I have been retired from full-time work for nearly a year now – a year on Mars that is – and it is time to assess progress. I am going to take several weblog columns to do it, as there are a number of social and scientific aspects to consider.
The choice of Mars as the location for the assessment is not critical – you can as readily analyse the time if you have moved to Venus or Saturn or Adelaide*. The main thing is to stand back from your life and look at the situation critically. You might as well…everyone else you know will be doing it anyway. You get to have a say in your own life.
The science part of it is easy. You just take an accurate measurement of the amount of food in the refrigerator at the start of the week and then again at the end – subtracting the latter from the former to see how much of it got into you. If the numbers are the same it is an indication that either you eat out a lot or that you are dead. Both of these factors may skew the end results.
Social assessment is harder, but a lot more fun – plus you get to gossip about things. You can ask other people questions and use their answers to either compile careful lists of social trends or just line the budgie’s cage. You will be aided immeasurably by the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social websites. They can ask questions that you would not dare and there may be occasions when they get a truthful answer from their subscribers. They use the information to sell more advertising but you can use it to fill in the gory details on your friends.
As with every exercise in self-analysis, there will be a fair amount of lying that you can do. When you detect yourself doing it, you can either punish or forgive yourself. The wise take the insights that they gain and turn them to profit for the next year.
* There may not be much water on Mars or Saturn, but at least it is more drinkable than Adelaide…