I'm sure most of you have figured out by now that writing is a bit like breathing for me. I can stop, and that's something that I even have to do sometimes, but going without for too long is... detrimental to my overall health and wellbeing. This is part of the reason that I have a blog. It forces me to keep writing and thus boosts my sanity by that necessary 10% even when I don't have the motivation to do ANYTHING. (A two-week hiatus was not healthy for me. I don't want to do it again.)
But there's more to this topic than just how much writing I have the time/energy to do in a given day, because even though I have a half dozen projects going at once, I can still make time for the thing that breathes life into me.
The question is why it has to be such a conscious effort just to exist. Not get things done, not check things off a list, not look this up or practice that skill or watch that show. I mean taking time to just be.
There is this expectation on my generation that I don't understand when I zoom out and take a real look at it.
We are expected to maintain a healthy sleep schedule, plan and cook our meals, keep our houses clean, establish and maintain healthy social schedules, work full time at at least one job, own property, have a serious relationship and maybe kids, and also a hobby or two on the side. Where am I supposed to find time for all this? Every waking moment is apparently earmarked for an activity or goal or dream, and if I'm not actively working toward checking one of those things off my list (and let's not even bring up the impression of "your hobby isn't worth it if it's not making money") then I'm wasting time. When did it become a moral obligation to be doing something all the time? When did it become okay to shame someone for indulging in things that have no productivity value?
It seems to me that while in the long ago people could do their work things and their home things and still have time to just exist as themselves, the modern person is expected to be productive for an unsustainable proportion of their waking hours. This has led to people like me finding it necessary to physically compartmentalize their lives.
When I am in this room/building/city I am doing X, and when I go back to place/area/portion of living space, I must do Y.
We have so limited ourselves in terms of what we must accomplish in order to qualify as productive human beings that we've robbed ourselves of what we need in order to be the people we're trying so hard to be.
Come back next week when I talk about burn out, and why it's such a sad, sad thing.
Spoiler: it's because it's entirely avoidable.