I’ve lost the concept of downtime. I still experience downtime, but not on purpose. That is, I’ll plan to spend an evening working — as I did tonight — and then I’ll start fixing dinner, wash dishes while it’s cooking and read an article or two, eat and keep reading while I do, then read a little more. All the while, I’m thinking in the back of my mind, or in the front, that I need to get working very soon, that I can’t relax.
This reading all is interesting and feels important, part of my connection to the world and of the ways I feed my mind.
Then I try to get back into the working bit, what I planned to do and fully believed I wanted to do. It’s now about 10pm, sometimes later, and now I need to weigh the value of what I can do in the next few hours versus getting a full night of sleep. Also, I was supposed to exercise earlier and I let that slide because I figured I could do it in the morning. That morning now looks quite a bit shorter — and honestly, I despise exercising in the morning, I’ve always known this, so do I truly expect to wake and don some spandex and head briskly to the Y?
Does everyone else argue with themselves incessantly? All day, about which thing I should do next, what would be best, or most useful, or most interesting, or better long-term or short-term? It’s not procrastination; it’s more like confusion. I have very clear priorities, but it’s hard to map them to action.
In grad school, they used a series of linear equations to match students with internships. I need a bunch of linear equations to help me work out my days and weeks.
I think what I really need is a Jeeves. Someone to gently manipulate me away from what I think I want at any time and toward what I really want, what will make me happy in the long run.
Tonight I wanted to write the review for the play I saw last night. I have the elements of it floating in mind but can’t get them to coalesce. I will force myself to do so by tomorrow morning. (Maybe first thing tomorrow. (There goes the workout.))
PREVIEW: “Murderers” at City Theatre in Pittsburgh is a fun, lively, engaging play with a mordant sense of humor, terrific direction, great production, and top-notch performances. It’s worth your time, and if you’re a reader of this site you’re likely to love this show. Yes, I blog about City Theatre a lot, but I do because they put on shows like this. It’s really good, and you should find a chance to go. You’ve got a few weeks, but it’s going to start to sell out (because it’s good). Details here.
About the drawing: I need to entirely redo this blog. That’s a major undertaking and I’m planning it carefully. In the meantime, there are some key problems with it that I can fix, and I worked on a few today. One thing I noticed is that my profile picture, which I use here and elsewhere, is a year or so out of date. I need to make a new one, so I thought I’d make a drawing of the old one for posterity. I started by outlining the space, and I got the proportions wrong — everything is wider/shorter than it should be.
So apparently if you shorten my face (and idealize the picture a bit), you get a red-haired Ellen Barkin. I’ll take that.