The Entropic Universe

Once when I was in 9th grade physical science class the vocabulary word “entropy” was introduced to me. As clear as day I can still remember in our text book a photograph of a teenage girl’s room a complete and total mess next to the paragraph explaining the relationship between entropy and work. It explained that entropy is a natural state and the universe has a tendency toward entropy. To catch a teenager’s attention it was alluded to that the messy room was in an entropic state while it took “work” to return the room to a proper state. I think it went on to explain equilibrium and how only work can keep a (for instance) liquid to one side of a gradient while the other remained empty. But I digress. So often, when I am in the course of cleaning my filthy house (which seems to be all day, every day) I think about that picture of the bedroom and think about entropy.

I can curse science for entropy existing but it isn’t it’s fault. I can curse mother nature for entropy exisiting, but actually life exists in opposition to entropy. And entropy (and equilibrium) actually occurs exactly at death. So technically it isn’t her fault. I can curse Adam for partaking of the tree in the garden of eden because at that point the ground was cursed and only by the sweat of our brows can we eat our bread… (I paraphrase) thus Adam brought upon us a state of entropy so that we would have to work all our lives.

However, I then think about those days when you are really sick for a couple of days and you sit around in bed and do nothing all day and how rotten you feel. Not just physically but emotionally. I don’t think we were made for sitting around. I also have wondered “What WOULD I do if there wasn’t so much work to do?” I would be like those sick days where I just sit around and feel yucko and depressed. Then I remember how great it feels to have worked really hard. To have cleaned the entire house in one day and EVERYTHING for one milisecond (remember I have 4 kids under the age of 8) is clean and perfect. I also think of how great it feels to have just had a really hard, really heart-pounding exercise session. When I work hard it feels GREAT! (almost always AFTER the fact — not so much DURING it)

Life has gotten easier in times past (if you have forgotten that time to read or tune into Little House on the Prairie) and I guess we don’t work as hard as our predecessors did. As I do my 3rd load of laundry (yes PER DAY , my 3 year old changes 4 times per day) I wonder how those pioneer women did it at the river. (Okay granted they didn’t have more than 2 pairs of clothes back then.) But hey they did have like 10 children.

I guess I am saying I am glad I have so much junk to do around here. Grateful that my kids make big messes and I get to clean them up. Happy that i have the health and ability to do all that I have to do. I have to tell myself this because the 16 month old is entering the mischevious age and is killing me with the toilet paper all over the floor, emptying my purse and every single card in there onto the floor. scrubbing the toilet with a toothbrush, writing on walls, etc etc age. Okay I can do this.

Gotta run and paint the basement bedroom!

2 thoughts on “The Entropic Universe”

  1. Oh Angie, what an amazing attitude! I have still been trying to find the energy to catch up on all the cleaning that needs to be done since I have been back from AZ and honestly, I have been pretty lazy this week and am now feeling like a major bump on a log. So I can totally understand what you are saying about the amazing feeling you have when you are actually productive,compared to the one I am feeling right now. But, girl, I don’t know how I would ever keep up with you. You are my hero!

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