Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Day Late

I forgot all about blogging yesterday. I had errands to do in the morning, after lunch a friend came over to see if we could make my low-sodium bread rise like hers does (not so far; but I think it'll make decent casserole topping), and Damon came home early to meet with the designer about the work that needs doing on the back of the house.

All of which makes me sound busy and productive, but I also spent a fair amount of time on activities that weren't very - a little online browsing, a little gaming, a little standing in front of the heater thinking of the things I could be doing. When I don't have an organizing principle to build my day around, like a book to write, my time use gets a sloppy to the point that I suspect myself of malingering. I always have more work than I have time to do it in, so where do I get off spending an afternoon curled up with a book or a morning reading blogs that have nothing to do with writing? My friend with the baking, who has a lot of experience in this area, says if I need to coast awhile, I need to coast awhile or I'll wreck myself; but how do you know when you're coasting because you need to and when you're coasting because you've crossed the line into indolence?

In any case I have to do a minimum amount of work every day or I can't sleep, so I can't afford to relax too much. And I don't want to be caught in the trap of doing displacement activity instead of real work. Displacement activity is probably a bigger danger for me than laziness. It's easier to hide an unproductive dopamine fix in housework, organization chores, endless "researching" (of contractors, design elements, markets you'll never pitch to), or the quest to make the perfect pair of slacks than it is in equally time-sucking but more obviously time-wasting activities like computer games. Farmville addiction is not pretty and furthermore it is only justifiable as a leisure activity. You can hear yourself being absurd when you insist that you have to harvest the imaginary eggplant instead of putting your query together; but it is possible to convince yourself that the urgency of refinishing your furniture trumps the importance of querying at this particular instant in time; because instants exist in which it's true.

Blogging can be a displacement activity, too. My Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday schedule is a disciplinary structure, not a mandate. So I'm not going to feel bad about forgetting it once. Yesterday was a pretty good day. That ought to be enough for me.

Now, if I ever get bored - then something'll be seriously wrong with my life!

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