Weeks ago, a concerned friend sent me a message to make sure I was OK after a dearth of social media posts. I emailed her back to let her know that it’s not for any health reasons. In fact, I’m feeling well enough that things are somewhat back to normal. Honestly, I’ve been busy and not busy, and it’s been the latter that has been inexplicably keeping me from getting things done—like updating this blog.
On that particular day, I was actively avoiding social media because it was right after the Game of Thrones finale, and I was several seasons behind, so I was worried about spoilers. Now I’m caught up and can freely peruse the internet.
As a freelancer, I seem to usually swing from having no work to having a lot to do. The no-work times aren’t as fun and carefree as you might think, since I spend the entire time stressing out about not having work. I also tend to get depressed and listless, so not only am I not working, but I’m also not getting the things done that I tell myself I would do with time off (like updating my portfolio). I find myself half-heartedly doing tasks at a slow pace.
I spend much of the time on pointless worrying. I was comforted by the story I saw about the study that found that most people feel better doing something than doing nothing. Basically, this study confirmed what Louis C.K. told Conan O’Brien months ago. Without things I didn’t absolutely have to be doing, I felt adrift.
Since I felt as if I should be devoting all my time to finding work, I didn’t update the blog either. I have a bunch of posts I never finished. But now that I have work to do, I also feel as if I have free time to blog. Oddly, I feel as if I can’t have only free time—it has to be balanced with work.
I’ve also had trouble focusing, and I can’t tell if this is just not having structure, or if it’s “chemo brain,” which I just read has been proven, according to a new study.
To help myself focus, I’ve been going back to making to-do lists. Sometimes I write things on my to-do list that I’ve already done, in order to cross them off and feel as if I’ve accomplished something. Someone suggested I put “write to-do list” at the top, so I can cross it off immediately.
I even put “blog” on my list. Though the dent in my list is small, I made some progress today. Below are some additional things I accomplished today that were not on my list, as well as why they’re important.
Reminded my friend that he owes me $1 million that he lost in a bet to me last night. He thought that an old Saturday Night Live skit featured Jimmy Fallon, but it was Chris Kattan. I also reminded my boyfriend that he owes me $8,999,975 over a few ill-advised bets about ‘80s songs. If they pay up soon, I can retire. However, seeing as they’re also writers/editors, this is unlikely. Perhaps my time would be better spent seeking friends who are foolish enough to make such bets with me, but who also have the funds to pay. I’ll put that on my to-do list.
Read about Jessica Simpson’s wedding. This was really important for several reasons. I’ve kicked my celebrity gossip habit, for the most part, but I continue to involuntarily collect useless pop culture knowledge. Often, they’re tidbits so obscure, they don’t even help me out in trivia. I can’t even talk to anyone else about this information. I’m pretty sure all of this is crowding out things that I need to remember, so I’ve cut down on gossip intake.
However, I decided recently that it is part of my civic duty to read at least some new celebrity news to avoid the alarming instance of recycled old news I’ve seen presented as new. Last week, I was irrationally irritated when I saw Ryan Gosling was trending, and it was a decade-old story about how he and Rachel McAdams—whom he later dated—didn’t get along on the set of The Notebook. I’ve known that for 10 years, since the movie came out. (Not that I’ve seen the film. It looks mushy, and I have a cold, cold heart.) But this was being presented as news! You can imagine my outrage—and subsequent relief to learn that he is trending today for a legitimate, new reason.
You know who has seen The Notebook? Jessica Simpson. She apparently saw it on an airplane and she decided she wanted a love like that, and that’s when she decided to divorce Nick Lachey. Why do I know that? I don’t know. As I said, I retain useless knowledge that I read years ago.
For this trip down the aisle, I saw a headline that said she went for a Great Expectations theme, so I had to click to learn more. I’ve read only part of the book, but Charles Dickens’ description of the bitter spinster Miss Havisham has stayed with me. Jilted at the altar, everything in the house is left as it was the moment she found out the groom wasn’t coming to the wedding. From what I remember, she sits with the clock stopped at that time, wearing only one shoe, the wedding dress sagging on her withered frame. Settings for guests are left out, a dusty cake goes uneaten.
I pictured the wedding in a cobwebby mansion with the bride in a yellowing dress. Also, Havisham’s not big on love, so it seemed like an odd choice. To my mild disappointment, the wedding was based on the 1998 movie. Still kind of weird, because it’s just an OK film at best. I listened to the soundtrack a lot, because I liked the songs from Pulp and Mono, and the Tori Amos song was good. Anyway, I hope Simpson’s finally found her Notebook love.
Now that I think about it, it’s my pop culture knowledge that has won me the millions currently owed to me. So the five minutes I spent reading about the wedding could pay off big some day, provided I bet the right person with the funds to pay up. Yes, this was a worthy pursuit.
Played the theme songs to Game of Thrones and Orange Is the New Black to see if my fatter cat has a Pavlovian response and associates these sounds with begging for ice cream as I watch TV. He does not. I conclude that this means my ice cream habit isn’t as dire as I feared. Or maybe (possibly) the cat isn’t as smart as I’d hoped. This was science and clearly very necessary.
Watched some internet cats. I don’t do this as much as people seem to think, but in my defense, I was celebrating crossing something off my to-do list, and the video is very short.
Wrote this blog. Oh, wait, this was on my list. Phew. Time to celebrate…