Today marks one month since I last touched my WIP. It’s a strange realization, how quickly and easily life gets in the way of creativity. In fact, last weekend, I started battling a migraine that didn’t let up until I passed a key certification that had been hanging over my head for my current day job. I had attributed the extra stress I was carrying much more to the ongoing issues with getting our Milwaukee house sale-ready, but after I passed on Wednesday, the amount of extra energy available to catch up on organizing my office and taking care of details centering on celebrating hubs’ most recent birthday was actually startling.
And because hubs got new monitors as part of his birthday haul, I inherited his old one. I now have a triple-monitor set-up that lets me have one whole monitor dedicated to my WIP.
Being able to focus that way on what I’m trying to accomplish in my writing world is an unexpected gift back from him.
And now that I’ve been at the new job for a month, things are settling in that way, too. In fact, through their wellness program, hubs and I are now wearing Fitbit trackers for much more accurate step counts–and the challenge to beat 5,000-step goals every day. Since there’s a financial reward tied to it, all of a sudden we’re all walking a lot more. My phone says last week I averaged 5,741 steps per day. Sleeping is still less regular than I’d like, with only a 6 hour 35 minute average for the week. But apparently the Fitbit has an alarm to buzz my wrist at night to push me toward bed at a reasonable hour.
Outside of work, I’ve been reading a lot of depressing news and opinions. There was the one in Bloomberg at the end of July that pointed out how many of the current trends from a bigger perspective–worker productivity stagnation, aging population, entitlements, world affairs–add up to a likely dystopia in the next ten years. Or the Wired article earlier this week that spoke about the details of how Puerto Rico has dealt with the critical infrastructure failure brought on its electrical grid by last year’s hurricanes. Or the retrospective on the Prague Spring from the New York Times–it’s strange to me that it was merely fifty years ago that the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, and now neither of those nations exist in that form anymore. History moves quickly.
And yet it doesn’t–at least for women. The perennial recommendation for “bedrest” for pregnant women (at least a hundred years of practitioners pushing this bunk) was thoroughly documented in an article in The Atlantic. And Quartz reported on the fact that Tokyo Medical University has doctored the scores of female applicants for decades to ensure far fewer than were qualified were actually granted admission. Because … they were obviously going to drop out of the working world once they got pregnant. Two opinion writers, one in Medium (from a widely published author) and one in The Atlantic (from the former director of policy planning at the US State Department) outlined from different perspectives the various pulls on women’s time and energy. And the many hurdles we face in being taken seriously along with those inner voices that “helpfully” point out how often we fail to live up to our own expectations.
I see it in most of my writer connections online, too: How do we balance our day jobs with our family obligations, with our need to rest and recharge? It’s a discussion hubs and I have been having, too. It seems, particularly for creative types, that the more we can disentangle ourselves from those energetic parasites that distract us from pursuing the goals closest to our hearts, the more inspiration strikes–and the more vitality we are able to invest in our pursuits. For hubs and me, this correlates directly to our divestment from the Milwaukee property, which, FINALLY, this week is ready to go for sale. We don’t need yet another, extraneous distraction. Or, in the case of that house, an anchor to a past that ties us to other struggles.
In response, I’ve started posting reminders to myself on Twitter of the smiles and love I have at home with my dogs. You might notice them as “moments of floof” on my timeline, and I’m trying to post them daily. Because that’s how regularly Natasha, Santino, and KouKi bring us joy–and because it’s worth spreading that to the world at large given the ubiquity of the stressors we all face.
Then, too, there was a fascinating article about a move toward true modernization of democracy in Taiwan. The take-away that disallowing commenters from replying to other commenters, and instead on relying on upvoting and downvoting comments to generate consensus was eye-opening to me. And a Digg article about the NYC Ethics Board Twitter team also made me smile.
So my goal this week: Get back to fiction writing in my now-organized office, and continue to beat the challenge set by my employer’s wellness challenge. Until next week, check out how the other ROW80ers are doing.