Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.
Every now and then, I’ll pick a podcast to listen to which may not fall into my general area of interest. So this week, I subscribed to one called The Secret Life of Prisons. It’s a mini series in which a group of guests talk about their prison experiences, from arrival to survival, through to release.
In one of the episodes, an ex-convict talks about his time in the cell. His cell measured 9ft by 6ft, so pretty cramped. It was bland looking, had a bed covered in stains with a toilet next to it, and no toilet seat. He had a table and chair along with a few possessions of his own. His description of how he passed time in that cell was bleak, but something he touched upon was repetition. For him, this was key to how he got through those years inside.
“I had very little belongings. I’d move my toothpaste and brush to a certain location in the cell. Then an hour later, I’d move it back. Then I’d move something else into a new place and later move that back”.
For lunch I’ll make sandwiches for the kids, with some different condiments or a side of chips to mix things up. But I realised it’s all been repetition for us at home, like for a majority of people. That means doing the same activities between 9am and lunchtime. Then the same activities until early evening. Playing a board game after dinner. Partaking in a zoom call some evenings each week.
Like a prisoner in our cell all we can do is repeat again and again, become more efficient at it, improve our skill in something. If the homemade pie had less salt, next week it will have the right amount. Then it’s like a convener belt, second nature.
A lunchtime sandwich which features most days
“What, sandwiches again today….”