1:10 a.m.

Since it’s not yet midnight on the west coast, I suppose I can spin this as not being a failure – as still counting as a post within the defined Sunday-Saturday posting week. But I find myself seriously, if impossibly, considering the bigger failure of calling off the 52-week project just a few weeks in.

An all-expenses paid, week-long trip to New York, even one with a few 10-hour workdays, should be a constant source of delight. And yet… I’m struggling not to be a complete basket-case. For almost the first time on one of my trips, I’m lonely, and I’m bored. Certainly it’s the first time I’ve had to fight to enjoy any of it at all. I know I’m probably even more tired than I realize – whole nights of jetlag will have that effect. And I suspect that my hormones are jumping up and down and having some fun at my expense.

But the fact remains that after a series of experiences which it is not worth going into in public, I sat in my boss’ office and confessed, “I need to cut something out. I can’t keep going on like this.” I’ve been pushing too hard, too far, for too long. But I don’t know how I can take anything more out. It’s all important, and I’ve already had to drop important things to do even what I’m doing. I picture those performers spinning stacks of bowls on long, thin reeds: you can’t stop mid-spin, or everything will break. Even if I did succeed in creating more downtime, what would I do with it? Sit home and watch TV? By now I’m not sure I could do that. The temptation to fill it up again with something “productive” would be all but overwhelming.

I feel bad about even considering putting this on hold. I tell myself, “Anything worth doing is hard. You have to push through if you want to accomplish anything.” It’s not just that famous speech, either; it’s something I’d wanted to do for a while. But trying to come up with a post every week adds an incredible load of stress to daily life – far beyond anything I could have expected, or, I think, can really handle right now.

When you’re overwhelmed, the first thing to do is stop volunteering for more. But… but… but… the idea that I could still eschew easy by making the hard decision to put this on hold is one that is very hard to get my head around.
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One thought on “1:10 a.m.

  1. I don't like the sound of this! Take a second here, 'cause there are several ways to skin a cat. (So I'm told — I've only ever done it by hand. Kidding! Only kidding. I use a highly complicated and hygenic apparatus. "Gross, get to the point, weirdo!" Fine.)My point is that your chief struggle seems to be coming not from the external schedule pressures, but from the internal idea-generation pressures. Rather than attacking the former, perhaps you can find a way to affect the latter. By your own admission, you "never said what or how much [you] had to post, only that it had to be weekly." This, I imagine, leaves it so open-ended that you often don't know where to start. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I think you'll have an easier time picking something to write about if you have fewer options. Settle on some kind of constraint that will guide the content. Obviously, don't make it so narrow that you'll exhaust all possibilities within a few short weeks, but find one (or two or three) categories to structure around.Flash of thought! What if (at least part of) your writing was a chronicle of the activities you've undertaken to unwind from all the stress. The side benefit, of course, is that you'll be required to actually do that unwinding…

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