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Manhole

At some point I should write a well-thought-out analysis of the forms of self care I have been using over the past year or so, though often I perceive them to be forms of "failure" or just fall into them out of a sheer inability to keep trucking with what I've been doing. And a lot of them have certainly taken me off of the radar with regards to criticism, the genre world, etc.

A few, in particular:

(1) The relationship I have developed to training, fitness, and the body that I live in. Yeah, this has sort of turned into a workout blog half of the time. So has my social media presence more generally. But it's because this is something physical, fulfilling, and emotionally enriching; it makes me feel more whole and grounded. It is important. Frankly, it is one of the singular pleasures in my life--it keeps me going.

(2) As I tweeted to Alex MacFarlane the other evening, I realized something: I haven't been writing editorial-style essays for almost a year and a half now. The majority of my writing for Tor.com is just fiction criticism. And it's because I'm tired. Existentially fucking tired. I do not have the energy to wallow in those comment threads, to keep pushing the boulder up the hill. I can't do it. And I haven't been doing it.

(3) When at home, I have spent less time online and more time doing things that are fun. I spend time with my partner and my best friend, I visit and have meals with my mother, I try to get out and go to events or gatherings with friends. I relax. I imbibe. I attempt to have some measure of comfort in being alive.

And this stuff? It means I don't do as much work. I don't blog as much, I don't write as much, I don't write activist-oriented material much at all, et cetera. But there has to be some kind of balance, and I'm still trying to find it: a balance where I can enjoy what I do again, instead of resenting it.

Consider it a work in progress. I know I've said this before, or some variation of it, but--hey, you know, it's slow going and I'm not sure where the next while will lead.

Comments

A lot of this is totally familiar. The amount of things I don't do anymore, in favour of cooking/canning/breadmaking (my whole-and-grounded activity) and just spending quality time with people, is kind of staggering.

So: Of course I would say this, but I don't think that's failure. I think we just eventually get to an age and reach a point, y'know? Where the work matters, but we have to live in the rest of the world too.
This makes sense.

It feels very much as if I've hit a sea-change in the way my life works over the past year--it's not what I anticipated, but maybe it will work better in the long run.
Equilibrium is necessary before everything, and I find it a more achievable target. And it's all a work in progress, there isn't an end point, it's always ongoing. One can't do ALL THE THINGS. And you're great, and you're making smart choices for the long run.

Per ardua.
Thank you.

It's difficult to adjust to what feel like large changes in the basic structure of my life; I hope they'll be for the better, though. Ever onwards, etc.
Manhole

April 2014

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