Still here

I’ve been pretty quiet on this blog over the past couple of weeks. No, I have not abandoned my pursuit of trying to write better. Quite the opposite.

Our website went live about two weeks ago, so I’ve been trying to write some pieces for that. I wrote one that was quite fun today about the RACGP’s latest campaign Expert Advice Matters (fun to write, that is, I’m not sure about reading).

I’m still going to be on here from time to time writing, but probably won’t be as regular as I have been over the past nine months or so. But please, if you happen to read this, do come and join us at Traversity.

The community is only just getting started and we need people who want to shape the culture in a positive way. It’s pretty much covid-free (as covid-free as you can get at the moment) and is not the usual social media newsfeed/grand posturing type stuff. We are really focused on quality of interaction versus quantity of members, posts etc. but we could use more members. Honestly, right now it’s pretty much me talking into the void, so I’d really appreciate some company!

 

The next right thing

Frozen II has been the music of choice in our household over the past few months. I wasn’t that keen at first listen, but it’s grown on me (could be a survival mode thing?). It’s got a real broadway musical vibe.

In the final act, Anna has a tragic moment where she sings a song that is super sad and stricken with grief. It’s about pulling herself up off the floor to do the next right thing.

Last week in his newsletter, Ryan Holiday wrote along a similar theme
The important thing is that we are not afraid. That we don’t overthink things. That we don’t get distracted with the worst-case scenario on top of the worst-case scenario on top of the collision of two other worst-case scenarios. Because that doesn’t help us with what’s right in front of us right now. It doesn’t help us put one foot in front of the other, whether it’s on a spacewalk or a tough business call. It doesn’t help us slow our heart rate down whether we’re re-entering the earth’s atmosphere or watching a plummeting stock portfolio. It doesn’t help us remember that we’ve trained for this, that there is a playbook for how to proceed.

Not everyone who achieves things does so by having a sense of bravado and a smile on their face. Sometimes it’s more a matter of pushing through and keeping going with whatever the next step is supposed to be. It might not feel good, that’s ok. But that’s the hard thing about doing hard things.

Trailor park life

I feel like over this past month our neighbourhood has magically transformed from a closed off inner city suburb into a giant caravan park. People are sitting in their front yards, saying hello as they pass by. There are hardly any cars on the roads or planes flying by. Yesterday evening the park was a hive of appropriately socially distanced activity; dogs and children getting exercised all over the place. I fully expect to see someone walk down the street in their pyjamas before the months end.

But the thing about being in a caravan park is that they’re usually (for me) associated with holidays. Typically lazy holidays by the beach where the kids just play all day and you might get a chance to read a book or two. It is not the type of environment that is conducive to getting work done. The daily struggle with being productive while having a child to keep entertained is ever present. So is the guilt that goes along with it.

I feel guilty for not being productive enough. Not being disciplined enough to focus on my work when I get the opportunity. Conversely, I feel guilty that I’m not giving my daughter enough attention. She’s been totally cut off from all her friends and obviously craving other kids to play with. She practically chased another kid to the park the other day when she saw them walking by, just to be in their presence. She’s at an awkward age where she’s old enough to know she misses her friends, but not old enough to know how to connect with them over distance. She wants to play, not socialise.

I feel so conflicted about what to do next term. It’s been suggested that unless we can’t support remote learning that we keep our kids at home. But what does that mean? It’s pretty ambiguous. I mean, I can support remote learning, it just comes at the cost of everything else I was hoping to achieve. I think part of me wants a legitimate, regular paying job just to feel comfortable with sending my kid to school.

I’ll figure it out, I know. But at the moment I’m just going to take a moment to feel disgruntled about it within my newfound peaceful caravan park type environment; sitting on the front verandah with the birds chirping and enjoying a cup of tea. Coming up with a plan about what to do about it can wait until another day.