0581 – July 2016

I haven’t written a word vomit in almost a month. I don’t really like writing “I haven’t been writing” passages, because it’s the same old thing over and over again. It might make sense to write a one-size-fits-all passage for that and then just reference that. Maybe I’ll write it now and then never write it again.

Why do I stop writing? Sometimes I just get tired or bored. I feel like I’ve been repeating myself a lot, and I’m no longer very interested in what I have to say.

What have I been doing instead of writing?

1. I had to take a week off to do my reservist duty, which was an interesting sort of “flashback quest” of sorts. [1]

2. I’ve been watching a lot of Game of Thrones – I only started watching it after Season 6 had already ended, and I just finished watching all 6 seasons together with the wife. I’ve enjoyed it. I sat down to write a vomit entirely devoted to that, but I started with some preamble and I guess I’m going to flesh out an entire preamble vomit first.

3. I was reading a little. I finished up Understanding Comics, which is a great book about making sense of a medium (visual storytelling) and its various unique traits, its history, conventions, tropes and so on. I started reading Anna Karenina, which is a lot more engaging and compelling than I thought it was going to be. I somehow always assume that classics are going to be incredibly difficult and intimidating, which I think is a shame. Classics should be read for pleasure, in pursuit of curiosity, not out of some sort of solemn obligation. Literature departments are often terrible for Shakespeare, except when passionate teachers teach them. I’ve been reading Leading by Alex Ferguson. I’m not a football fan, but I am certainly a fan of successful managers of all kinds. I guess I’m hoping that I’ll learn something interesting or useful that I can apply to my own life, to manage myself and my life better.

4. I spent some time with my in-laws. I’m not sure if I’ve written very much about it – my wife and I have had a poor relationship with her parents ever since we started dating over a decade ago. They’ve finally begun to warm up to us and welcome us into their lives, which is a little confusing to navigate but I think it’s something positive.

5. I bought a fitbit. I’ve been writing and thinking for years that sleep is one of the most important things that I should fix, and I figure that tracking it makes it likelier that I’m going to manage it better. There are still probably some things that I’m overlooking.

6. I haven’t been working out as much as I want to. I was done with my remedial training, and I’m done with my army reservist, so I have the next 10 months or so to get into the best shape of my life. I want to do that. I’m thinking about how, for a long time it was an incredibly painful limiting factor for me to have very weak, skinny legs. I’m still skinny overall but I’m not so weak anymore. I managed to squat something like 80 or 90kg. I’ve lost some of that strength from disuse– I think I trained a little too hard at the time, but I’m confident that I can get it back and I’m eagerly looking forward to getting it back. The next big limiting factor for me physically is cardiovascular fitness. I’ve never been able to run 2.4km in under 12 minutes, as far as I can remember, and it’s a great source of shame for me. I haven’t run it in under 13 minutes in recent times. I don’t know if it’s something to do with my mitral valve prolapse (it’s a minor heart condition where some blood backflows a little after each pump), or if it has to do with me being very long and lanky and having low blood sugar, etc. A part of it in the past used to feel like it was a lack of leg strength, but my legs are a lot stronger now from squats. Anyway it’s something I want to work on for the sake of breaking limitations. I would like to go to my next reservist and be one of the fittest men there. I reject the assumption that middle-aged men have to be flabby. I want to be a really fit old man.

7. I have been doing some home improvement DIY stuff that I was procrastinating on. I finally drilled up my guitar hangers in my study/lounge room. I was putting it off I think because I was worried that I was going to get it wrong, that it was going to be sloppy and I was going to hate how it looked. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t able to get it perfect. Some of the distances aren’t quite right. Maybe I could have spent a little more time measuring and doublechecking and troubleshooting. But actually, now that I look at it, I’m much happier that it’s done than not. It still looks good, just slightly imperfect. But such is life.

Wow, guess the floodgates have opened and I’m writing again. Onwards to the next vomit.

[1] You know, like in those TV shows or video games where an episode / quest is spent sending the protagonist back in time, either to flesh out some backstory, or just for a change of pace. I am always fascinated by the passage of time and space. Over time, we tend to move across different spaces. It’s always interesting to revisit an old space – it brings back memories and thoughts from an older time. Wearing my boots again was an interesting experience. Visiting a friend who lives near where I grew up was an interesting experience. I’m not sure if I want to go through all of those thoughts right now, but I imagine I will sooner or later.

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