I have realized that whenever I am faced with prolonged physical adversity, I tend to go into what I call my “caveman mode”. Now before I hear any smartass comments like “hows that different from your normal life”, and “what about mental adversity”, let me expound on both.
First is medical situations. The latest example is the tooth problems I am having. It has involved one gum incision, one root canal, and a week of antibiotics, which is in essence a no-alcohol period (well, almost). And the fact open cuts in the mouth do not take very kindly to smoke means that I cannot partake of my favorite grand daddy also.
But it also includes situations like camping, trekking, long drives .. any situation in which the body is under more than average stress. (Average in my case has recently been quite low, I must admit)
The first reaction to all such situations is to let my hair grow (ok .. whatever I have). I feel that all the needless energy spent in shaving should go towards recuperation. (Case in point : my bearded facebook profile picture is from when I had my MCL tear).
The second is a greater tolerance of clutter and rubbish around me. For obvious reasons, this is mostly seen in the “roughing out” situations. For example, I would not hesitate to sit down on the road and eat with dirty hands. Or to gladly consume some barbecued chicken that had the misfortune of falling off the grill. The five second rule still applies, and there is nothing that cannot be re-sanitized by a healthy alcohol wash.
It is a somehow liberating feeling to ignore most artifacts of a first world civilized society and let yourself go once in a while. First time I realized this was in Burning Man. Even in the hostile climate, we were following some decorum. One day, I was sitting in a tent, drinking bloody maries, and the water truck came along. Something (well, seeing other people do it is one thing ) prompted me to take of all my clothes and run after it, trying to get cool in the shower. After that, I did not feel the need to wear clothes any more, or to generally be as picky as we usually are.
So anyway, I am in caveman mode now ! If you can smell me from afar, let me know – I might condescend to some deo !