The year’s been hell, I think most everyone agrees. For me, in addition to all the external problems, I’ve been fighting with depression ranging from bothersome to near-crippling.
This is not advice, this is not a magic solution. This is a unordered collection of thoughts and observations with no real purpose other than writing them down.
This is not new, I’ve struggled with this for 8 or so years, probably longer. The events of this year have made it way worse however, partially by adding a massive external stress and uncertainty and partially by removing several of my escapes. No weekend gaming sessions, no afternoons at a coffee shop, no browsing a book shop for a couple hours, no trips to the coast. And even though I’m usually fine alone, the weeks of solitude sometimes broken by only a couple of meetings has been hard. The cats are good company but not great conversationalists.
Easy things are hard, hard things are near-impossible. On the worst days, something as trivial as making lunch is a challenge, not because it’s inherently difficult, but because of all the sub-steps. Deciding what to have, cooking whatever it is (or thawing out frozen stuff), remembering that something’s in the oven before it evolves into carbon, etc. There’s been many days when it was easier to just get another cup of coffee and a handful of nuts, or just a cup of coffee.
Focusing on something for any significant amount of time is hard. I’ve resorted to pommodoro timers, adjusted to 5 minutes/1 minute and it kinda works. Most of the time.
I’ve found that a good measure of how well I’m doing is the size of the laundry pile. Currently it’s about three machine-loads in size.
I have just about no interest in new tech. This is, obviously, not a good thing.
I think I’ve read maybe 15 books this year. Compared to my usual of around 70, that’s not great.
What I’m going to try and do from next year (4 hours time at this writing) is:
- Spend at least half an hour outside every day, with a book. I spent a lot of time and money on the balcony, and it’s now at the point where it’s nice to sit out on it. I wish I had a real garden, but, block of flats, so no.
- Not go to bed at 2AM. Bad habit here, needs to stop
- Write more. Here and on my personal blog. This is going to be…. difficult.
- Try and focus on an online course and spend some time each week on it. This is also going to be difficult.