When action grows unprofitable

Matt joins Arnold the Snoring Pig in a little afternoon shut-eye, August 2013

Matt joins Arnold the Snoring Pig in a little afternoon shut-eye, August 2013

“When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”Ursula K. Le Guin

When I read this quote I liked it instantly.  As a librarian, I tend to prioritize information gathering over action, and action over sleep.  But Le Guin’s formula makes a lot of sense to me.  It’s very easy to get stuck in a cycle of doing something that is no longer helpful, and may even be harmful.  Habit is a powerful force.  It’s also important to remember that sometimes, all we need to do to improve things is TAKE A BREAK already and get some rest!

In this, as in so many other ways, Matt and Jeff have a lot to teach me.  Both of them are able to sleep much more soundly and easily than I do, and not surprisingly, both of them generally get more sleep than I do.

When Matt had surgery on his arm recently, his Aunt Gloria gave him an adorable “snoring pig” (Matt LOVES pigs) and one recent afternoon while he was still wearing his arm brace, I caught him napping with his cute little toy.  Apparently the pig’s snoring was contagious!  Maybe I should try sitting down with it sometime.

If you’re feeling tired or out of sorts today or anytime soon, think about Le Guin’s formula.  Sometimes a bit of additional information might keep you from spinning your wheels and getting nowhere, but if all else fails, try a night (or an afternoon) of sound sleep!

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. MaryAnn

    Love this pix!

    • Thanks! I do too. ❤

  2. A snoring pig! What a delightful concept. I hope it’s more like a purr rather than snorting!

    • Actually, I think it’s more snorting than purring. But that makes it even funnier.

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