I’m writing this on the eve of a mini-vacation, and although it only involves a brief road trip and a few days away, I am desperate for the mental space away from the usual daily obligations. Not only is my creative well dry, I’m so cranky and irritable that even I don’t want to be around me.
Mostly I’m disappointed in myself, in how much time I’ve invested in being productive (whatever that means) in a capitalist machine that chews through productivity and spits out “not enough – do more” and we’re always trying to do and to be more, as if that were an actual thing.
We are what we are. Question comparison. Resist despair.
Speaking of resisting despair, I was not cynical enough to think that the COVID-19 pandemic would last two years, but we’re rounding that corner rather quickly. Interactions at the library are mostly civil, but the few that devolve into incivility are enough to tank our morale. And we are hardly the only sin-eaters of this brave new world: I think of medical professionals and teachers, social workers and child-care providers, parents and caretakers.
I find solace in my beloved, in our kittens (I refuse to call them cats until they’re ten years old, at least), in a few close friends, and I avoid logging into anything that commodifies my attention. That social disconnect means I’m lonely sometimes, but that’s not a bad thing.
I’ve reorganized the rest of this page under headings for my four “daily non-negotiables”, three that I borrowed from Carl Phillips and a fourth: Play.
💪🏻 Lately, I’ve been neglecting my Fitness+ regimen, so I’m starting over with the most basic of building blocks: closing my Stand ring every day.
🍃 Each morning before work, I carve out 10 minutes for myself. I set a timer with Insight Timer and sit quietly for three minutes, then journal for the remainder.
🎧 I’ve also been making space for listening to music, which inspires and rejuvenates me. Today I’m listening to “Lieve” by Holy Other.
✊🏻 When I give myself time to think, I ask myself: How have I improved the world today? Usually the answer goes back to my anti-racism practice, which means I must ask myself: How have I used my white privilege to dismantle white supremacy today? Some days the answer is that I haven’t. But instead of wasting time or energy on self-pity or excusing myself into apathy, I recommit to the work for tomorrow.
🖋️ I waited a long time to get my paws on Troublemaker Inks. I’m in love with Kelp Tea and Petrichor, specifically. For more pen and ink recommendations, see my Analog page.
🧶 On the needles: an easy drop-stitch scarf with Malabrigo Caprino. Because of the yarn-overs, I can’t do this and anything else at the same time, so it’s slow-going.
🎮 I’m still enjoying the calm, low-stakes nature of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
✍🏻 The only way I ever figure out what I think is when I write about it. So I’m doing my best to write every day I can. I’m posting less and less of the result online because I don’t trust that my words won’t be taken out of context. And that’s fine. I do miss some of the community I experienced in the early days of online journaling, but not enough to be that vulnerable ever again.
🎙 This episode of Ten Percent Happier about languishing is what I needed to hear right now.
📚 And last but never least, I’m still (always) reading. The books I’ve finished reading are on my Bookshelf page. Here’s what I’m reading right now: