Joining the Five Minute Friday writing prompt challenge as part of my goal to write and publish once a week in 2019. Find out more here.
From the late Middle English (in the sense ‘befitting, becoming, suitable’): from Latin convenient- ‘assembling, agreeing, fitting’, from the verb convenire
I was stumped by my own curiosity into the etymology of today’s Five Minute Friday word: Convenient. I’ve always used this word to describe whether something is easy and I’m in the right frame of mind to do it. Which perhaps goes with the Latin meaning of befitting and suitable.
Convenient seems to be a selfish word – the very definition of a person who will only do things for another when it suits them and not in any other circumstance. Modern society certainly seems prone to this type of mentality – does this tragedy/circumstance/terrible thing affect me? Or my family? No? Well, then, I’m very sorry this has happened to you but it’s nothing to me! I didn’t cause it. Or do it. And why should I get involved?
Convenient and comfort seem related in that sense. To do something – specifically to help someone when it’s inconvenient means to step outside of one’s comfort zone. And I can tell you all about staying firmly within my comfort zone. In 2014, I stepped completely out of my comfort zone and spent a week in Alaska, on a remote island with no indoor plumbing and it was glorious. Then, three years ago, I contracted Lyme disease and retreated so far back into my comfort zone, I think I went beyond where I had been and stepped further back into the cave.
Chronic illness is not convenient and it certainly isn’t comfortable. But avoiding it, even denying it is. Or rather, not doing anything about it is convenient. It can be a fruitless thing to compare myself to others, but sometimes, I look at friends with chronic illnesses – some much worse than mine – and my heart ashamed of myself. My illness has become convenient – a suitable scapegoat for the death of my dreams.
Perhaps it is true that I cannot do some things I would like to anymore because of Lyme. But that doesn’t mean I can never do anything again. There are other things I can do in spite of the pain and fatigue. The key is to find that something else and embrace it.
Even if it’s inconvenient.