It’s been quite a long time since I was able to sit comfortably, in fact. Not going on about my operation again; but the fact that our old computer chair has actually been caput for quite some time, But somehow you get used to thing as they are, and put up with it, long past the point where you know you should do something about it, even when it’s actually causing you quite some discomfort… there’s a metaphor for our consumer/industrial society in there somewhere! And probably all kinds of other dilemmas, too. But it takes a catalyst; either the collapse of the old, or something falling at your feet that’s so obviously much better, to force you to do something about it. I did consider buying a new kneeler just before my op., but never got round to it as there were so many other things clamouring for my attention.
And that’s exactly what has happened. A couple of days ago, I smuggled a bootload of stained, holey, tatty clothing off to the Tip. I felt a little uncomfortable disposing of it the easy way, but I’ve got enough rags just now, and more than enough fabric, so it’s gone off to be professionally recycled. As you do, or I do, at any rate, I had a quick look at other people’s now-surplus-to-requirements offerings, and there, towards the back, was a decent, sturdy kneeling chair. I know they don’t suit everyone, but they do suit me; my back has been deeply grateful for the whole idea ever since I first had one at work, back when I was expecting no. 1 son. So the princely sum of £2 duly changed hands, and the chair came back with me.
Now it’s under my knees as I type, and suddenly I’m no longer slumped uncomfortably in front of the screen, but alert and upright again. Although it’s a bog-standard black office kneeler, rather than the pretty little wooden one we had last, that was too small for any of us (and I’m not exactly tall) the whole room looks bigger, lighter & tidier without the grimy, tatty, broken offering we’d been putting up with, without ever really noticing how decrepit & uncomfortable it had become. It’s still here, and I can’t help noticing that no-one has sat on it for any length of time since I moved it out from under the desk, so it will go on its way tomorrow. Hopefully it will be recycled into something longer-lived & more pleasing to the eye next time!
Now there’s still a systems analyst lurking somewhere at the back of my mind, even after all these years. I don’t know how I’d managed to forget that something as basic & fundamental as the way that I sit has a huge knock-on effect on how I feel and how much I can get done. And that it’s the chair that dictates how I sit, no matter how good my intentions of sitting upright under any conditions, just as the fit of your shoes dictates how you walk – or not.
Which kind of leads me to a dichotomy; sometimes utilising whatever turns up for any given job isn’t the best idea. Just as I wasted a lot of electricity trying to use wildly-inappropriate Freecycled cookers when our old one finally broke down beyond repair, I’ve wasted a lot of my own muscle-power, and probably a few headaches too, counteracting the effect of a chair that was a bad “fit” for me, and probably everyone else here too. So I need to use my powers of discrimination a little more, and accept that sometimes I will have to buy new, or wait until the absolutely-right thing for the job turns up. And the chair that I’m kneeling on right now is proof that sometimes, it does, but the fact that I don’t have any trainers and I seem to be putting on weight means that sometimes, it doesn’t…