Day 89: Recognizing the need for calm

Yesterday I over-corrected. My achievement for the day was recognizing it.

Yesterday morning I wrote that I’d been unproductive and frustrated about it for days. I then proceeded to whip myself into an unpleasant frenzy of productivity for a few hours.

I studied hard in 20/10 increments for about four hours. I was amped, but not in a good, excited way. It was an anxious kind of amped. An annoyed kind. A manic kind.

I noticed it creeping up on me but it crescendoed sooner than expected. At one point, I got up for a snack. I knocked over a glass and spilled oat milk all over my kitchen because I’d been moving too quickly.

The emotional explosion was far worse than the one achieved by the dairy substitute. Or, rather, it easily could have been.

I felt it building, felt the pressure in my throat and eyeballs and understood the oncoming need to collapse into wails and sobs.

On some level, this would have been justified. I’m at home alone and this is a shitty time overall. It’s that time of the month and my hormones are what they are. Why not give in to a good hearty sobfest?

Well, because I didn’t want to, I suppose. I didn’t want to collapse into a puddle. I wanted to figure out what was upsetting me and fix it.

Thus, that’s what I did.

I realized I had done too much too quickly. I’d gone from 0-100 with no buildup time. And, on some level, I wasn’t simply trying to be productive.

I was attempting to make up for lost time.

I was punishing myself for having been unproductive for a few days in a row.

No wonder, then, why I was feeling such horrible emotions about it.

I decided to take a longer break and watch this week’s episode of Outlander (OMG, folks, it’s so good), unwind a little, and see what I felt like afterwards.

Afterwards, I felt spent. I watched a few episodes of Jamestown. FYI, season 1 is available on Prime. I then got ready for bed and read for a bit before falling asleep. I’m reading Anne of Green Gables again, because it’s the sweet escapist perfection my soul tends to need during troubled times such as these.

Yesterday, I learned I need to be more balanced in my attempts to be productive right now. With no job, no outings, no demands on my time, no structure except for whatever I self-impose, it’s up to me to create new rules for myself.

White text on blue background. "For those who have lost track, today is Blursday the fortyteenth of Maprilay."

Today, I plan to study all morning. But this afternoon, I plan to stop. I’m going to spend the afternoon tidying up and doing various household tasks that have been on the back burner for the past month and are starting to bother me.

Having a tidy home always makes me feel soothed and happier. Today I will work towards giving that to myself.

As for the current events obsession I wrote of yesterday, I’ve culled my podcast subscriptions down from 10 to 6. Only three are published daily. The other three are weekly. My goal is to listen to podcasts for a short while each morning and each evening, and to stay away from news updates otherwise.

This week, my plan is to buckle down and get back to the healthy, sustainable routines I’d practiced before social isolation formally began.

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