I don’t know what day it is. This isn’t particularly a bad thing, as for the foreseeable future all our time is spent at home, but when you’re talking and people casually mention ‘next Thursday’ I have no frame of reference. That could easily be a hundred nights away. Or the day after tomorrow. If that’s the hardest challenge to be faced in the coming weeks so be it. I will meet it head on.
I’m trying to decide if writing comes easier in the morning or evening. The first couple were written at night, last thing, after the baby has gone to sleep. Day 3 was actually the morning after the third day, same as this one (it’s technically day five right now) and I’m thinking that nights are a bit calmer and words flow easily. Easier. Certainly if we look at lengths (HAH it’s not all about size), or images and links, the first couple are certainly richer. Possibly for five I’ll try the afternoon?
Never before had it occurred to me that the time of day could drastically change the shape of one’s writing. Possibly because I never tried to put pen to paper for so many consecutive days? And then going an extra layer, maybe it’s time passing relative so my sleep rather than what the clock is showing; if I’m awake all night and write just before sleep in the am, would that be the same as the article produced by writing at midnight after being busy all day? Maybe it’s just my mood.
This ‘what if’ game could be played all day. I’m sure I’ve written before about how they are two of the most dangerous words in the English language. I stand by that. Hell, maybe it’s time to write about that again. I’m sure it’s been at least two years.
This weather is gorgeous. We managed to get the baby outside in her bounceroo for some fresh air and sunshine, and it was cute. As. Heck. She is too young to walk, much less understand what’s happening in the wider world, and very much enjoying having both her parents at her beck and call at all hours. Particularly through the night.
I do worry a little over her readjusting when one or both of us return to work. Obviously she will adjust, but the thought of her staring at a door I just closed behind me is unthinkable. And sad.
In a happier vein, I’ve designated tomorrow to be a day full of creativity. Writing, drawing, working on fun projects. Anything under the sun so long as it doesn’t feel like work and isn’t prescribed learning. It’s entirely self-guided.
At the risk of starting to sound simply like a diary, today’s highlights were a nice woodland walk, reminiscing about pub gardens, and a nice calm pint of cider in the house. Burned my tongue too. Bummer.
It was, all in all, very much a day for relaxing. In the face of all the messages telling people to better themselves, to make the most of the extra time, today was very much a day to chill. Ironic that I do ultimately want to use this time to better myself- I just resent being advised to do it. Particularly when I already am. Also, what a shame that people in their multi-million pound mansions, with their wine cellars and pools and pool tables and this and that etc…what a shame they’re feeling like they are struggling whilst in the very lap of luxury during this pandemic.
I feel that’s tarring people with a very broad brush however, with the likes of John Legend putting on an impromptu live gig from his home, complete with wine-drinking, towel-clad wife perched delicately on his grand piano whilst he does so. Honestly, it was fantastic. I almost bought a piano that very night. Even my friends are getting involved to cheer people up with live music.
This is the kind of ‘as one’ spirit that is the best in people coming to the fore in times of woe and uncertainty. Not the bullshit hoarding, looting, stealing. Not the distrust of fellow man, but the desire to bring some levity, some escapism from the harsh realities we as a species are currently facing.
Whether or not you progress or just breathe through it, this is our time to rise.
Well here we are. The first day of govt enforced hometime. I can only leave the house for food or exercise. Not a problem.
This morning I baked bread. I’ve been told people have been doing it a while, but I’m just learning. It turned out to be alright – half the loaf has already been devoured. Exercise also happened, courtesy of Joe Wicks. It had me sweating, the baby giggling, and Amie holding on to the sofa for dear life. I was told it was meant for kids, as a replacement for their PE lesson. Learning this didn’t make me feel any fitter, but the workout did, and hats off to the guy for both helping children and spotting the opportunity to capitalise during this diseasey crisis.
I also failed to make much headway in being productive. Maybe an hour(?) got done over at freecodecamp, which is probably enough to make me feel like I did a little something, but not so much as to mean I actually learned anything. So far it’s the best resource I’ve found, other than people already in the industry, for those who are pretty new to programming.
Last week, on Tuesday, I got sent home an hour early. This was after waiting around for two hours whilst the uppers had a meeting. For my work, this was pretty unheard of. The news stories were getting more and more serious, the prime minister seemed to be getting less and less criticism following his daily address, the jokes were less frequent and even darker. The next day we reported as normal, but just to the meeting room. The message? Go home. Be with your families. Full pay, for now. Next update, Friday.
Friday. The update was simple; no work until further notice. Next update doesn’t have a date, but the latest it will be is the third of April. Two weeks. A solid incubation period.
Now as I write this, it’s Monday 23 March, just after 21:00 and the message has gone out as a fresh government announcement; stay indoors. Leave only for food, or for one session of outdoor exercise. Anywhere that isn’t an essential shop is shut. No visits. No socialising. This is pretty unprecedented.
I’m jesting with a couple friends about the lengths the world will go to to force me to be productive. But really, in this kind of situation, everyone (not ill or working in those crucial health and support roles) faces a choice of what to do with their time. The obvious risk a lot of people will be facing is to slide into sloth. Sinking into their sofa, Netflix on every hour of the day, not moving, gathering dust.
Or you could, and this is my plan, get moving. Physically and mentally. Push yourself, learn something, work out, read, write, draw! Rediscover those passions. Set goals, meet them then grow with them. My first goal through this, is to write every day. Every single damn day. Something never been done before (by me). So get ready to be bored.
I lack direction. It’s painfully true. It is also self evident when you think this is only the second thing written in almost 6 months. What I don’t lack, and I know a great many people are the same, is a feeling of guilt at the end of the day when I sit back and relax. Guilt of a day wasted, of losing time. They’ve been coming more frequently the last couple weeks, most likely as a result of having no drive to put hard effort into anything. God’s balls, I’m whiny.
What my ACTUAL problem is, is a case of having my head lodged so far up my own ass it has a lovely three-bed cottage and 12 hectares of land there. It’s pathetic. So, what I’ve done yesterday and today to combat it is that classic fallback for productivity; make a damn list. The list was started at roughly 10am yesterday and since then, there’s been intermittent crossings out, additions, tasks completed and tasks abandoned. But it’s a start.
The accountability of having identified immediate goals is a fantastic stepping stone. Think of an avalanche; the small pebble that knocks a second, which knocks a third whilst the first knocks a fourth. Before you know it you have an unstoppable momentum, an unprecedented force that simply will not cease.
Yeah, fine, clever dick, avalanches eventually stop. So possibly a bad analogy. Unless you equate the end of a productivity avalanche to be when you run out of things to do. As it is, I’m still a pebble, I’ve got plenty of boulders to knock through first. But I’m gathering force.
Just in case you don’t know what a pebble is ^
Last thing; on the remote possibility you want something writing, here’s a link. Have at it.
Happy second of April. And New Year. And Happy Birthday me for like…January. And happy unemployment! Also me. Welcome to the newest set of problems to overcome.
All right, enough whining. Normal service resumed. Preferably with less upheaval.
With all the free time I now find myself with, I’m noticing a lot more that I have some serious frickin’ issues with concentration. It’s feasible I could be smashing out hundreds of iterations of resumes or putting every ounce of my mental capacity into writing, or studying, or figuring out what the hell I enjoy and trying to make a career out of it. ‘Cos that’s another thing; I have no clue what I want to do.
I’m certain this isn’t something that’s unique to me at all, rather, it’s almost a niche that hits people in their 20’s who may not be as steady or happy or well off as some of their peers. I do know that every single person on this earth hides parts of themselves and gives off a better appearance than their mental health might suggest, but that’s like knowing ‘everything will improve with time’. Not exactly fuckin’ helpful. And also, given not everyone is as happy as it seems, it stands to reason that more people than originally thought are experiencing a similar doubting of self and purpose. Maybe I’m just the one daft enough to whinge about it, and put it into words (knowing full well someone else will already have done it better, and therefore maybe writing for a living isn’t something for me to pursue).
Eh, ah well. I’ll figure it out. Today’s post was brought to you by crippling boredom (™) and a mild effort to do something to oppose such.