Day 015 – The Secret

I’ll let you in on a secret. This daily journaling endeavour of mine is equal parts pseudo therapy and writing practice. For a while now I have been getting the feeling that writing copious emails and to do lists at work aren’t really about ‘writing’. My first clue was that they bring me absolutely no joy, in fact, trying to get it just right so that it hits the right notes and does not offend anyone but at the same time gets the intended response frequently leaves me feeling exhausted. There is no creativity in it, no flights of fancy allowed; just cold, hard words put across in the most economical way stripped of all meaning and context. To add insult to injury, work takes up so much mental energy that I have almost none left over afterwards to devote to anything else and end up in binge-watching limbo. I know I won’t be able to change anything overnight and so for now it’s this creaky and hesitating start where I force myself to spit out something, anything at the end of each day and hopefully help scrape off the rust. I know if I tell myself I’ll write every day and publish once a week so that it becomes a cohesive and well written post, I will end up not doing it. Instead, aiming this gun to my head seems to be working so far.

I am pondering this today because I caught up on a gigantic backlog of reading today. I usually read all my newsletter subscriptions and saved articles over the weekend but I have neglected them for almost a month now. I couldn’t get through everything of course but I got through a lot. And reading all those beautiful essays just made me want to hurry up and get there myself. Happily a lot of the year end posts were about books to read and I now have a bulging list of varied recommendations which is good because I set myself a 50 book challenge for the year. I usually hate the idea of such a formulaic and arbitrary way of governing my reading life but once again it’s the proverbial gun to my head which keeps reminding me that I would be better off reading than watching TV. I have picked my next book: No One is Talking About This and I have also logged 2 finished books of the year in my Goodreads account which I have apparently last used in 2020 when I must have thought I’ll get a lot of reading done during the lockdown. Today’s reading quota however has been completely exhausted by all the long reads: New Year Resolutions from 1942, commonplace books, psychology of picking baby names, decoding JK Rowlings behaviour, busting the myth of Goop and too many more to list.

Today was also productive for my personal finances, but that part felt like a full day’s work and I needed a walk afterwards to clear my head. Just like my reading backlog I also had a huge personal email backlog. I have almost managed to clear them all except 4 which of course are personal finance related. I have promised myself I will get to them tomorrow which means after this weekend I will be fully caught up and back to my pretty decent weekly schedule of reading articles, clearing emails and doing pesky online chores (which never seem to end do they?). One of the other things I think I shall do this year is to stop hoarding things for the weekend. I tend to do that for both good and bad things and that can make my weekend quite exhausting. Of course, sometimes the pile of things to do feels so daunting that I don’t end up doing anything at all and just spend the weekend however I like. This does not solve the problem and just makes the pile that much larger for the next weekend. This year, I will do something about this.

I thought I had watched enough hair care videos yesterday to last me a lifetime but somehow managed to squeeze in a few more today. But I am done now and have banned myself from that channel for the foreseeable future while I work on practicing some of the things that I have learnt. I think that is it for today unless I have actively forgotten any part of my day. Until next time, Cheers!

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