Spending My Time And Attention

As you might have guessed from the subject matter of my blog posts of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about social media and the role it plays in my life. Which is actually just a piece of what I’ve actually been thinking about recently. And by “recently” I mean “for most of my adult life but in a new sort of context.” I’ve been thinking a lot about my time, my attention, my effort, and how I spend all three of those things. The recent focus of this mental exercise was inspired by a thread I saw on Twitter a couple weeks ago (that I unfortunately can’t find again) that made some bold claims about the amount of money and energy spent on advertising to people against their consent. I mean, all you need to do is look at how many ad-blocker programs exist for web browsers and phones to see how much people want to avoid it, and so much money gets spent on not only bypassing those things, but filling as much of the world with advertisements as possible.

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Coping Mechanisms In My Daily Life

As I move around my apartment, scrubbing the walls around my windows in preparation for my yearly tradition of covering them in a layer of insulating and draft-blocking plastic, I am struck by how much of my life is taken over by what are essentially coping mechanisms for things beyond my control. I’m also struck by how many bugs have died in the three weeks since I last pulled my carpet back to sweep the half-inch of space between said carpets and my patio door, but that doesn’t really make for an interesting blog post topic. The entire process I’m going through is one meant to mitigate the fact that my apartment complex has absolutely terrible windows that not only leak cold through them like a sieve (thanks largely to their terrible metal frames) but that are so poorly installed or maintained that they don’t even block the wind. It’s much more difficult to detect when the entire frame is uncovered, but putting the plastic over them makes it clear that there’s wind blowing through them almost constantly.

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Pensive Rest

One of the best feelings in my life right now is waking up slowly. To be able to slowly swim to consciousness from the pure darkness of a dreamless sleep. To slowly resurface into the world around me as I slip free of a dream that has held me within its embrace through the night. To know it doesn’t matter when I’ve come to awareness because there is nothing going on that needs my time or attention until I’m ready to give it. Even when I haven’t slept enough to feel properly rested, it still feels comforting to know that I can take my time waking up or that I can just go back to sleep if I feel like it. Having that choice is a wonderful feeling.

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Imagery Sharp Enough To Cut A Reader

As much as I like to grouse about Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time, reading through the series left a strong impression on me. After all, most of my grousing has to do with bloat and how the story unspools at times, rather than weaves together. Too many instances of unimportant details being emphasized in blocks of descriptive text (a crime I perhaps come down on too strongly because I recognized this issue, magnified, in my own writing) again and again and again. Too much time being skipped over to show the end results and then returned to, to be examined in excruciating detail. Too many plot threads as the story wandered wide over eleven books before Jordan, health failing, tasked Brandon Sanderson with wrapping it all up. Specific, smaller problems that had to do with the background of the reading experience rather than the main focus of it. I enjoyed the series and don’t regret spending time reading through it, but I’ve never been able to make myself read through it a second time, which is unfortunate because there are a lot of singular moments that left a mark on me and my imagination.

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Making The Most of a New Day

Wren checked the clock and saw they’d overslept. Grumbling under the music playing from their phone, they heaved themselves upright and sat on the edge of their bed for a few luxurious mintues, mind blank as sleep slipped slowly away.

After their routine of exercise, stretching, coffee, showering, and breakfast, they slumped into a lounge on their deck and spent an hour planning their week. Meetings were maneuvered, appointments shifted, and plans confirmed as their second cup of coffee dwindled. Wren clambered off the chair after finishing, left the pool of lamplight on their deck, and went for a brisk walk through the woods.

It still felt wrong to hike in the dark, but they’d adjusted to wearing a headlamp and marked all their favorite paths with reflective trailmarkers. Their parents had gotten used to winters without snow eventually, so they figured it was just a matter of time.

After their hike, Wren settled down for lunch in their kitchen, absorbing the warmth and light of a sun lamp while eating. They could have taken vitamin suppliments, but they found comfort in the routine of basking.

After cleaning up, they settled into their office and put in a few hours of work, doing a few pages of roughs and working on some flats for their currnet graphic novel. The idea was about five years old, but it felt nice to draw sunlight. Nostalgic, even thought it had only been a few months since the Shutter project failed, cutting Earth off from sunlight permanently.

Since the shutters were all solar panels, humanity had plenty of power to turn the moon into a replacement. Days were 28 hours long now, after adjusting the moon’s orbit, but Wren always felt like they were built for days like this. Shame about the tides, though.

Amazing What A Little Time, Some Energy, And Years of Effort/Therapy Can Do For You

I bought curtains today. And a curtain rod, of course. I’d need some way to put the curtains up if they were going to actually serve their intended purpose, you know? I also bought an oscillating fan and sundry cleaning items. Pretty normal stuff for a trip to the store at the start of summer. Nothing terribly exciting here. I also put the curtains up. Took a few minutes to find all the stuff I needed in my toolbox, given that most of it spilled out when I moved and I’ve only needed the stuff in the drawers over those past two years rather than the still incredibly messy main storage compartment, but I think the job took ten minutes total, from unpacking the curtain rod to fussing with the curtains to determine where I wanted to position them when they were open. They’re partially behind my front door, you see, so I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t get caught on the door in some strange twist of chance that would result in the curtains getting pulled down. And now I’ll be able to sleep past sunrise on clear days, since the window the curtains hang in front of allowed sunlight to bounce pretty much straight into my bedroom.

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There’s Time Enough Yet Today

Some days last an eternity. Seconds pass with the agnozing slowness of sunlight creeping across the floor, a change that only seems to happen when you find a momentary reprieve with some distraction or another. Hours pass with the glacial pace of trees growing once they’re past the point where you can use your own height as a point of reference. No matter what you do with a day like that, it always feels like a waste.

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Reasonable Expectations For Life Management

As a single person living alone in a moderately sized two-bedroom apartment, I frequently feel like I don’t have enough time for everything I need and want to do. Back when I was working from home, I could do a lot of small household chores and personal management labor in the breaks I now fill with walking around my office, browsing the internet, writing, and various minor entertainments. I think that was the only time in my life I managed to keep up with laundry, apartment cleaning, work, and hobbies. I had fewer demands on my time, sure, since I wasn’t blogging, writing, and trying to maintain three dungeons and dragons campaigns, but I felt like I was actually on top of things for once.

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Some Change Would Be Nice. Not Time Change, Though. That Sucks

Man, fuck daylight savings time. I don’t care if this is going up a week removed from the event when I don’t feel as mad about it, but the whole “change your clocks twice a year” thing is bullshit. We should just adopt DST as our always time. I think more people could use the afternoon/evening time in the sun than the morning time, but I recognize that people who actually get up at that time would maybe prefer the sunlight then. Ultimately, I don’t really care which way we go, so long as we just stick with it. I have enough trouble sleeping without needing to suddenly offset my normal sleep schedule by an hour.

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