Post Holiday Reflections

Thanksgiving is over. It was fun to visit two of my siblings, horribly stressful to drive into the Chicagoland area since I haven’t drive anywhere more crowded than the central Wisconsin suburbs in about two years, and a delight to have two Thanksgivings in a row with mostly the same group of people so we can all say we’re building new traditions away from bad family situations. I’ve also finished most of my writing projects I’d assigned myself over my week of vacation, caught up on most of the media I missed, and managed to not fall further behind on anything else. Now, resting can begin.

Well, it could begin if I wasn’t me. Instead of resting, I’ll be finishing up National Novel Writing Month by writing fifty thousand words across various story projects since I’ve gotten used to daily writing and it feels weird if I’m not doing it. I also have laundry to do (always more laundry to do), a kitchen to clean after a week of neglect and surface cleaning, and an apartment to finish winterizing. I also have to go to the grocery store at some point even though I’m stuffed to the gills with leftovers. I’ll need a handful of things before my next grocery day comes around, and I know I’m not going to do a quick trip to the grocery store after work any time soon. I’ve done it once in the past year and it was awful.

So while I am scheduling time into my days to play video games and continue my search for new podcasts to enjoy, there’s the usual work of life maintenance to do. It doesn’t feel unpleasant to think about, even if I do wish I could take a day to binge Fallout 4 an TTRPG podcasts. It feels usual. I feel at least mentally rested if not physically rested. I had fun writing a whole-ass project about a D&D character to share with the DM and other players, I have stayed up and ahead on my NaNoWriMo writing, and I’ve only procrastinated on one chore the whole week. I set goals and I have largely met or exceeded them, even if I got so deep in the paint while working on that project that I spent thirty minutes thinking it was the wrong time of night.

I may still be a little mentally foggy from all that effort, the stress of my parents crossing clear boundaries, and the general stress of the holidays, but it’s the sort of relaxed, laconic mental weariness of having pushed myself as much as I wanted to and found myself capable. Chasing this feeling is what lead me to escalating the usual NaNoWriMo challenge over the years until I was doing one hundred thousand words in a month. It’s just so enticing! If I could do that while working a full-time job, imagine what I could do in a month if writing was the way I supported myself financially!

Which, of course, ignores the fact that I always burn out after NaNoWriMo when I push that hard, that I’m basically doing a full-time job amount of writing in a given week when I push that hard, and that most of what comes from a push like this needs way more editing than my other writing. Slow and steady can be really beneficial, as can not burning yourself out.

I have more work to do today, before I go enjoy an afternoon or whatever of D&D with my friends, so I’m going to leave this here and get to work on the never-ending laundry pile and my daily NaNoWriMo words. It feels great to think that I can get both those things done in an hour or two. The benefits of discipline right there, I tell you what.

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