Sometimes I feel my inner world is stalked by a demented time-and-motion watchdog.

I remember when we were children my brother got hold of the notion of time-and-motion study and we had a hilarious few weeks trying to dry the dishes in the most effective way, but it is dismaying that a harmless experiment seems to have imbedded itself in my psyche.  My sister and I were talking about the long term effects of the Puritan ethic, and I joked that even making a cup of tea, I try to use the most economical movements and to develop a pattern of optimal effort.  ”SO DO I!” she said.

Now it might well make sense while I’m sewing, especially sewing in quantity.  I tend to do all the French seams in a batch, then all the hems, and I have just finished marking all the buttonholes for a dozen items.  It actually seems to be quicker.  But never leaving a room with my hands empty?  Doubling up on every task?  This is going to lead to a twitchy old age.

Eco-consciousness is another complication.  Since I was raised in Australia I am already light-years ahead of most Californians in reducing water-wastage, but when I walk through the house snapping off lights it is misunderstood by my dear ones, especially if they are trying to read.  We don’t throw food away, but it takes constant effort not to be the human garbage pail myself.

Just look at that picture, the essence of happy childhood.  Who would guess time and motion was simmering underneath?  How do we escape our conditioning?

About Tricia Rose

Not distracted by shiny objects.
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6 Responses to Superego

  1. Everything Coastal says:

    love it! We have become great "left-over" gourmet dinner creators – has lead to some very creative, but very yummy concoctions.


  2. Sharon says:

    Great post and I love the picture. Brought back great memories. I fear you and I are quite alike. I am constantly turning off, doing two tasks at once, hands never empty and I do believe I invented recycle. LOL! I would love to go to your home country someday.

  3. Julia @ Hooked on Houses says:

    This made me laugh. It's funny how there are some things we never outgrow. I remember reading "Cheaper by the Dozen" when I was young and I was fascinated by the father's focus on making every task more time efficient.

  4. simpledaisy says:

    Love it!!!
    That is exactly how I am…..sometimes I feel like I am always rushing through life.
    I need to slow down….thanks for reminding me!

  5. shopgirl says:

    I know exactly how you feel Tricia. Sometimes, I avoid leftovers by freezing things and trying to figure out how to use them later on or I often end up creating new dishes based on what I have left over. Sometimes, it ends up being a lovely surprise!

    As for the conditioning thing. If I know I'm stuck in some sort of routine or something like that…I will try and do the opposite and see what happens. What could possibly go wrong? Live in the moment!

  6. Struggler says:

    I don't think it's all that strange, as long as you're still able to sit down, relax, and just 'be', sometimes.
    I rarely go upstairs without carrying something that belongs up there, but I think that's simply because I'm more wary of unnecessary trips since my runner's knees started acting up!

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