22 December 2006


"Flag" has a large number of senses. Did you know that wild iris flowers are called flags? Today I'm talking about the intrasitive verb: to become unsteady, feeble, or spiritless. I feel flaggy lately. I haven't been posting to this blog as often, or taking as many pictures, or writing as many things down, as I was at the beginning of this past summer, for example.

A very wise woman once told me that people's energy and extraversion comes and goes in cycles. We expend maximal effort, then we rest. I'm in a resting phase now. Perhaps if I were more aware of these cycles in myself, I'd be able to work with them better. Maybe there was a way I could have avoided placing my catalog orders at the last minute, paying exhorbitant fees for overnight delivery. Maybe I could have come up with a better holiday card, and sent it to a longer list instead of cutting back to save time.

Flagging, in the sense of unsteady, implies a mixture of good and bad, strong and weak, sprited and spritless. So there's some good stuff going on, too. For instance, I did actually finish my shopping today, with two days to spare. Everyone in my family is healthy again. I get to play handbells as well as sing at church this year -- a project I helped arrange with the help of my Filo. I didn't have to take work home over the holiday break. I'll at some point have the chance to spend some time exactly the way I want to.

And there are some advantages to being overworked, exhausted, and disorganized. I didn't have to string up Christmas lights this year. My lights from last year were still in place.


  1. Isn't this also known as "biorhythm"? Very popular in the late 70s and early 80s, I think.

  2. Hi Chet -- Good point! From what I heard about biorhythms in the 70s and 80s, I thought they only applied to the rhythms of a single day.

    Thanks to your comment, I've done some research and realized they go way beyond that. For example, here's the wikipedia page.

    I'm fascinated by the thought that we can't be 100% all the time, which gives us the freedom to make the most of the times when we're less than 100%. I think I might be more susceptible to biorhythms than most people.

  3. There is something real in the concept of flagging. If I push myself too hard on the rowing machine, at the wrong time, my back hurts for days. Sometimes I have ‘negative work’ days when stupid mistakes rule. There appears to be no rhyme or reason for this. Biorhythms are one possible explanation. (I confess I used to have a computer program to plot sine curves back in the eighties).
    Must and Want are two different things. The low points tell us what we must do; we fight our way through a headache and do what must be done. Sometimes the things we want to do must wait.

  4. Another way of looking at it is "bad hair days"!

    We can't always be 100% all the time cuz we're only human. We think we can, but our bodies know otherwise. Listen to our bodies, I say (especially during that time of month for us women).


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