I’ve been feeling weird lately: restless, dissatisfied with the way I’m living, ashamed of how I never get anything done…and also completely exhausted. It’s not a new feeling and it’s not a rational feeling; after all, I hold down a job, pay my bills, take care of my animals, and I’m in a loving, committed relationship. What more could I want? Should I want more? Am I being greedy? Am I being too hard on myself?
But I guess I do want more. I want to be healthy – I don’t think I’ve been truly healthy in a long time. I need to have my tonsils removed, I’ve gained weight since I started the Citalopram, my diet leaves much to be desired, and I’m alarmed at how addicted to caffeine I am. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve gone without at least one cup of coffee per day in months. I don’t even like the way I feel when I drink it anymore.
Furthermore, I want to be financially stable, but I don’t want to be totally reliant on this job, the way I am right now. I’m fortunate in that it’s not a consistently demanding job – obviously I have some free time at work – but I’m also coasting along not really doing anything, either. Compliance isn’t fulfilling, interesting, or…anything, really, to me. It and answering phones are the things I do around here so that they’ll let me stay and keeping putting a little bit of money in my account every two weeks, and frankly, it doesn’t feel good. I have free mornings Monday, Wednesday, and Friday right now (on weeks that I don’t need to cover for anybody). If I could find some people who needed their dogs walked, I could do that in the mornings, make a little bit more money, get some exercise, and meet both new people and dogs. Those are all good things. I would like that. And I’m uniquely fortunate right now in that my job does give me the time to do things like that. I need to take advantage of it.
The other thing that’s sort of vaguely stressing me out right now is writing. I haven’t felt like a writer in months. I know it’s not supposed to be about how you feel, but I’m just so discouraged. Everything that I write feels like utter tripe. I can’t create interesting, compelling characters, I can’t come up with coherent plots, and I can’t even describe anything very well. I don’t know what happened, but…words have become a mystery to me. Even my grammar and punctuation are horrible now. I don’t understand it. I used to be so convinced that writing was what I wanted to do, what I was supposed to do. I used to feel like I had a measure of control over my ability to put words together. I was enthusiastic about it, and sure that eventually, if I kept trying, things would click and one day I’d be able to actually finish something. You know what I’ve finished in the last six months? One short story. One. And it sucks. Being published no longer seems like even a remote possibility.
I think I’m just one of those people who thought they could cut it, but didn’t have the guts and the drive to see anything through. And frankly, I don’t think I’m smart enough to write. Everything that I’d want to write is so far about my head, subject-matter-wise, that even if I did finish a novel, I have little faith that any of it would make sense. Right now, just thinking about writing or looking back over past writing makes me feel like my brain is made of lead.
I know that all sounds very pessimistic, but I wanted to say it so that I would have something solid to start trying to solve. And to that end, here’s an incredibly ambitious list.
These are my goals for June:
1. Make some dog walking fliers and get them posted around town. Don’t worry overmuch about rates or anything complicated. Those can be determined as I go, and frankly, I doubt that I’ll have so many people interested that the more complicated parts will even be relevant.
2. Get my application in to the Animal Behavior College.
3. Wean myself off of coffee/caffeine.
4. Consistently keep the kitchen clean so that making fresh meals doesn’t seem like too much work. Cut my processed foods intake by about 50%. Work on smarter grocery shopping.
5. Rearrange the bedroom, get rid of all unused furniture, get rid of all unused clothing, and go through the high cupboards. Find a place to hang the planter.
6. Attend Scalzi’s book signing in Minneapolis.
7. Walk at least 1 mile with the dogs per day.
8. Get the cat in for his check-up.
9. Save money for the wedding. [Goal: approx. $2-300]
10. Meet all of my Compliance review goals at work.
11. Write. Work on rewriting Atlas City. Don’t be overwhelmed by it. Just do some writing. Maybe try out http://750words.com/.