People reinvent themselves all the time, sometimes willingly, and sometimes not. I try to improve, you know, refine myself as best I can. Some of it’s for selfish reasons — I want more attention, adulation, admiration, but other reasons are more sensible. I want to lessen cognitive load. I want to be more efficient about the things I do and how I do them. I’m coming to the end of my fortieth year on this earth, and it hasn’t been so much of a reckoning as it’s been a deliberate slowing down. It’s not perfect by any means. I still commit when maybe I shouldn’t, but I’m no longer drowning. I still get angry with myself, but I find more spaces for kindness and forgiveness than I once did, however hard that may be. I want to come to see this blog as a thing I look forward to. Right … Read on!
I mean, sure, it happens to all of us. For me, though, I feel like it happens in flurries. Long stretches of nothing really worrying and then a series of days where things just sort of keep going wrong. Am I having a whinge? Yeah, sure. But humor me. When I was a kid, sick days were about not doing anything, mainly because I didn’t want to do something. Or anything. When I became a grown-up, that sort of still held true for jobs that made me utterly miserable (and we have all had them at one time or another). On those days that I really was unwell, I was kind of happy to take on feverish, barfy hours of unpleasantness to have the privilege of not being in the office. Except now I work in a place where I like what I do and I like the people who … Read on!
Below is an episode of Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project, where Adam talks about overcoming self doubt — he describes a week in which he questioned whether he should be doing builds at all, after a particularly rough build, and talks about how he got himself out of that funk. The relevant bit starts at 4:30 and goes on for about 15 minutes. It’s important to know that someone with as much experience as Adam Savage gets impostor syndrome about the thing that he does best. It’s a thing. We all get it. And it hammered him for a whole week. It happens in different phases of creation, too. His initial trigger was feeling like he just couldn’t get a series of precise machinings right, that he kept screwing up in the workshop. That’s impostor syndrome that strikes during the creative process. You hit a hard part, you come up … Read on!
I’ve talked a bunch about time management, but these days I know it’s as much a neurological issue as it is a quirk. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, which is a really nice change of pace, but that the things I want to say are important enough to me to want to spend a reasonable amount of time to get them written with full attention and now you can see this temporal ouroboros starting to turn, can’t you? I found the parenting article that I wanted to edge into self-care; I hit my 40th birthday and received so much love an esteem from friends and family all over the world I trip over myself to say thank you in a way that I feel is commensurate to the wonder that came my way; I ran out of my prescription and went a few days without it … Read on!
I was thinking, yesterday, of preparation. It’s not something I have a really good grasp of outside of very formal or important situations, mainly because I seem to think that people, on the whole, don’t have to do much preparation to get smaller things done in their lives. Like get dressed in the morning. I know I stress less if I don’t have to make choices when my mind’s not up to speed, which is the majority of a morning. I can if the scope is limited (find error in text, fix error in text) but not if the scope is open (I literally have twelve different top combinations I can put on for work this morning OH GOD NO). I’ve done that sort of thing before — prepping wardrobe at an hour where my brain’s warmed up and okay with picking things out — though I often fall out … Read on!
I don’t ramp up fast unless there’s fear for my life involved. By this I mean that if I need to be properly awake by a certain hour so I’m not the equivalent of drunk behind the wheel due to sleepiness, I need to be awake for about an hour. Unless the house is like on fire or something. Or so I thought. This experiment is showing me that I need at least a half hour to spool up into a consciousness functional enough to sit a computer and type things, which means if I’m giving myself an hour between waking and putting my butt in a car seat, I get maybe half an hour to get other things done. That’s just not enough. I do harp on about time. I suspect this time-buffer between waking and being truly awake can shorten significantly if I get more than 5 hours … Read on!
I remember when I lived in New York how much I loved and dreaded winter because it meant waking up and going home in the dark. Now that I live much closer to the equator, it’s not as much of an issue. Except now my start time is 0730, which means I have to wake up at 0530 to have any semblance of consciousness by the time I put my butt in a driver’s seat. I forgot just how hard it is to wake up without the sun. It’s not even that cold right now, though it finally feels like autumn, which is a blessed relief because I’m no fan of stewing overnight in my own sweat. But when the weather’s too cold, waking up is as close to pain as not getting actually hit in the toe with a hammer will allow. I’m also disoriented from the short week, … Read on!
Less of an experiment, really, and more of a thing to try to see how I go. I have a nice blog with a nice site and it sits sort of empty and to add to that I’ve got issues with sitting down at my desk to actually compose something to post. Because I sit here and think how presumptuous I’ve got to be to believe that my perspective on anything is interesting. It’s ridiculous when you look at it in black and white. At any rate, the culprit behind thinking who wants to read what I write is the Sock Puppet of Self Doubt (I’ve talked about him before). And with a fairly new work schedule that requires me to be up at stupid o’clock, I’m up and running before it is. It’s a narrow band of time, but it’s long enough for me to get something written. So you … Read on!
There must be something to the notion of a creative come-down. I just spent the better part of the last 48 hours that weren’t occupied by sleeping working on characters and structure for a podcast drama project that’s been in the works for maybe a year now, with another person who came to Brisbane specifically for this (and to visit another close friend for that person’s birthday, but that person is actually involved in this project as well, so it all kind of blends together). It’s not something I’ve done before, this kind of intense collaborative work on a single non-interactive narrative project, but it’s reminiscent of other times in my life where creativity was a much greater part of daily life (MFA studies, planning and running LARPs, that sort of thing). And I’m a wreck right now. I feel low, rendered, defeated. Lost, maybe? Maybe not lost, because I’ve … Read on!
Representation matters, still and always. Leslie Jones tweeted in response (one of a longer thread of tweets) to people complaining that she’s been pigeonholed as the only non-scientist in the upcoming Ghostbusters film. To be clear — I had some reservations about just that, but most of them were fairly small, especially after seeing Patty in action in the trailer. But then this Twitter thread cropped up on the interwebz. Jones talks about a message she received from Joanna Briley, writer-performer of SWIPE THIS! MY LIFE IN TRANSIT*, who herself is an MTA token booth clerk; Briley had been asked by a reporter about her thoughts on Jones’s role in the new film. I received this from a MTA worker:Hey Leslie, thanks for being you. A question was asked by a news writer about your role on your new movie — Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) March 4, 2016 black actresses. This was my … Read on!