Because ambivalence wasn’t working for me…

So last night I ran down the list:

– Feeling like there’s too much to do, yet doing nothing of note? Check.
– Spawning new projects I just have to do because “they’re so damn cool” instead of finishing old projects? Check
– Not sleeping? Check.
– Avoiding blog-posting? Check.
– Resurgence of interest in both wrestling and gaming, with a hyper-focus on my favourite wrestling-sim that often supersedes sleep and food*? Yeah, that’s there too; check.

Yep, all the signs are there and my customary ambivalence in the face of things that stress me out remains ineffective. It’s time to hit the big old mental reset button and start reworking my to-do list from the ground up. I’ve given myself permission to do nothing but get my life in order for the next four or five days, ransacking the house room-by-room and establishing a workable model for getting done all the stuff I want done. A physical and mental sorting of stuff, if you will. It’s already underway, and it’s starting to frighten me, just a little.

Allow me to introduce you too the big ol’ pile of stuff that wasn’t in the right place and now takes up half my office – it mostly consists of unfiled papers, books that have crept off bookshelves, shoes and unusable computer gear. If you need a sense of scale, that gray thing on the top-left of the screen is the plastic bag full of dead ink cartridges that hangs off my doorknob. There are parts of this pile that sit around waist high, and I’m pretty sure every room in the house will have an equivalent pile (except, maybe, the bathroom, where I’ll probably just deal with unsorted junk that comes up to knee height instead). I shudder to think that it might serve as a decent-ish metaphor for my subconscious approach to what I’m meant to be doing of late, but it’s probably close enough.

So today I conquer the study and the unsorted projects my subconscious associates with the room (novel; thesis; wrestling). Tomorrow I deal with the bedroom and the projects that live there, mentally speaking (reading; short fiction; DnD). And so on and so forth the day after that, until I’ve got a good grasp on exactly what it is I’m doing again. Which, yes, I acknowledge is a form of procrastination, but it’s a form of procrastination that works for me in the long run, unlike 72 hours of obsessive wrestling consumption and computer games.

*This, for the record, is the reason I will never go *near* World of Warcraft or anything similar. I lost three days over the weekend to a simple data-base run wrestling simulation; WoW would devour me whole the first time I started to stress out. People would have to come and find my dissicated corpse after I starved to death beside my computer, or exploded after eating too much take-away pizza.

  2 comments for “Because ambivalence wasn’t working for me…

  1. 18/12/2008 at 6:44 AM

    I now feel infinitely better about my own mess! You'll probably find the remote and the Grail under that lot. In my day-job I go through people's archiving, stuff that hasn't been looked at for 20 years or me…looking at your pile o' stuff is giving me all sorts of bad flashbacks.

    I agree re WoW, I don't know anyone with the willpower to resist that sort of game immersion.

  2. 18/12/2008 at 7:13 AM

    It's worth noting that there's also a significant amount of stuff that's not in the pile – I only cleared out the top drawer of my four-drawer file-cabinet, for example, with a short note on my to-do list reminding me that I need to do the rest once the new file system is in place.

    And the list of projects and to-do's is somewhat staggering; 150 entries and counting, at present. More if I consider "organise unfinished short stories" as an individual job for each draft…

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