Have Indicators

Growing plants and lower stress

I took this photo — hoarfrost on silk one morning by the river

It’s no shock to anyone that I like plant metaphors.

I like plants for a variety of reasons, but mostly that they just chug along and do their thing. They don’t care, they just grow a little every day and eventually become huge, or die off. Either way is equally fine. It works to comfort my brand of cheery-nihilist outlook.

So here’s another one!

I have a jade beside my monitor here and it’s been with me for probably over a year now, previously living in my office at work.

If you’re not familiar, this is what a jade looks like:

Mine’s a little bit older, taller, darker green. There’s a lot of jade types.

But you can see the leaves are sort of a thick plump shape, they’re not flat like an ivy leaf or tree leaf might be. They’re solid (er, for a plant anyway).

And this is useful because you can tell when they need watering — you can give any leaf a little squish and see how firm it is, indicating water level.

I never remember anything I can write down.

The quote is of dubious origin, but I’ve always thought it was an Einstein.

It doesn’t matter, in truth.

The jade tells you when it needs water, you never need to remember “it was last tuesday, so that means I’ll water it again… 1, carry the 3… next thursday”

You just, monitor it with signs rather than times. No memory required!

This reduces mental overhead.

As you know, I am all about reducing mental overhead. That whole “wake up in the middle of the night suddenly remembering you should have done something” thing does not exist in my world. This is undue stress.

So as with all my other theories: set up systems to do stuff for you.

Set up methods of signalling that don’t require you to remember anything.

And I don’t mean to get philosophical about it, but this is sort of related to the whole empty-mind part of zen. The ability to just sit in contentment and not have a million thoughts running around is 90% of the struggle with meditation. Having external systems that deal with those thoughts for you means you can sit outside of that world stress easier and longer. yay!

Speaking of lowering stress: maybe get some plants? They’re great too.

I recommend jades. They can live decades.

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