Digging Myself Out

This is not an apology post. More of a commitment to myself to give more time to things I value, like blogging regularly.

This is not an apology post. More of a commitment to myself to give more time to things I value, like blogging regularly.

Do you ever get so busy that things in your life just start to fall by the wayside? You’re barely keeping up with the essential, paying-the-bills stuff, and even if you have any time to do other things on your to-do list, you don’t have the energy for them. So your to-do list gets longer and longer, and then at some point you realise you’re just moving the same items over from day to day, week to week.

My life has felt like that lately. I’ve been busy keeping my head above water, barely keeping on top of the things that absolutely had to be done. Things like blogging have fallen by the wayside. Yes, I’ve put up the occasional post just to keep things going, but I’ve missed a couple of months of sending out my email newsletter, I haven’t been actively commenting or writing monthly roundups of my reading, and I missed one of my favourite blogging events, German Literature Month. As for my Borges Marathon, I seem to have got cramp in the first mile.

I’m hoping that’s changing now, which is why I’m writing this post. It’s not one of those apology posts that bloggers sometimes put up, because I’m pretty sure nobody has been seriously affected by not seeing so many posts here. It’s more of a commitment to myself to start giving more time to things I enjoy and value, this blog being one of them.

I’m reminded of a very claustrophobic Italian novel I read last year, Snow, Dog, Foot by Claudio Morandini, about an old man who lives up in the mountains and gets completely snowed in every winter. I feel as if I’m just now starting to dig myself out, to feel the breath of spring.

Some of the busy things I’ve been doing have been good, at least. I was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for a flash fiction piece I wrote about living under Covid lockdown. I wrote a long article for The Wall Street Journal covering academic research on whether entrepreneurs are happier than the rest of us and why. And I’ve been working hard on finishing a new novel—more details to come on that, hopefully, maybe…

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There are 8 comments

  1. Hello, Andrew! Glad to hear from you! Oh, same here, no matter how we try to make our lives simple and joyful, when we get rid of a boring task another one comes up, …an ever ending story! Anyway, it’s always a pleasure to read your blog posts, I always do, even though I rarely coment. Please don’t give up. Stay safe! Isolete

    1. Hi Isolete, Thanks for this! It’s always good to hear from you too, and thanks for letting me know you’re still reading. Ah, simple and joyful—that’s a beautiful way of putting it. That really is how I want to live, and yet somehow my days get filled with so many other things. But I’m finding a better balance now. Thanks again for checking in, and I wish you much simplicity and joy too!

  2. I just had this thought later in the year, as I adopted a different calendar/organizing system for the final stretch of the year, just to distract myself from this very phenomenon you’ve so succinctly described. (The repeating to-do lists are still there, to be dealt with as EOY approaches and the 2022 stuff is slotted into lines and columns, but I needed to suspend it somehow as the lists were ever-lengthening; I am easily tricked by myself, which can be handy, when judiciously applied.)

    Congrats on the shortlisting! Is there a link to the story too, or is it to be made available in an anthology?

    And I will aim to borrow the article via the public library (it’s behind a paywall for me because I don’t sub to the WSJ) because that sounds like a topic I’m interested in! Congrats on finishing a long and satisfying piece.

    1. Yep, I need to trick myself too! Things have been much better since coming to Barbados though, so I’m hoping to carry that on into the new year.

      The story isn’t being published – it was just shortlisted, but I’m going to submit it to some other places now. I’m happy to email it to you if you’d like to read it, though. I’ll send you that WSJ story too, so that you don’t have to track it down through the library 🙂

  3. Olá, Andrew!

    Gostei do seu post, e me identifiquei, nesse momento estou sentindo exatamente assim. Mas vou buscar caminhos para sair…vou respirar.

    Um abraço,

    Zenilda Grilo

    1. Olá Zenilda!

      É bom ouvir de você. Eu odeio essa sensação de estar sobrecarregado e não ter tempo para nada. Não é uma boa maneira de viver. Espero que as coisas melhorem para você em breve!

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