Saturday, July 14, 2012

Overcoming inertia

Newton, in his Principia Mathematica, wrote:
Lex I: Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare.
Or, roughly translated from the Latin: A body at rest remains at rest, and a body in motion will move in a uniformly straight line, unless it is acted on by an outside force.  Inertia is the resistance to changing that state of being.

So what? 

So, our lives have inertia too.  I fell out of the habit of painting a few weeks ago, and, having fallen out of the habit, I have to make a conscious effort to reclaim time for painting, to physically sit down, and pretty much force myself to paint.  It takes time (beyond painting), effort, and I have to make it a deliberate choice.  By contrast - I run at least a mile.  Every day.  I have done so for 1400+ days.  It is rare for me to have to deliberate when it comes to running.  For the record, I do have days where I have to talk myself into it, but most days, at some point, I change and go for a run, even if it is on the treadmill, without it being any sort of struggle or contest of wills.

I want to make painting a habit.  I want it to acquire an inertia of its own, so that, on most days, I wind up wandering down to the basement, even if it is only for ten or twenty minutes, to work on painting - whether it is actual painting, or doing all the prep work, or finishing off the bases.

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