so I can't say it really moved yet, dang - I'll fix it soon.
I guess I'll clumsily cross post until then; this can't possibly go wrong
my post today:
ever have chunks of time that go by and you’re not really sure what all happened?
I keep a log file these days I call “dan log” at work and write down all the things that I did - not really sure why, besides sometimes it feels good to go back and find all the little things I did while I felt like I “didn’t accomplish anything.”
life is a little bit in that “going by in a blur” state right now. a friend mentioned once that sometimes he feels like he’s writing his story and then sometimes he’s living it. I like that framing1. Imagine that part of you is living life as another part of you is writing it, much like Gromit riding a train while laying down tracks. Right now I kind of feel like I’m getting ahead of the train tracks, or like the writer/tracklayer is on autopilot. It’s not pleasant, but it’s mostly bearable.
(the reason isn’t a mystery: I’m just working on a new project at work. it’s kind of big, it’s a lot of manageable tasks instead of one big unwieldy task, and it’s kind of important and deadliney. I’m not super used to those things, so I spend more time working and it’s stressful.)
Another thing that’s stressful: I got a new keyboard. I think I used to type about 100 wpm. This keyboard is split, columnar, tented, thumb clusters, and all kinds of things that are probably ergonomically good. But that means it’s a learning curve. I think I went down to about 40 wpm and that is so agonizingly slow, I feel like those dreams when you are running but you can’t run. I’m back to about 70 or so now, so that still feels bad but not quite so bad. Epistory was pretty fun; a little cheesy but still the best typing game I’ve played. Typeracer is still fun. typing.io is what I really need: practice with all the colons and brackets and arrow keys; those are still rusty.
legit conflict extra-guilt
One thing I’m learning in the process: a certain kind of feeling about a recurring engagement. Let’s call it “legit conflict extra-guilt.” The way it works is this:person X invites me to event Y that is kind of an effort for me but I want to be the kind of person who goes to it.
for whatever reason, I legitimately can’t go to the first or second installment of event Y.
I feel a little relief, but I also want to make it clear to them that I’m not skipping event Y because it’s hard or something; I have an actual conflict. Maybe I’ll reach out and tell them.
At this point, I’m feeling Legit Conflict Extra-Guilt. What will inevitably happen if I don’t address it is that I will feel guilty but keep having conflicts, one way or another, and I’ve got to cut my losses. It’s a certain kind of feeling that is both like “nah, I’ll totally make it next time, see, it was a legit conflict” but also “ooh I really don’t have time for this.” Now that I’ve learned this feeling, when it comes up I know that I must admit that I don’t really have time for it right now, I was too greedy in signing up, me grasp exceed grasp, and I’m sorry for that but I will generally not be at event Y.
It’s neat to start to recognize some of the dumb tricks my brain pulls on me!
I think I’m using it a slightly different way than he meant it. Maybe he reads this; if so, sorry! ↩︎
here's what I wrote a couple weeks ago:
happy month 12 of pandemic to you too
seriously, though: I’m re-forming my relationship to despair, slowly but surely. I think around 22-26 I was restless and bored; 27 was manic so the question didn’t come up, but 28-33 I’ve been more or less orbiting the attractor state of despair. 34, though, I’m out of that orbit! I’m careening all over emotional space. but some recent experiences have left me wondering what my relationship with despair is.
let me define a term. by “despair”, I’m probably not using the right word; the feeling I’m thinking of is more angry. it’s when you start feeling bad about X and respond by saying, well, who cares, X sucks anyway. it feels like a snotty punk rocker, or road rage, or maybe Walt towards the end of Breaking Bad. it’s feeling better never to have been1.
it’s a pretty coherent view of the world! and whenever I was feeling crummy, I could retreat into “well, the world sucks anyway.” problem is, it feels bad. and … maybe it’s not true? like, the world isn’t inherently bad to be in2.
so ok, I think that kind of despair is no longer my default attractor. that rules: it feels hopeful. it also feels like some responsibility: I can’t just say “this sucks and I didn’t ask to be born”; I have to make life worth living.
Sometimes that’s very hard! Sometimes I feel very run down and I’m not sure how this day can be part of a world that doesn’t suck. Or, how can I argue life is generally ok if right now I want to burn down everything in the world?
I don’t know, but my current hypothesis is: you can visit that despair planet and that’s fine and healthy, as long as you don’t get stuck in it. Take your time there, feel everything fully, and then when it’s all out, move on. If you don’t do that, then you’re restraining yourself from feeling feelings, and that rarely ends well.