Touch of the Henries

[This post is also Day1 for NaBloPoMo]
No this is not about unwanted sexual touching in the workplace. Nor is it about the Annual Henry Mancini Musical Theatre Awards; nor the greeting card industry’s awards; nor even the standard unit of electrical inductance! It’s about motivation.

Large dose of the Henries

*”A touch of the Henries” = ennui. Haven’t you ever heard that feeling described this way?

IRL this means I can think of millions of things I could be doing but I can’t be f**ked. It’s not to be confused with procrastination, as I know why I do that! This is an awkward feeling of being motivated in one part of the brain and disinclined in another. I guess it relates to procrastination, but it’s a feeling of general hopelessness rather than some fear of failure that stops the action from happening.

Surrounding me here on the sofa are stacks of little projects I could attack, and others that need completing, but somehow none really appeals most of the time.

Pile of crafty stuff

My stickability at really simple routines and habits makes me take my pills every morning; my hatred of pinging sensations in my head soon reminds me if I miss! Guilt about putting off various tasks because I can’t commit my whole head to them makes me think about re-starting. But then I remember that half a head’s commitment will not get those tasks finished with any sort of quality, so I put those aside fairly legitimately.

The boring, routine things like housework are the most easily put aside as rarely does anyone die from my neglect of this! I’ve seen houses where there WAS a risk of the owner dying (like the one with the blind 83 year-old who had to negotiate a backyard obstructed with huge vines and tree-roots to go to the toilet), but I manage to wash the basic utensils and kitchen bench so we don’t get food poisoning! Vacuuming, mopping, tidying, changing quilt covers and window-cleaning are the things I let slide.

I Tweeted a minor victory today because I put Spotrick’s black T-shirts through the wash for the week, he mopped the [yesterday flooded] laundry & I followed up with the bathroom floor. This is a good day!

Righto- I wonder what I’ll attack tomorrow; any bets? I could sew a skirt, plant out some seedlings, de-pot tulip bulbs or a dozen other things. I’ll see what I feel like tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

For the psychologically and/or philosophically inclined [which I am when not suffering an attack of the Henries], here is a diagram by Csikszentmihalyi showing how ennui (which, to me, is halfway between Apathy and Boredom), fits into the spectrum of emotions:

Spectrum of emotions

Diagram of the Henries plus other emotions

Try Wikipedia for starters, or go to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s separate entry to track down his writings.

*For the unenlightened, my own use of the term “henries” is derived from the works of one John Clarke, a local writer/philosopher/comedian.


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