How do you make the best possible use of your ‘alone time’?
I say this because it seems to be something that is always on the back-burner for me, where I have hazy ideas of personal things I want to achieve and how I want to spend that time, but it never seems to happen. I get plenty of time…
This is a familiar feeling for me too. My old job involved a lot of research and writing so the last thing I wanted to do at the end of the day was yet more reading and writing. For me, solitude was a time to recharge (via, movies, TV shows and games) so I could make it through another week.
After coming down with a long term illness, I now have a huge amount of spare time on my hands but I still don’t create as much as I’d like. I feel tremendously guilty that I don’t take advantage of this time. My reasoning is that I’m constrained by a lack of energy (and simply from feeling like crap), but I often wonder if this is just an excuse. I guess I do read a lot more than I used to but I write only when inspiration strikes.
I have wondered if my lack of productivity is just a matter of discipline. A friend is a moderately successful and prolific author who seems to have the motivation and discipline that I lack. But then, she also seems to be able to write whenever and wherever she wants to (even in busy cafes — where I’d be too distracted by coffee, desserts and the passing parade of people).
For me, meditation doesn’t have to resemble the traditional stereotypes. Sometimes I can clear my mind by listening to music or even reading. These days I can slow my breathing just by thinking of a song I used to use for meditation. I know of other people who use prayer for example.
At the moment, I keep vaguely dreaming of all the things I’m going to do and create when I’m well again. But I’m coming around to the view that the way forward might be for me to spend more time visualising exactly what I want to achieve and then working on a plan as to how I’m going to accomplish these goals. Hopefully the rest will fall into place.
My brain goes to strange places at 3am
On Monday I had blood taken for testing for Lyme disease. The blood — freshly centrifuged in its little vial — had to be taken immediately to the airport and sent via courier to the US. After that, I followed its progress across the Pacific Ocean and around the United States courtesy of FedEx’s tracking tool.
To be honest, it was a really odd feeling watching something that was a part of me up until very recently travelling around the world while I remained stuck at home.
Note to self: it’s not a good idea to have a very strong espresso straight after giving blood unless you want to feel wired and out of sorts for two days.
Solitude in the strangest of places
Going outside on a 45 degree (Celsius) day in Adelaide is like walking into another world. The streets are empty. There are very few cars, no people and even the insects and birds seem to be in hiding. Amongst the stillness, all you can hear is the hum of countless airconditioners.
It’s oddly comforting.
My first attempt at political commentary (not that I knew it at the time) was in grade 5. As part of an class art project, we were given incomplete photos that had been cut out of magazines and we had to draw in the missing parts. My picture was of a rather skinny guy who was sitting cross-legged and eating rice (well, half a skinny guy, I had to draw the other half). It was an easy enough exercise for me.
Not satisfied with my effort, I decided to write “Malcolm Fraser” at the bottom of the completed artwork. I had little idea who he was at the time but knew that a lot of people didn’t seem to like him much. (Sidenote: now that I’m older and realise who Malcolm Fraser is, I can completely relate to why no-one likes him.)
Not long later, we learnt our artwork was going to be displayed at school for a parents’ day. I remember being rather excited to see whether my contribution would cause mirth and merriment. However on the day, I was extremely disappointed to see that my teacher had put up my artwork but had covered up the offending caption.
These days, I tend to confine my ‘hilarious’ political commentary to the odd political blog and I write an occasional letter to the editor. I admit to still getting that same feeling of childish, gleeful anticipation that I experienced in grade 5 when waiting to see if the paper has published my (usually snarky) letter.
What they don’t tell you
When you first develop a chronic illness, no-one tells you that the business of being sick will become your full-time job. The time spent dealing with doctors, specialists, insurance, prescriptions, pharmacies, the government, pathology labs etc soon starts to add up.
I’m starting to come around to the idea that hiring a personal assistant to deal with all this might be the way to go. PAs for sick people: there’s a million dollar business idea for you. You’re welcome ;)
I just came across someone’s profile that said they were looking for their “sole mate”. I guess that actually makes sense!
Sidenote: It is possible that they were being very clever but given that this was on plentyoffish.com, I doubt it was anything but a spelling mistake.
Sidenote 2: ‘sole’ and ‘plentyoffish’…. hahaha, indeed!
The joys of brain fog
Last night, I got up off the couch in order to clean my teeth. Five minutes later I had completely forgotten about cleaning my teeth and found myself washing the dishes.
We all have to make sacrifices
My Muslim neighbour acquired a very noisy rooster not long ago. It not only crowed at dawn but throughout the day and night also.
Last weekend, I realised I hadn’t heard it crowing in a while and worked out that it probably disappeared on Eid al-Adha. I think the poor bird might have ended up as a sacrifice.
(post originally from October)