The (Un)Importance of Leap Day

The hourglass is a fitting timepiece because time slips from our grasp like fine sand.

Today was February 29, the disproportionately talked about “leap day.” Some people like to make a big deal about it, but really it’s just a day. You hear all kinds of things about leap day that don’t make sense. A whole extra day! I’m going to [get more work done, go on a trip, clean the house, spend time with friends, finish my novel]. It’s leap day, nothing that happens really counts (yes, this is a 30 Rock reference).

Aside from being a date that only occurs every four years, there is no difference from any other day of the year. You wake up, go through your routine, and try to survive life. It passes before you know it and you wonder what happened to that extra day you were so excited for.

An extra day will only give you more time if you make a plan to use it. Realistically, a day is not a lot of time. Sometimes they drag on, but afterward every single day that you have experienced is no more than the blink of an eye. It’s almost as though none of it ever happened at all.

Blogging Back to Life

What do you do when you stop blogging for a significant length of time and no one seemed to notice, when you’ve had a blog for years but have no more than a few hundred followers (literally what would be called a “drop in the bucket” on the internet, even if it seems like a lot to me personally) and no more than a handful of likes per post, and you know this blog will never have a niche, which seems so important in the blogging world?

It’s tempting to let this gasping site die and start up another one, but I renewed the domain name in August or September, so I have a few months left to go in order not to totally waste my money.

I bought this domain name specifically because I wanted this to be my personal author website. It’s definitely not what most people would call an author website, not least because I haven’t actually been published. One could argue that this is mostly my fault. I never really put myself out there, except for a few timid attempts here and there. It’s no wonder I never get anywhere…

The reason I want to let this blog go and start a whole new one is because I would be able to form and shape it with intention from the beginning. But I don’t want this one to disappear. A lot of work has gone into it in the past, even if not recently. A lot me is captured here. Call me clingy, hopeless, or whatever you like, there are ideas and thoughts expressed here that I believe were worth sharing. Instead of cutting this path short and starting an entirely new one, I’m just going to keep building on this one.

Yes, I’m going to start blogging again! And I know that of most of the people who see this post, only a small number will care. That’s not important right now. The important thing is relearning how to express my thoughts. At the beginning of the year, as I try to get myself used to writing again, I will probably do a lot of personal journaling that will be seen by me alone. In other words, don’t get too excited, because I don’t have all that much to say here yet (that’s sort of a lie. I have a lot to say, always, but I need some time to figure out how to say it), and there won’t be any new fiction for some time unless serious inspiration hits, but soon enough this will be a platform for my weird brand of creativity to come out once again.

 

Don’t touch that dial. We’ll be right back.

Halfway 365k365day Update

It’s one of those mornings when my eyes continue to burn with sleep even though my mind wants to be awake. Those are almost more difficult than the other way around. When your mind is asleep but your body is awake, there are numerous things you can do until it catches up. This tends to just make me feel restless.

My 365k365day challenge has not been going well. I’ve barely written anything for the past few months, and even my updates about it have been neglected. Although it’s pretty pointless to update if I haven’t written anything. More than anything else I’ve done journaling, ranting, brain-dumping sort of writing, which is sometimes necessary to clear a bunch of crap out of your mind. At this point I am VERY behind in my word count, and I’ll only be able to catch up if I am very diligent about writing every single day from now until 2016. This may not be possible. There’s a good chance I might not reach 365k, but if I can manage 200 that’s still quite a bit for me. Maybe next year I can do better.

I’ve had a thousand million thoughts, tons of writing ideas–most of them I’m sure have been not as good as they seem in the moment so it’s probably a good thing I can’t remember them–but they never seem to get on the page. I tend to get ideas when I’m in the middle of doing something else, and I have never been one to stop everything to write down my ideas. When I was younger, I remembered most of them anyway. Maybe I’m getting too old to keep track of ideas? Well, I have though a few times about started to do that–interrupting whatever I’m doing to record my writing idea–but I already have trouble paying attention to things lately, and I don’t think this would help. It would probably tempt me to go work on the writing instead of whatever obligatory thing I was already doing.

When I DO remember, I have a hard time placing the piece. I can’t figure out where it belongs. Should I publish it on this blog, my other blog, or submit it to some other website for publication? And then somehow the whole thing gets lost in the dark maze of my brain…

I’m slowly trying to train myself to have better habits, so that I can stop wasting so much time. It’s a process though, and it’s one that backtracks a lot. There’s no smooth path to becoming truly productive…

Friday, Be My Friend

I have a different relationship with Friday than most people do. For almost everyone I know and everyone on the internet (judging by the memes), Friday is a day of relief. The break from work is just around the corner. The end is in sight. Whether the day is full of productivity and a push to get lots of things done or mainly goofing off on the internet, in a few hours they all have until Monday morning to live life, doing whatever non-work-related things they want to/can do.

My thoughts on Friday are a little different. Instead of being glad the weekend is here, I think, “It’s Friday already? How did another week pass and I’ve still gotten nothing done? Before long it’ll be the end of the month. Time just keeps passing and nothing ever changes. Why can’t I just have a little time to breathe?” It doesn’t help that there is always some bill looming.

If I had been able to stick to a regular schedule in my work, it might be different. But usually, the weekend comes around and it’s just the same as any other day to me–I have to get as much work done as I can manage. I’m not such a fan of a “regular schedule,” but it would certain help in changing my Fridays. Of course, I also don’t get that sense of dread or just general grumpiness other people experience on Sunday evening, knowing that they have to return to the office the next morning. So it’s a trade-off.

I have to say, though, I don’t really like being the one person wishing everyone else would stop being so happy about Friday nights.

Blogvolution

If I happen to glance back at my old posts, particularly those of a few years back, I find that quite a lot of them are the sort of stream of consciousness writing that to me was the point and definition of a “blog.” Articles and points were for professional websites. Blogs were for rambling.

Over time, “blogging” has become an actual business venture, although not for me, and this makes me steer away from that sort of rambly, babbly, slice-of-mind type posts and toward ones that are at least a little bit topical. By that I mean having a topic, and not especially relevant to the time, although almost everything you will ever write is informed by the context of the time you live in, so I guess that applies too.

This blog is a personal site, not a professional one, so there’s no especially good reason not to ramble on, except that I want to put something a little more thoughtful out there. I want to feel a little bit more like my thoughts have a point. It would be nice to look back on previous posts and think “Yes, I see what I was saying here, and I think it was worth saying.”

One could argue that I should go back and delete some of my older posts, at least the silliest and/or most pointless ones. I don’t think I’m going to do that, though. I want to keep this site personal. I don’t want to clean up my image too much, to seem like someone whose thoughts just flow naturally into perfect forms of stories or essays or what have you. It doesn’t get me views or make me money, but I still feel attached to it. I’ve poured quite a bit of myself into this blog and I don’t just want to delete parts of me, even if they are smaller or more distant now than they were at the time of writing. Perhaps I am too attached to the past. Maybe it’s the influence of writer’s journals, like Virginia Woolf’s, and the idea that someday, people will be interested in my raw thoughts because I will have gained some fans through my creative efforts.

I mean, probably not. But at least I can look back on it myself.

Another Reason Not to Procrastinate

I have a habit of procrastinating. I’m not embarrassed to admit this because almost everyone does it. If I have a clear deadline or specific duties that need to be done at certain times I do them, but outside of that it can take me a really long time to get going. In other words, I fulfill my obligations and commitments but it can be very hard to get things done if there is not any set commitment…

Bookmarking sites are a great invention. You can make a note of websites or articles that interested you and come back to them later. Much later. Like, months after you intended to. One of the bookmarking apps I use has a number of sites marked that I had intended to blog about. Some of them have been up there for a long time. At this point I can go back and read/look at them, of course, but good luck remember what it was I initially wanted to say about it. Good luck recalling that spark of an idea that made it feel significant enough to bookmark. It may come back upon reading the site; it may not. It’s a mystery and a gamble.

If I had read them right away, or, say, within a week, I might have written something poignant and thoughtful. Chances are if I try now what comes out could very well be half-formed and short of that original point that came to me way back when. Of course, since I can’t really remember the ideas, I can’t prove they weren’t terrible ideas to begin with. But now I’ll never know, because I procrastinated for too long.

Bookmarking is an excellent way to procrastinate because it makes it very easy to forget about things.

Learning Process

There are certain pieces of advice that you hear over and over. On the internet, from your parents, from teachers, made into motivational poster memes. I know there are many that I have repeatedly come across (and for some reason I can’t think of any now, wouldn’t you know it…) and I knew, but could not fully grasp them until more recently.

I wish certain things about life had not taken me so long to learn. Things like failure being a natural part of life, and if you never fail at anything it probably means you haven’t tried anything–and also that it doesn’t mean you should give up. I never really learned to bounce back after failing, I would just move on to something else. I generally did well in school, rarely failing anything and never trying to master that material after the fact, the few times I got a failing grade.

The past few years, I’ve been failing at a lot of things. Often I feel like I’m not capable of dealing with life and I should not have been allowed to be an adult. In this case, dealing with the stuff that’s causing me stress is the only option, short of giving up and staying in bed for the rest of my life. To be clear, that’s really not something I want to do. And after what feels like a million years of hearing from everyone that you just have to keep trying and keep going, I’m able to face things that have gone wrong and try to improve or fix them.

I wish that someone who struggles the way I have would read this and take it to heart and feel better about what’s wrong in their lives, and understand that it doesn’t mean they themselves are a failure or that they can’t do something to make it better. But that probably won’t happen. Here’s why:

For most people, you simply can’t learn those really important things about life until you’re ready. You might know intellectually that the wise advice you hear is true, but it doesn’t reach your heart because you don’t really believe it. Something has to happen to make it sink in. A certain experience, or a person in your life, or just time in which you can think about life and start to grasp what it actually means, what is important, and what isn’t.

The one I’m working on right now is that it might be okay if I never really make anything of my life. I’ll still be a good, worthy human being. This might be the most difficult one, the one that I can never fully accept…