Bed Rest

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself, "I have to go to work - as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I'm going to do what I was born for - the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?"
-Marcus Aurelius

I've been on bed rest since Tuesday due to a back injury. It was the sort of injury where I could find relief in a somewhat pain free position. In my case, that position was horizontal with bonus points for not fidgeting. Every other angle meant crazy pain radiating though my body. If I not been able to find sanctuary in bed this would be a very different post (probably about the joys of pain medications). So I spent four days in bed with an iPad, a Nexus 4, and comics. I was bored to no end.

No amount of entertainment or other distraction made up for the boredom that came with confinement. At best, a favorite podcast, the latest volume of Fables, or a fun movie, kept me occupied for the moment I was engaged, but pause the film and the boredom was waiting. I began to find more productive things to occupy my time. I kept up with the Know Thyself Coursera class. It, at least, gave me something to think about after the video was done. I programmed some more in Ruby. Thinking about loops and iteratiors can keep the mind engaged. It was the more lasting satisfaction of useful action that reminded me of the Aurelius quote. I am a fan of warm blankets, but confinement reminded me how quickly an abundance of comfort can dehydrate the soul. Heck, I've been reading Mary Roach's Packing for Mars and, like the astronauts, I may have lost a bit of bone mass already. Our existence demands productivity.

I had other thoughts this week. Many concerned the interplay of yelping in pain versus the Stoic ideal. I may have to elaborate on that later. For now, I'm just pleased to be able to walk and use that walking to get things done. Slowly though, my back still hurts.