Friday, June 21, 2013

The Joy of Typing ...

My trusty old Smith and Corona. 
In case you haven't noticed, I've been AWOL this past week. I'm working on wrapping up an essay collection I'm editing on horror elements in children's and young adult literature and culture, and it is sucking up all of my time like the nasty little vampire that it is. Anywho, as I settle into the delightful rhythm that is summer (I really don't know how people get up and go to work every single weekday morning, every week for their entire lives; my husband's ability to do so baffles me), I've spent a lot of time in front of the laptop, plugging away at my dining-room table as my kids swirl around me with their books and their art and their dancing and their TV shows, entertaining themselves while mommy plugs away at the words on the screen.

As I sit here this morning, typing, thinking, I suddenly felt with great force just how pleasurable it is to type. This is, of course, a pleasure that comes and goes. Sometimes, I absolutely HATE to type, typically when I am working at some task that I would really rather not do. But this morning, working on something I really find interesting and rewarding, typing feels like magic. I mean, how do my fingers know just where to go? I think of a word and, whiz-bang, there it is on the screen. I'm sure there are numerous studies that describe the muscle-memory that the task involves, but I prefer to think of it as pure enchantment, the words tumbling down out of my brain, over the cliffs of my shoulders, bouncing off of my fingertips and onto the screen.

The first thing I learned to type was my name. I so loved typing my name when I was a child (I still often imagine it in the shape of the letters on the keyboard). I then moved on to the Speak n' Spell, which I would work away at for hours, until I got bored with the Speak n' Spell because I knew everything it could throw at me. Then onto this typing game I had on my Commodore 64, where I had to type fast enough in order to keep from being destroyed by invading alien spaceships (if anyone can share the name of this game, if you recall it, I will be eternally grateful).

In this, my 36th year of life, I've decided only to do things that bring me pleasure, that make me feel good in the long run (if you know me, you know this is going to be rather difficult; I am terrible at saying "no"). This doesn't mean that I am turning entirely hedonistic, Dionysian. I just refuse to do those things any longer that I do not find rewarding. In short, I'm doing a cost-benefit analysis of my life. What I'm finding is that, when the task you are engaging in is something you really want to do, even the most mundane things suddenly become magical. Like typing.

What simple activities do you get a ridiculous amount of pleasure from? (Another favorite of mine is driving). Happy Friday!! ~Alice (aka jess)

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