monthly updates

… And Waiting

Two weeks down. Humans are a famously adaptable species, but this is a unique situation for many of us, albeit nigh-ubiquitous right now. One has good days and not-so-good days, and one is learning. I have spent the past week nailing down an early-morning routine that leaves me in a good spot; after 9:00 a.m. things get a little trickier. It’s not that I don’t have enough to do by any means (although having my oven broken for the past week has put a damper on one of my usual outlets); it’s finding the wherewithal to go and do them.

At least it’s spring, I have often consoled myself, and going outside is a pleasure. The picture on the right is the seeds the kids and I planted earlier this week, in a hurry to get up and doing. The winter has been so mild here, it seems likely that we won’t see frost again until October November.

(It’s hard to remember the climate crisis with this other crisis going on. Hopefully we can apply the lessons of one to the other!)

I can’t say I’ve been getting any writing done lately. I have gotten some knitting done recently while I sit through endless online meetings. In addition to gardening supplies, I have been indulging myself with fountain pens, lots of ink, and one large present, which I hope will be arriving this week. I have written a couple of letters, although doing so makes me feel like a walk-on in a Ken Burns documentary.

As I reflect, it seems that navigating the work situation is the strangest part of this. It feels farcical and wrong-headed, a case of direly misplaced priorities, to pretend that the only thing different is that I’m working from home all the time instead of once or twice a week. There is no virtue attached to sitting in a chair for eight hours a day just because that’s normally what I do on, say, Wednesday. (Not to mention the damage said chair is doing to my butt.) Perhaps some clarity will emerge from this, given time. We do have that right now.

Be well!


Waiting Game

Short update this week, as we all alternate between watching news feeds and roaming the streets in search of paper goods. Schools are closed for at least two weeks, and my company has us working from home. It’s difficult to imagine getting much done under the circumstances, but I suppose we’ll try. (Writing? Maybe.)

And of course it’s impossible not to do that writer thing and take notes on how people are behaving. Anxiety, bravado, caring, avarice all come out in plain sight when something moves as slowly as this does.

Meanwhile, it’s a beautiful spring afternoon. Birds will sing, no matter what happens.

monthly updates

Wrapping up February

Good-bye to what has been one of the busiest months I can remember (among ones that didn’t involve adding members to the household, anyway). I was somewhat startled when I sat down this morning to review the calendar and write up my monthly look-back. Events two weeks ago seem much more distant, the lensing effect of many things crammed into a short period of time.

Today, however, things are quietly balanced. All of the chores I intended to do today are done. Dinner is marinating in the fridge. I finished reading Kafka on the Shore this morning, and while I would like very much to talk about it, I also feel like I ought to read it again before I even try. There’s a lot going on in that book, and I don’t think I understood half of it.

I am making a cup of lemon tea, which I will have in the handsomely glazed mug I bought from LJ Cohen at Boskone. While the water heats, I have been dipping in and out of Roger Zelazny’s Isle of the Dead, a book I haven’t visited in a long while. I don’t remember anything about it, though I do remember the short story he wrote in the same world. The younger children are off doing something edifying with their father for the afternoon. Ordinarily this means that silence reigns in the kitchen, but I am in the mood for something to listen to, and the TV is broken, so I have some music on. The weather is indecisive.

Once I hit Publish on this entry, I’ll poke at the novel for a little while — 54,040 words right now. I wrote three whole sentences last week, but I think I know what to do now. I have a volunteer project to work on this evening, and some knitting to do–I had a promising job conversation earlier this week, so with luck I will soon have a deadline for finishing this gift.

Events in the world continue, of course, but this afternoon I am going to be quiet.



A Mandoline for Time

I could use one, if you happen to have one lying about — yesterday I sat down and wrote out A List of the major projects I happen to have going on these days. The result was daunting, and I found myself annoyed. Am I supposed to be a nearly-expert in this time/task management/workflow stuff or what? Project manager, manage thyself. Because trying to slice your days into ever-thinner bits in order to make Zeno-like progress on everything at the same time is not the way.

Remember last year, when I was all about leaving space for things to happen in? Well, things have certainly happened. It might be just about time to do some weeding. Job hunting in particular takes up a fair amount of energy, and it might be sensible to push off a few other things until something there lands. I could be making better use of my bullet journal, too, in order to keep on top of the major projects while still pecking away at daily habits.

And I ought to celebrate more — when there’s so much going on, it’s easy for wins to get swamped in “that’s great, but what about all of this other stuff,” which is no way to treat a win. In that spirit, a few of the week’s wins:

  • The novel draft is at 54,000 words.
  • I increased my run speed by 1/10 of a MPH.
  • I finished reading a book that has taken me a while to get through, bringing my total to six for the year.
  • A meeting of the professional group I co-organize went so well last week that I had to gently evict a couple of people 45 minutes after it was supposed to end.

Not too shabby. The week ahead is packed with activities, so I’m not going to beat myself up about missing Duolingo a few times.


Been a While!

For the first time since starting this blog, I have managed to whiff two weeks in a row (three if you consider that it’s Monday, but since it’s a long weekend I will give myself this one). Despite that, I don’t have a whole lot to say at this point. Brevity becomes ever briefer, I suppose? This past weekend was Boskone, which was a lovely time. Saw a few people and some great panels, bought a few things, and generally felt both edified in mind and restored in spirit. (Body was not neglected in the meantime–the Orange Line is partially out of commission during the weekends, and I did quite a bit of walking.)

The weekend before that was the Farm and/to Fiber (they seem undecided themselves) Festival, at which I purchased an embarrassing amount of yarn and other items, and generally had a fantastic time.

In between these things I have been assiduously job hunting, caught up on my email, did some baking, wrote a few thousand words, went to some meetings for various volunteer efforts, and attended to all of the business of normal life with the notable exception of updating this blog. Mea culpa. I have a lot of thoughts floating around today, about how I can possibly organize all of these efforts so as to neglect nothing, provide value where needed, and enjoy my life.

First, however, I am engaged in a baking project with my teenager before trying my hand at a couple of Indian recipes, and also preoccupied by watching my cat sleep in a sunbeam. Sleeping cats look very dedicated to their work. May you be as into whatever you’re doing as he is.


Too Soon to Tell

In the course of the past week, I wrote one page. This is more than I have written in the preceding several weeks; perhaps there will be more to come today, or tomorrow.

Also this week, I have been to the gym a few times; I have worked on my knitting project; I have encountered a setback at work; I have played Super Smash Bros. with my son; I have helped my daughter with her homework.

I have done so many small things that a recounting would be exhausting, and only dubiously illuminating. I have not been outside much; the weekend has been mild, but the week before notably cold. Moods have been unpredictable.


In Search of Adequacy

2020-01-18 07.48.46
An adequate amount of seed stitch blanket border

It’s not a new disease, although social media certainly hasn’t helped any–this persistent feeling that whatever you’re doing, is not enough. It doesn’t matter that flipping through my bullet journal provides evidence that I did in fact do quite a few things this past week; it wasn’t enough things, or it was the wrong things, or….

Of course, there is no such thing as “enough,” and we know that, which makes it particularly annoying, on the lines of forgetting the thing we not only wrote down on the grocery list but circled to ensure that we would definitely not forget it. Really, brain? What in the world do I carry you around for, if this is all the use you’re going to be?

Thus far this weekend, I have been coping by means of buying food, making soup, and knitting. (I talked myself out of going to the yarn store; Farm & Fiber is coming up in a few weeks, and I will need my stash space then.) For today, that is enough.