“In 1833, the English economist William Forster Lloyd published a pamphlet which included a hypothetical example of over-use of a common resource. This was the situation of cattle herders sharing a common parcel of land on which they were each entitled to let their cows graze, as was the custom in English villages. He postulated that if a herder put more than his allotted number of cattle on the common, overgrazing could result. For each additional animal, a herder could receive additional benefits, while the whole group shared the resulting damage to the commons. If all herders made this individually rational economic decision, the common could be depleted or even destroyed, to the detriment of all.”
For T-E-C, the use of the “commons” is the shared use of the body. Generally, we each want to have as much time driving the body-car as possible. That could be for working, playing WoW, reading, watching Netflix or Disney+, etc. We generally don’t give much thought to the body-car and what’s good for it. Or what’s good for the system as a whole. When you have limited time to do “your stuff”, sometimes waiting days or weeks for a chance to be out, it’s hard to say, “Yes, and now in this hard fought time, I’m going to forego what I really want to do to focus on self-care.”
I know, it’s adulting. Everyone, singlet or plural, has time constraints and needs self-care. Most people aren’t as disconnected from their physical body-car as some of us are, however. For example, inside our head, I look nothing like our outside body does. I’m not the same size (height and weight), the same age, the same hair, and so on… I’m my own person. That goes for most of us. We’re not carbon copies of each other. The body-car feels foreign to me, and while I’m more likely to take it to the car wash than most of T-E-C, it doesn’t feel like “me”. It really is like driving a car. And if you’ve ever seen how messy our Jeep gets, you’d have an idea of how well we treat our physical form. 😉
Our therapist pointed out this week is that we all like to take the car out, but no one fills the tank. (Well, that analogy only kind of works, believe me, we fill ourselves with food.) A regular sleep schedule? A regular bathing schedule? Heck, a regular anything schedule? Yeaaaaah, not so much. Things happen when they happen. I’m actually amazed that we are able to hold down a job.
Our last therapist had us set alarms to remind ourselves to eat, stop work, go to bed, etc. That worked for awhile. When we were up to the high single digits with alarms, however, we just got so we ignored them. Left unsupervised, Saoirse will work until she collapses from exhaustion. Left unsupervised, Janet will play WoW until she collapses from exhaustion. The rest of us aren’t good at saying, “OK, I know I’ve waited all day for a chance to drive, but I’m only going to use the body for 30 minutes, then I’m taking a shower and going to bed”. It doesn’t happen – even I’m guilty of that.
And I have no idea where I’m going with this. Maybe it’s just to say to my headmates, “hey, if we all treat our body like the commons, and individually do what we think is best for ourselves, we’ll all suffer as a result”.
At the end of the day, we really do only have one physical form. There is internal debate if souls exist, and if they do, how many we might have. But it’s a sad fact that although we have lots of drivers, we only have one car, and aren’t likely to get another one. (Although, believe me, I’d go full on Ghost in the Shell cyborg if it was an option…)