It was a day the troubadours would mark with song for as long as men drew breath. The battle was long and fierce. The forces of evil had had time to build their strongholds and the might of their forces. The dark Gods of Entropy were on their side. Swords clashed, spears flew, and the din deafened the ears. The cries and screams of the women went unheard. Heroes were born; minutes and swordthrusts later, heroes died. Hope died as well, until the miracle that they had prayed for arrived. The Valkyrie swooped down from her aerie. She had seen the threat of Chaos triumphant, and could not bear the world that would return. Her mighty axe rose, and fell, and rose and fell, until the kingdom sang and fought by her side.
Dusk fell on the field of battle. The dead lay with awkward limbs, and the wounded cried for water. The Valkyrie provided for those in need, then vanished. The kingdom was left with the monumental task of rebuilding. The wisest and the strongest took charge, and the task was begun.
Yes, the Etherknitter went out and weeded the garden today.
This was the price of surgery, and eight weeks of non-weightbearing life. When the Foot acquiesced to function once more, temperature and humidity discouraged all but the most perfunctory of gardening tasks. What motivated me to go out today and do so much of what is dreadful drudgery? (Clearly, I would rather knit or spin.)
People are motivated to act in a way that gives them the greatest amount of pleasure. Everyone defines pleasure differently. And everyone defines the acceptable timeframe for that pleasure differently. The famous marshmallow experiment demonstrates this elegantly. Read the first three paragraphs of the link before you continue here.
Some of the kids decided that one marshmallow NOW was preferable to two marshmallows in the future. Pleasure now, versus pleasure later. The corollary to that was why I weeded today. If I left the weeds to go to seed (as they are happily doing), then the pain of weeding next year would be tripled. So I did something less than fun today, to avoid doing a nastier task next year. The pleasure of knitting today was not worth the pain of weeding next year.
A second factor in motivation is control. If I weed today, will I have fewer weeds next year? If I weeded a month from now, that would not be true. If I pulled the weeds today, it will be true. So I acted at a time when I felt my actions would control what happened to me next.
As you can see from both motivational factors (control, and what feels good), the element of time is also important. Do you want your pleasure NOW? Then you won't weed. Are you willing to accept it next spring? Yes? That is why I went out and did battle with the dark forces in the garden.
I've skipped most of what Abraham Maslow says about what motivates people. What he theorized is implicit in what I've said. If you want some truly basic social psychology theory, this link will help you out there.
My latest FO is the Kerstin memory afghan square. I'll be sending it off Tuesday when I visit the Post Office to ship the Hitcher to LeeAnn.
This is March 7th, Box Stitch, from the 365 Knitting Stitches perpetual calendar.
I'm still spinning Lisa Souza's BFL. I am so in love with the colors. When her website went live on Thursday with her newest sock yarn in a similar colorway, I leaped. Perhaps that will motivate me to finish Marla and go on to other, newer, fresher projects.