Chris Tomlin O Come all Ye Faithful

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Struggle Against Entropy



"Steven Pinker recently wrote an essay on how people need to better appreciate the second law of thermodynamics. Specifically, they need to understand that if we don’t actively work to keep chaos at bay, entropy wins. “Closed systems inexorably become less structured, less organized, less able to accomplish interesting and useful outcomes, until they slide into an equilibrium of gray, tepid, homogeneous monotony and stay there,” Pinker writes. “The Second Law of Thermodynamics,” he adds, “is acknowledged in everyday life” whenever we say things like “Ashes to ashes,” “Things fall apart,” or “Rust never sleeps.” Complicated things are . . . complicated. If you don’t work hard at keeping them running, the natural order of the universe is for them to break down. Planes don’t “want” to fly, bikes don’t “want” to stay upright, and people, markets, and institutions don’t always “want” to behave the way experts expect them to."
I saw this quote on a blog on Spark People.com written by "Teri-rific"  And it really got me to thinking.  As I have sat in this recliner month after month, it has gotten harder and harder to bath regularly, change clothes daily and putting on make up has become a rare event.  Yes, it has physically become more difficult to do all of that  but I'm thinking that the real enemy here is entropy. 
The other day I had a friend over for tea ( A RARE treat!) and she made several suggestions to me...like "do you want to go for a walk?" and "want to try going down the stairs?" and upon looking at my bedroom made some suggestions as to how to rearrange the furniture so as to get a better view out of my window. 
And do you know? I resisted each suggestion.  Either with a flat out "I can't" or by showing her how her suggestion would not work.  Later, I was feeling badly about it.  I should have at least tried.  I could have walked down the driveway.  Yes, It would have hurt...but it would also have been an accomplishment...blazing new trails into the thicket of possibility.  I could have walked down six steps and back up (which is the number of steps outside I have to climb to get into the house.)  If I walked one step further every day...in a week I could be at the bottom!!
Think how much I could get done if I had access to the basement again...I could use my recumbent bike and regain enough strength to take a longer walk!  I could go through the PILES of clothes and donate 3/4 of them.
Now true.  There would be a steep price to pay.  Pain would definitely extract its fee.  But isn't more freedom worth fighting for?  I have recently started cooking after several years of doing nothing more complicated than cooking some pasta and broccoli.  But my husband needs my help and he needs to rescue his heart which is full of clogged arteries.  A vegan, low oil diet has been proven to reverse heart disease.  He is refusing the bipass surgery that he needs and is risking everything on this effort to restore his health.   It took a great leap of faith for me to agree to cook 3 meals a day for him.  And in the first few days of it, the pain was so agonizing I despaired of ever being able to do it.  I dreaded getting up in the morning to face the pain and fatigue that awaited me.
Supposedly with RA, if a joint is painful, it needs to be rested.  And I also have OA (osteoarthritis) and in that disease, the more you use a joint the more it wears down.  But that is no life.  True, blinding, back breaking pain isn't much of a life either.  But think of the quote above.  Without an investment in effort I will never push back the barriers  of impossibility.  I will live in a smaller and smaller place physically and mentally.  My muscles will atrophy, I will probably regain the weight I've lost....and my life will continue to be misery.
Who knows? Maybe my tiny tiny room could be arranged to give me a view of the sky!  Maybe I could make it downstairs and clean out the basement, and get back to working out down there.  I need to ban the words "I can't " from my vocabulary and instead utter, "I can try."







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