When you’re sticking envelopes, it’s almost impossible to screw it up. Pull off the sticky tab, seal the envelope, make sure it’s fastened. Done. It gets painfully repetitive within thirty minutes, and coma-inducing within two hours.
Stamping the envelopes, however, is a blast.
Firstly, the stamp makes an incredibly satisfying ker-chunk noise as you use it. You automatically find yourself trying to stamp in a rhythm – kerchunk-two-three-four. But to keep the rhythm up you need to be smoothly moving the envelopes from the unstamped to stamped pile, so your movements become streamlined and conscious, like a dance.
Then you realise that if you stamp too quickly the stamp doesn’t make a complete impression. So you keep playing with the variables to get the optimum outcome of speed and rhythm and non-smudginess and no corners missing. Only your aching wrist or running out of envelopes will end the game.
Both of these are easy tasks. One of them is also challenging.
So what is the relationship between the two?
How can something be easy AND challenging?
Come thrash it out in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts.