I slept ten hours, with a few interruptions to do things like emailing in sick to work, and awoke feeling well enough to make porridge (2c sinboy
's homemade chicken broth, 1c white rice cooked in the rice cooker with 1.5c water while the broth was melting and then simmered in the broth because the "quick rice" setting makes slightly crunchy rice, 1 egg scrambled and drizzled into the simmering broth, a bunch of shredded chicken). My laptop power cord went pfft, so I closed the laptop and read a book instead, slurping my porridge and contemplating the benefits of being forced to go offline for a few hours. I decided to go with it rather than using the backup laptop on which I'm writing this entry, though I did briefly check my work email to make sure the "I'm out sick today" email I'd sent from my phone had gotten through.
The porridge finished the job of curing me and I was left with that ebullient clear-headed feeling that one sometimes gets right after being sick, when it feels as though everything that was once impossible is now not only possible but easy. As I showered and dressed, hoping to catch the last of the light, I reminded myself that I was probably up for a walk in the park but probably not up for, say, doing a half-hour workout, and that I should bundle up against the cold even though I felt entirely better. The walk was very nice; I saw daffodils!
, and chatted with a neighbor, and got cat food, and did some more thinking.
There is no question that I have spent the past month ill and exhausted. The entire month, not just bits of it. I make a point of stipulating this because I don't want to be hard on myself about not getting a lot done. In fact, I've been working very hard despite being unwell, completing a rush project that took almost three times as long as I expected and going in to work outside of my scheduled hours in order to make up for sick days. When I had free time to myself, I mostly spent it playing games and otherwise trying to avoid thinking about how I felt (because I felt lousy) or my obligations (because they looked very daunting given my lack of energy and brainpower). I've spent a lot of time by myself, but very little time with myself. I have not been what one would call grounded.
Today I tried to ground myself. It felt very good.
I've joined a bunch of mailing lists for editors and freelancers, and they've been awesome but also noisy. I think I will go nomail there for a while. I may cut way back on Twitter, too. It's very luxurious to have the world come to me rather than needing to go seek it out, but that dynamic also bears some similarity to hundreds of flies buzzing around my head, and I have too much to do to spend so much time swatting flies. The amount of time I spend just on sorting my email is completely ridiculous, and by the time it's sorted, I have lost any interest in doing anything with it, which means too much of it goes unanswered. That all needs to change.
What I really want is to be present for the things that I'm doing, and to do everything I need to do without feeling overwhelmed by it. I think I can find my way to both those things if I take more time to breathe and to plan, and spend less time on the mental equivalent of empty calories.
I saw my father a few weeks ago and we discussed our very similar work histories: we both spent several years trying various things and ditching them because they weren't enjoyable, until writing (for him) and editing (for me) were all that was left. It's the same in our personal lives. We simply refuse to be unhappy. There are certainly downsides to being vehemently intolerant of misery, but on the whole I'm glad that it's so easy for me to stop doing things that don't feel good. No angst, no guilt. Just walk away. Right now, staying up late playing games leaves me feeling fidgety and unsatisfied, so no more Gemcrack and Dominion for a while. No more keeping myself up long after I start feeling tired; I'm sure that being chronically short on sleep contributed to my illness and general malaise. No more endless listmail. No more days where I don't go outside; sun and air are good for me. No more freelance days frittered away online; I like
doing freelance work, and it feels good to do it. When sinboy
goes to bed, I will take a little time to just breathe and relax, and then I will tackle the Readercon things that have fallen by the wayside, and when I'm tired of doing those then I will go to bed. As much as I hate DST, it's a chance to adjust my already flummoxed body clock, so I'm going to get very serious about closing the computer by 2 a.m. every night. Sleep feels good too. Fretfulness about going to sleep when there's still so much to do can be addressed with meditation, taurine, scheduling times to do specific things, and actually getting those things done so there's less to worry about.
In a few minutes, sinboy
will be home. Tonight we will finish the cooking we didn't do yesterday, and then I will get some sleep. Tomorrow I will have lunch with an editor and talk about my next book, and then I will get a new power cord for my laptop and I will go set up somewhere and work on said book, and then I will go dancing. My goal is to be really present for all of those things. No Twitter. No games. No fretting. Just doing, feeling, accomplishing, enjoying.
It's a good theory, anyway. Here's hoping.You can leave a comment on the Dreamwidth version of this entry if you like. The current comment count is .