Over the past few weeks, I have been largely absent from the world because I have achieved a new level of busy. Some of it was my doing. Some of it was life pummeling me with lemons faster than I can make lemonade.
I’m not even that big of a lemonade fan.
All my life I have rebelled against life organizing tools. Whether it was the assignment books they gave us in school or the pocket calendar my parents would not-so-subtly give me for Christmas every year, I wanted nothing to do with organizing tools. For me, the time it took to write out to-do lists was time away from writing or something much more important. Besides, I was really good at storing it all in my head.
Until I wasn’t.
Remember the treadmill desk I built? I’m actually using it. Not as much as I should be maybe, but it’s not collecting dust.
I’m using it enough that I decided to treat myself to an upgrade. Behold! The desk is now equipped with a widescreen monitor!
Snow is to North Carolina what oil is to water. You’re just minding your own business when this sticky crap comes out of nowhere and smothers you. You freak out for a bit. Then you realize there’s nothing you can do except endure it. Plus, it’s a bitch to clean off.
Things were pretty chaotic this past week. Cars were abandoned by the dozen. Buses got stuck going up hills. People endured epic 4-6 hour commutes. Raleigh even joined Atlanta in the Southern-snow-freakout meme category when some poor soul’s car caught on fire.
Keep all that in mind when I say that this snowtastrophe couldn’t have turned out any better.
Things I have done since my last post on September 19, 2013 (NOTE: if you read through the entire list, the best cat picture is at the very end.):
- Performed in three improv shows
- Saw one of my best friends get married
- Celebrated Christmas with my mother and sister in NY
- Learned how to program CSS
As of today, I have written every single day for 100 days straight. That’s a pretty damn good chain. One I hope to keep growing for a long time.
Now the secret sauce, the whispered spell, the talisman that led to this chain is not a fancy new iPad, a special app, or a handwoven notebook made from recycled sunflower leaves. It’s not a lucky pen, a spiffy hourglass, or a lollipop that was licked by Neil Gaiman. Nope. It’s a Google Doc.
Yet this is no ordinary Google Doc. It’s the collective calculator of literary calculus, the almighty slayer of perfectionist psyches, the engine of writers’ hopes and dreams, The Magic Spreadsheet.
::Cue choir of cheer-drunk angels::
I’m currently reading Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. In every writing text I read, I tend to find something useful, but this is the first book during which I am literally screaming, “THAT’S ME! THAT’S ME!” every other page. Between the copious amounts of highlighter and scream spit gathering on this book, I doubt I’ll ever re-sell it.
Not that I would want to.
Lamott validates a lot of the writer neuroticisms I struggle with: the perfectionism, the desire to write a whole book in one day, the assorted critical voices that descend up you and machete your self-esteem into ribbons as soon as your fingers hit the keyboard.
You know those weeks in which you barely have time to breathe? Ones in which you’re just so busy that one blink will carry you from your office on a college campus to a stage in front of a packed audience singing the most mangled opera you ever sung in your life?
Perhaps most people don’t experience that when their lives are flying by, but most people don’t perform live in an Improv show the same week as they are in the production stage of a major work project, helping the boss prepare for a visit from the big boss, and managing a cat having toilet issues.
Remember that treadmill desk I said I wanted for Christmas? Well, I decided to do a Christmas-in-July type of thing and buy a treadmill now.
This is a very very rudimentary set-up, and not the best design I could have created by far. I just like to prove to myself that I’m actually going to use something before I invest a lot of time and money into it. Thus, the used treadmill, the board resting on the treadmill handlebars, and the three-dollar C clamps.
I did another post for Searching for Superwomen. I’m not 100% confident that the argument came out as coherently as I did in my head. Plus, my mind hooked onto the fruit thing and possibly ran with it farther than a metaphor should go. The upside is that more people will be exposed to the excellent nerdy artwork of Ursula Vernon. By the way, she sells pins of that freaky pear that is featured in the post.
You ask, “What freaky pear?”
I say, “Check out the blog post.”
“Oh,” You will say. “That IS a freaky pear…”