I’ve started bullet journaling and it’s really helping me prioritize my daily tasks so I’m more productive. I too often find myself sticking things I need to get done or want to accomplish on arbitrary lists, or in tracking apps that may or may not get much attention. Now I’ve been writing out plans daily, and doing the work of prioritizing. This was on my list today: “BLOG POST – SOMETHING.” As soon as I hit “Publish” I get to experience the great satisfaction of checking off that task in my journal. Happy New Year!
I tend to question almost everything… quite a lot sometimes, which is why it’s hard for me to post consistently on a blog. I can usually talk myself out of it. Lately, I’ve been thinking of posting and then getting stuck because half of me really wants to write about a movie I liked or a recipe I tried, but then the other half of me is frozen in after-election despair wondering, “Is there anything I can share that won’t feel inappropriately lackluster?” Not a helpful thought, I know. I’ve dealt with anxiety before, but never this constant or concrete. It’s a struggle. But the attitude that we should give up on sharing the stuff of everyday life because there’s work to be done is not helpful. Sharing is part of the work… Publish!
I live very close to a main freeway, so every morning I wake up to the collective rumbling of commuter engines. At night, I often hear our neighbors opening/closing car doors, and driving in and out of our street until around midnight. Twice a week, the garbage and recycling trucks clunk loudly past my bedroom window around 5AM. And the sirens and people riding loud motorcycles (why are they so purposefully loud?) are consistent.
Austin is notorious for crowds, traffic, and construction (There is currently a major project going on around the building where I work– jackhammers, diggers, the whole thing.) These sounds have become an ubiquitous part of life, but increasingly harder to ignore. Lately I’ve noticed a constant sense of urgency in my brain, due to recent stress, that is heightened by all this urban buzzing. Frankly, I’m tired. Literally tired since I haven’t fully relaxed or gotten very good sleep in months. It’s all making me want to pack a few bags and retire to an isolated cabin someplace where I can calm down and recharge. (Until I am desperate for a better internet connection.)
I was recently reminded of some time I spent in northern California a few years ago, visiting my brother outside of Santa Rosa. His house was very isolated on top of a hill surrounded by trees, so every morning I woke up to the sounds of absolutely nothing. The only exception was the occasional wild turkey gobbling around the backyard. It was jarring, surreal, and wonderful. I could really use some silent mornings.
Photo Credits: Alan Levine via Flickr (cool tilt-shift featured image of Austin) & Jace Cooke via Flickr (above cabin in the woods)
Yesterday I woke up in a funk and then a few things happened to turn that funk into a bad mood. By 11 AM I felt sad, mad, and sort of hopeless. It’s a slippery slope into despair once you open your brain up to the possibility of all the things going wrong. But once I got home from work I was determined to pull myself out of it. (Truthfully, I spent a few minutes lying down first, deciding if it was worth the effort to try or just go to bed at 6 PM, but I shook that off.)
First, there were burgers:
Then, there was the comic & games shop, where I picked up some Saga I’ve been meaning to buy, and something new that looked interesting:
Then I came home and relaxed, laughed over chat with my best friend, and ended the day feeling positive. Strike one in the column for getting back up to try again.