Christian A. Young's Dimlight Archive

Thinking about pacing, disruption

So coming into 2018, I laid some groundwork. Supports, basically, to try and keep me active, functional, and productive. I got the shop back up to spec in December, made sure I had my Patreon ducks in a row, etc.

And I resurrected my bullet journal habit.

For a lot of people, a bujo is an unambiguous positive. It's a space for fun expression and organization, it makes people feel (and helps them actually be) productive. And that's amazing. For me, though, it's a bit more like playing with matches.

I think most of us still have a part of ourselves that is trained into wanting to be good, get praise, etc., and conversely does not want to be bad, disappoint, and so on. What I'm not sure of is whether everyone has a problem with those forces in themselves quite the way I do. Combine that with the near universal habit of rearranging shit in the name of procrastination and/or having a thing in life one can control, and I can get...well, out of hand with these things. I'll burn myself out, or I'll aim too high and have to keep postponing things day after day after day until opening my bujo is an exercise in anxiety, frustration, and despair.

That my ability to easily visualize a task is not the same as being able to do it instantly or easily is a lesson I've always had to fight with.

And so every day I use this thing, I am trying to be careful. To leave breathing room instead of overloading myself. To try and set goals that won't overwhelm me. To give myself the flexibility that my life requires in order to remain functional. Like, I'm hitting my goals, and feeling pretty good about that, but I am aware of my own capacity for bullshit. I am aware that I can burn myself by doing absolutely nothing at all.

It's hard. Not quite two weeks in, I'm still learning. And while I'm not a fan at this point in my life of assigning success narratives to things -- i.e. "this is hard, but if I power through it will be great later!" -- I do want to hope that this experience will result in a net positive.

Just, uh, don't ask me to pencil it in.