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Blogging on the road

I am blogging on the go! The old-fashioned way: this post was originally drafted by pen, in a moving vehicle. A long car trip, not of our choosing, appeared on the schedule. As someone who guards their weekend with the snarling jealousy of a griffin defending its hoard of Snickers bars, this was not an especially welcome development. I resented the time taken away from things I wanted to do. I sulked a bit. I felt the way I imagine a horse feels when it’s in a pony float and driven past ponies frisking in a paddock — actually, as metaphors go, that’s not a very good one. It’s just a simple substitute of “horse” for “bethini”. Moving on. I decided to make the most of it and turn my car trip into a dynamic, productive and useful session — well, as much of any of those things as I could, given the limited options for in-car activities. Obvious choice: knitting. Makes idle time useful! Makes one productive and lessens the boredom!

WIP and WIPs-in-waiting

I brought my nearly-done WIP, plus notes on how to finish it, plus notes on the next project to cast on, plus a sack of yarns I had vague plans for. I’m daydreaming about thick, striped socks. Long car trips can be teh total suck, and I was proud of myself for making the most of a crappy situation.

O grab-bag of wonderment!

But as the drive rolled along and I knit happily, it occurred to me that this wasn’t a case of life giving me lemons and me making lemonade, as I had previously congratulated myself. This was a case of life giving me lemons and me eating the lemons with surprising satisfaction. Goddamn it, when life gives you lemons, eat the fucking lemons, because life knows what it’s doing. While I dreaded the prospect of hours of idly waiting for the road to be used up and our destination to appear, the reality of sitting quietly for a few hours, knitting, occasionally writing, and thinking, was fantastic. Not something I do very often, sitting and thinking. I knit while I’m reading, or talking, or watching awesome videos online. Thinking quietly while knitting was novel.

A short thought tangent, but bear with me: yesterday I wrote a to-do list of all the things I really felt like doing. It grew and grew, and then it started to bug me, and I recognised all the signs of setting myself up to fail. There’s only so many hours between breakfast and bedtime, and my list was getting seriously epic. It had chapters. It would make me sad to try and do all the things on my list, because there were too many. So I forced myself to take a deep breath and choose just four things. Less than half the original. And, in keeping with my Do The Fun Stuff First approach, I chose the funnest things on the list. It was awesome: working on each thing was relaxing because, seeing how I only had a few things to do, I could take my time and focus. I did fewer things, and better ones.

I thought about this again today, while confined to the car for a few hours. My options for amusing myself were reduced to writing, knitting, and thinking. So I did those, and they were awesome. I wrote and thought and knitted and thought and wrote some more, and by the time the car trip ended, I felt clear-headed and introspective. Like my brain was a birdbath scrubbed free of poo and the world a curious and thirsty wren alighting on its rim. (As you can tell, I’ve been working on my metaphors. I think this one is better than the pony float one above. Discuss.)

This is one of those revelations I have to have every couple of months or so, because I forget it and slip back into old habits. The old habit I’m thinking of is the one where I decide if a day is “good” or “bad” based on how much I feel I’ve achieved, how productive I am, etc. Not a totally muddle-headed approach, but mean I tend to undervalue chillaxing and resting, and treat doing the fun stuff as somehow less of an achievement. I am happier when I do less and do what I enjoy.

How many times can I have the same revelation and still call it an epiphany?

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