleep and then waking him up to eat leaves little time or energy for anything else. (It's also particularly punishing if you're someone who delights in getting things done and checking things off lists; at least for me, the first year was a practice in just being in the moment.)
That's not to say that there isn't anything true in what she writes--I've had to get more stuff done in less time and so have become more effective with time management. It's just to say that, for me, this whole experience of time management hasn't been as thrillingly exciting and fruitful as it has for her. (Although I love my son and wouldn't trade him for anything. But that doesn't mean that motherhood is one giant celebration of happiness.)
~ I want to be friends with Alan Jacobs (seriously: if you're reading this, and ever visit Philly, please let me know):
This post struck me because in the last week or so of my grandfather's life, when he was almost entirely out of it with medications and the dying process, I wondered what's so wrong with assisted suicide. But Jacobs (and the man he's referring to) capture something here: the importance of care, both the giving and receiving of care. In fact, at the funeral, my grandmother expressed her gratefulness for the last month of my grandfather's life, when, she said, she was able to read to him and sit by him and hold his hand.
What Payne says is that it is good when a person gives “care and comfort” to someone he or she loves in that person’s time of suffering. Good for the person giving the care, and good for the person receiving it. And having cared for my wife through a long and difficult (though not mortal, thanks be to God!) illness, I can testify — and she can testify — that this is true, as long as the care is both given and received graciously.