An aspiring writer fascinated by what we simply are.
Daily-ish personal updates on my comings and goings, ups and downs, successes and failures.
I’m not doing a good job of making time for myself this week. I’ve been working more than I need to and what time I do make I don’t use in the way I should. The good thing is that since I worked so much these last few days, by Friday I should have a good 4 or 5 consecutive hours in the middle of the day that will belong to me alone.
I have no idea what I will do with them.
Work was chaotic today. We received news of a major shack up in staff structure and by lunch, I felt the place might burn down from rapture and riot. I did my bit of speculating and rioting but I’m worried and I’m watching and weighing my options. I have been for a while now.
I didn’t have a good night last night, but it did end on a happy, productive, and loving note. I slept well, woke up on time, and even made it into work early. I’m feeling better both physically and emotionally today than I did yesterday.
I feel more awake, aware, and, dare I say it, happy? It could be because I slept better or maybe it’s because I am finally about to finish reading Notes from Underground, The Double and Other Stories by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. This book has plagued me for months! I have never hated and loved a book at the same as much as I do this one. I’m exhausted! Just 18 more pages to go…
And I finished it! and just in time too. A coworker remembered I had asked months ago to borrow Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein and brought it to work this afternoon. It’s a nice change from Russian existential fiction and I fully intend to finish and move on to the next book within a week.
It’s cheating, I know, but a book is a book and I fully intend to purchase the set for aesthetic purposes, anyway. What’s important is that I am reading again, enthusiastically!
Well, last night didn’t turn out at all the way I hoped it would and as a result, I’m not in a great place emotionally this morning. Everything is fine, but I will need some time, some sunshine, some loud music, and at least one thing to go right before I can get out of my head and over this wallowing.
I had thought to make up some excuse to get out of the work I’d scheduled for myself today so I might get some time to myself to read or to write but I know I’ll only feel bad for it later. It might be better if I leaned in instead and kicked today’s ass rather than letting it kick mine.
Today is the end of one kind year and the beginning of another. A year with seasons like any other. A year with cold month, hard months, months of growth, and warm months of sun and green too. A new year with my love begins and no matter what it brings we will weather it, always.
I wish there could be more celebration but there was already so much last month and there will be so much more in a couple of months. Still, this day means everything and I can’t let it end without saying so. This day, 17 years ago, was the beginning of my real life and today I celebrate that most of all. It’s been such a lovely life. A life other’s might only dream of and one for which I am infinitely grateful.
Today feels good. It felt good to get up early and it felt good not to have to go anywhere at all.
I’m doing my best to keep to my weekday schedule even on the weekends in an effort to both sleep better and write more. Today was my first attempt. I half succeeded. I got up early like I wanted to but I wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped to be. Oh well, any progress is good and the weekend is far from over.
We went to see the movie Luce tonight and I had to take a moment to write here that is was one of the best films I’ve seen this year and maybe in a long time more. It was layered, thought-provoking, and so intense it bordered on psychological horror.
Everyone should see it. Please, go see it.
The weekend took its sweet time getting here but at least it had the decency to end on a better note than it began. I may have worked my ass off and I may have exhausted myself and stressed myself out but I got paid for it all and though I mourn the loss of my free time and I’m looking forward to that paycheck!
I’m grateful. The work isn’t hard physically and here I have respect and a lot of leeway is given to me to do things when and as I please. Most people don’t have this luxury and the truth is if I really wanted to I could take a lot more time off than I do. The truth is, though the year is starting out hard and I am exhausted and stressed part of me still enjoys helping out, doing my best work, and getting to be a part of a team.
The problem is that another part of me—a rather large part—would rather not.
Today my workload is looking lighter than usual so I’m taking some time for myself and tackling a long list of small things that feel more like procrastination than productivity on a normal day but nonetheless need to get done.
I recently discovered Google Tasks and fell instantly in love so I’m migrating my Todoist lists over and now I have my mail, calendars, and to-do lists all in one place. While I am there, I’m filling out my editorial calendar, then creating drafts for my upcoming posts, and getting links together for the return of my “Weekend Reads” lists.
For the last two days, over lunch, I’ve been working on the first essay of my upcoming “Essay a Week” project. I’m following these steps but instead of writing 3,000 words in one day I’m spreading the work out over the course of one week. I’ve got my topic and most of my outline complete and I’ve even worked on step four in advance and have tons of quotes too. Tomorrow I’ll flesh out the intro and perhaps get a few random paragraphs I have already written in my head onto the screen.
For the late afternoon and evening, my goals are just to finish a few chores around the house and then read a big chunk of Notes from Underground. I am so close—and so ready!—to finally be done with this very boring but, I admit, very important book and to move on to something that feels more like an escape than a lean into the dreadful realities of human existence.
I’m feeling exhausted today but the worst of the week is over, I hope, and I am looking forward to more writing hours. Starting today I’m taking harsher measures to avoid distraction. No phone and no internet for 1 hour today. It’ll just be me and the blank screen and if I can’t be trusted even then, it’ll be me and the blank page instead.
Nothing is going the way I scheduled it to. I hoped for an easy midday and a peaceful lunch but the things other people want are getting in the way. So instead I have 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there in between people walking in to ask me questions, wanting me to do something, making loud comments, or simply wanting to visit.
But all those five minutes here and five minutes there might add up if I could keep in the back of my mind what I’m trying to do and where I am trying to go before they slip away.
Lately, I have been feeling like nothing is within my control. Not the way I spend my time, not my moods, not when I can eat, where I can go, not even my finances. I feel like I’m being blown here and there by everyone around me from happiness to anger to loneliness to frustration to excitement to hopelessness and back to happiness again without warning and without a way out or up for air.
I guess that is why the choices I have been making—when I can make choices—seem to always be wrong or detrimental in some way. I don’t choose to eat when I should. I don’t choose to sleep when I should. I don’t choose to write or read when I can. I don’t choose to express my feeling in constructive ways and I don’t choose to be brave when I have the chance.
Perhaps doing what I’m not supposed to do or what others expect me not to do feels like the only thing I can control but I know the things I am doing aren’t really what I want.
I want to learn how to let go of what I can’t choose and to focus more on choosing the right things. I don’t want this illusion of control that’s really nothing more than weakness and spite. I want to choose to be focused, hardworking, and strong in every instance where the choice is up to me.
For the first day back to school, today actually went surprisingly well, though that did not make it a good day by a long shot. It’s okay though. I’m home now with my wife, my dog, a plate full of hot wings and a cold beer and not at all willing to rehash the day’s frustrations or disappointments here. I’m just too tired and my mood is quite fragile. I’m trying to be grateful and to enjoy the time I have that belongs to me before it’s time to head to bed, wake up, and do it all over again.