How swimming taught me to cope with the next four years

Swimming indoors is boring to a degree that I stopped doing it some time ago. But while I was still doing it I developed a mental trick: thinking not about the number of laps still ahead, but about the number I have to multiply the laps already done to get to my goal of 20. That number drops incredibly quickly, from 20 to 10 to 7 to 5 during the first 4 laps, and so on.

So I thought it useful for my survival to adopt the same counting method in the present chaotic interregnum between two rational governments. Two months endured, 46 still to go — the factor has already gone down from 48 to 24! By the end of this year the factor is a mere 4.

(I deliberately avoid using the 5-letter word that appears everywhere and signifies the origin of chaos. In my household we refer to it as “he”. As in “did you see what he did today?”)

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