My friends, if you have been following this blog for any length of time you know that I tend to be prolific as well as verbose. Ponderous at times, even. Here lately the words escape me.
It is not for lack of subject matter, as I’ve assured you in recent posts. I have been consumed with the desire to put to rest that daunting topic I’ve been picking at for 3 weeks. And I have other things to write about. But there are other, more compelling reasons why I’ve lately not put much effort into writing.
The cold. At first, this winter did not seem too bad. I have heat pumps to heat the apartment with, I have my little space heater, I have a footwarmer and a hand warmer. But as the chilly temps dragged on and on I found myself less and less willing to spend the first ten minutes of the day dressing in layers, and then to lug the space heater from room to room, and finally to sit still for the hours it would take to write. It wasn’t a depressive episode per se because my mood was pretty cheerful. I just couldn’t bring myself to sit still and get thoroughly chilled, only to recover warmth when I got back into my heated bed at night.
I avoided spending any time in my living room during the cold months because it was simply too expensive to heat. The climate control unit did a great job of heating the air 4 feet off the floor up to the ceiling but being as the return air pulled from the bottom of the unit, if I sat down I was subject to the rush of cold air the unit caused. To make matters worse, it is very expensive to run. I depleted my prepaid meter in just 3 weeks. One thousand Yuan for 3 weeks of heat, inadequate heat at that is just not cost effective.
Tied for first place is that implement of torture I parked my backside on. I may have told you a while back that, instead of a padded, swivel chair with casters that you or I would conventionally accept as being an office chair, the Chinese use regular kitchen chairs as office chairs. Over the months I’ve come to think of it as my personal torture device, only slightly less comfortable than an electric chair. At least electric chairs have armrests and what could be perceived as unique, maybe even lovely cuffs to restrain your limbs. This chair lacks any refinement whatsoever. After a few hours, everything from my hips down begged for mercy.
It has gotten to the point that I can no longer stand to sit. Just the idea of parking myself on a chair, a couch, or a bus seat sends chills of apprehension down my spine and waves of pain down my legs. The long muscles in my thighs are rebelling: they suffer a dull sort of ache that will not go away even though I do exercises specifically targeting them.
Unless you have one of those super nifty ergonomic chairs that require a loose kneeling position rather than a sitting position, you pretty much have to sit to type. For now, sitting is out of the question for me, unless I absolutely have to.
Priorities became essentials. Responding to emails and videochatting with family became the maximum allowable time in the torture chair. Once Gabe went to sleep and I had answered all the emails, I leaped up out of that infernal seat and did not park myself in it for the rest of the day.
There goes any chance I might have had at writing anything.
Thanks to Gary, I now have an office chair complete with casters and a mesh netting backrest. It is quite comfortable but I believe my hips and legs need some recovery time. I still cannot bear sitting down in the conventional ‘feet on the floor, back straight’ position.
Coincidentally, spring has finally made its appearance. My apartment has warmed up from its niggardly high 40’s temps to an expansive 68. I can sit cross-legged on the couch with my faithful laptop and type to my heart’s content now, without needing to run any heaters.
So now I’m back to writing. Wanna hear what’s going on?