June 6, 2017 (Tuesday)

by Yule Heibel on June 5, 2018

The first week of June is almost over and I’ve turned the heat back on because it’s so cold and raw. Yesterday at just after 6p.m., noticing that I was freezing and seeing that it was only 64ºF in the house, I pulled the lever (figuratively). Heat on. Nice to wake up to 66ºF this morning. A degree or two makes all the difference between discomfort and comfort. Of course this counts for overheating, too. Next week it’s supposed to get hot all of a sudden. Fine, I admit it: I am not weather antifragile, especially not towards heat and humidity combined. Love the slightly cooler days, and especially the cooler nights, but neither am I a fan of  the utter gloom into which we’ve been thrust.

Yesterday I found myself again letting important desk work languish. No fiction writing at all. Not sure what week of no fiction writing I’m already into, but it’s not good. I’m getting steady reminders that I’m trying to do too much, in a way, or trying to cover all the bases too perfectly. Perfect house-drone (I iron duvet covers and pillow shams, for pete’s sake…). Always available for the kids (I won’t let that change, though: if they call, I answer). Fitness/ exercise: is five times a week enough? But it takes an hour each time. Okay, big deal, what’s an hour? But it’s the working up to it, the sticking with it. When I’m feeling less motivated, it takes up to one-and-a-half hours. Huge difference. Eating/ not eating. Both take energy (“intermittent” fasting, e.g.). One takes time, too (daily food prep, cooking). Personal grooming – skipping that contributes to feeling the personal hole more deeply, the stuckness. You don’t want to be that depressed person who starts skipping showers… Resting, sleep: very important. And of course walking, which seems always to be re-negotiated each day, depending on whether the weather permits it, how it dictates the time of day for it. Too hot and humid, and the walk has to come early in the day, with a knock-on effect on all the day’s other activities. If it’s going to rain (often, especially in the summer), plan it around a cessation. Also, in the summer: yard work. Weather determines the time for this activity, too. Some of the above involves social signals to the neighbors, the community: are your clothes clean?, did you get a haircut?, how high have you let the grass grow?, did you edge the lawn?, blow away the trimmings?

Or are you a big misfit, in a big mis-fit?

Yesterday I read a really interesting article, a review of sorts of a debate held in Brooklyn’s Verso Books at the end of May between Dissent and American Affairs magazine editors / contributors. The former is left, the latter right. The article is by Jacob Siegel. Very sobering account of the state of the nation’s intellectuals, as it were, and of what’s at stake. Sent it on to A., E., and W. A. already responded, intelligently of course…

I realize, after my long complaint (above) about time “management” (and didn’t I learn during my career as a mother that this is hubris and pure invention?), that a key problem is having too much information at my fingertips, and each piece of information has embedded in it portals to more information. This is true of books, of course, for what are footnotes? But online articles are the worst: links, links, links. Siegel’s excellent article caused me to click through on three additional links, and a fourth, which is a 1-3/4 hour-long video of the debate (haven’t watched it yet). It now sits in a browser tab, tempting me, distracting me like a toddler who’ll soon wake up from his nap and take my attention with him.

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