Activation Energy

I can’t remember where I first heard this term, although I suspect that I originally came across it during a dimly-remembered chemistry class.

Basically, as far as I remember it, the term refers to the minimum amount of energy required to kick off a reaction. If you want to start a ball rolling down a hill, you’ve got to poke it hard enough to overcome its tendency to remain at rest and move it far enough for gravity to take over – and the ball rolls downhill.

The nice thing about this is that for every scenario, as long as none of the variables change(same ball, same surface, same level of wind, etc.), the amount of energy required will be exactly the same.

Every time.

I’m not talking about that.

For me, the term has come to mean the amount of mental and emotional energy it takes to begin something.

The hardest part of doing anything is getting started.

And here’s the thing: From one day to the next, the external factors of whatever “Thing” you want to begin, can be exactly the same – BUT – the amount of activation energy required to get started can be wildly different.

As the song goes: “Some days it don’t come easy – and some days it don’t come hard.”

(That song would be “I would do anything for Love – But I won’t do that” Sung by Meat Loaf. Go You Tube it. It’s great)

And this is true for each and every one of us – all at different times and under different conditions.

Lately, for me, it hasn’t been coming easy. Even the fun stuff.

I take heart in knowing that it won’t always be this way. No, I don’t know when that’s going to change, so I concentrate on what’s right in front of me.


Saturday was the first day I’d written anything since the Friday before (a week and a day for those of you keeping score). When I had the time, the activation energy cost was too high.

So I tried again the next day. And the next. and the next…

And that’s the point of this.

Not that I hadn’t written in just over a week. Not even that I’d gotten something done Yesterday.

The point is that I kept coming back. Maybe I didn’t succeed, but the real triumph was the attempt.

The hardest part of doing anything is getting started. Maybe today isn’t your day. That’s OK. Tomorrow might be – you never can tell.

Just keep coming back.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

I’ll see you on Thursday.


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Weird Wild West


Predators in Petticoats