414. The Resistance

Okay, so I don’t feel terribly great about posting quotes for a week, although they are great quotes that mean a lot to me – and they have great reasons to be posted.

But even if my mind can accept that, my heart has some difficulty following up. I keep getting these questions chasing me, like:

Q: Why can’t you set aside half an hour a day to blog, now that you are home all of the time, pretty much?

A: I don’t really have half an hour during the day, as Char and I take turns with Jay. Jay can usually only sleep in his pram and that’s my job to walk that one, as Char takes him by night.

And when Char has him at home, there are house chores, such as shopping, cooking, cleaning up and washing – and we are chronically behind on all of them.

Furthermore Char needs some time now to apply for jobs as her maternity leave is soon at an end, and she is the one who earns the most (once she gets a job) so it makes good sense to take Jay some extra time to prioritize that.

So whenever I have some time for myself and I leave house chores lying, I usually am too tired and have poor concentration, knowing I could be interrupted any minute from something in the other room.

In the evening, I am just too tired. I go to bed at 9, sometimes even 830 PM. If I sit up to have a drink all I usually feel for those 20-ish minutes is to read some comics. My brain feels frozen. So that was a long answer, but there you have it.

Q: Why don’t you just write shorter posts, it would still be of greater value – original content.

A: Shorter posts still take concentration, sometimes even more, because I just can’t rant away and hope to end up at some conclusion that feels like it has power. I’d rather post some quality content instead, even if it is not my own.

Q: I thought you’d get more time now that you are on de facto paternity leave and don’t have to work your business, except for existing clients and good leads that come by themselves.

A: I thought so, too, for about 3 days, but that was kind of wishful thinking. It was always a choice about committing fully to work, to blogging/art or family with a toddler and a girlfriend who can’t lift him very much.

But I am grateful for the choice of family full time until Jay starts daycare (which now has been moved to March!).

I may feel down about The Blog and about writing and art and, well, just about any bit of time to myself that I don’t really have. But on the other hand I am really grateful for the marked improvement in my relationship now that Char knows she can count on me full-time and don’t have to feel guilty if she just wants to rest, or rest her hand and maybe go to the spa for that (it helps).

Also, being more with Jay and not thinking about everything Else. That is good, too.

So it is a clear net win, although it has had its costs. Those costs are the ones I am dealing with now.

Q: Why can’t you just lower you ambitions for The Blog, then?

A: That is what I am trying to, for a period at least. It is the only way forward. I have to accept that some periods of my life even the relatively modest goal of blogging every day for maybe half an hour is not going to work, due to all sorts of reasons.

And I have to accept that those are good reasons even if it makes me feel week that I can’t do at least that little bit, or – more precisely – I feel I can’t.

Q: Correct, you should be professional about it and just do it anyway. Force yourself to stay up even if you are dead-tired, or feel your concentration is poor during the day.

A: That is something I would be able to, if it was a matter of income or life and death-ish. Obviously I could do that. But then there would be no breaks to give me energy. It would immediately become another chore and another stress-factor. Which is the same reason I gave up on that write-500-words-a-day idea that I wanted to use again for my Hammer and Magic-story. It worked fine before Jay came, but not now.

Now my purpose with writing and drawing is to get energy when I have some free time, not to take away energy from myself. If I have to take away energy from myself for blogging or doing art then there should be a clear compensation at the other end, like for money. There isn’t.

And I don’t have any goals either that feel meaningful enough to warrant that I overtax myself in this way, like “I have to finish Hammer and Magic this year” or “I have to get the most read blog on the Internet”.

If I really, really felt those goals were important enough and I did subscribe to them, then, yes, I would have to be “professional” and pay the price to achieve them. Or I can be smart and wise and take a break now when life demands it and then pick up the reins when the time is better suited.

So I choose to be smart and wise, and rebrand what I am doing as just that. I have to. I can’t let that inner critic win.

What will I gain from it? To overtax myself in order not to feel … “unprofessional”?

I’m sure some people will check just that box and then go overtax themselves for this reason. But I have done so many times before, and I like to think that I learn my lesson as I grow older.

So even if that inner critical voice is not dead and may never be, at least I can resist it now.

And if nothing else, this little fight sure did fuel a blog post worth a thousand words …