It is impossible not to be interested at the moment in how shaped we are by the usual routines of work and movements to and from the workplace and the home, as we give these routines up and establish new ways of living, most people making up new routines for themselves. Even the animals of the household adjust their routines, the hens including an afternoon session on the deck throughout April, when I sat there reading after lunch, the cat learning the new cues for feeding times. And then, talking to friends about their experiences, for different medical reasons, with steroids, I was struck by their different responses and about how shaped we are not only by our daily routines but by our ordinary levels of physical energy. One friend would almost prefer not to breathe easily than feel her personality changed on steroids, though to an observer she might seem simply more outgoing than usual and more energetic, another finds the regular withdrawal from steroids the hardest part of the treatment she is undergoing, suffering from the same loss of energy welcomed by the other. Perhaps the physical experience really is very different for each of them, but perhaps it is also a question of how they have shaped their personalities around their different characteristic energy levels, so that a rise in energy for one as much as a loss of energy for the other equally involves the dismantling of all their usual psychic defences. Defences is perhaps too judgemental a word for the construction of the self around how we live, which might involve more sitting or more movement which might in turn allow more or less reflection, more or less engagement with others, more or less reading and writing, drawing or dancing, which are not only the activities that add up to what a life is, around which we arrange the days we live in, but perhaps also determine our personality, the ways we manage moods, the times we think and the thoughts we avoid having, or have no need to have, the ways we find without even knowing it to become who we are.
These are paragraphs without essays or books to go in.