It's been a while since the last letter - sorry, not sorry as the kids say these days. I like to keep these letters fairly regular but have always said I won't hold myself to a schedule. When that happens you're writing because you have to, not because you want to.
It's the same with the blog and why I don't/won't post every day. I probably could but don't want to do so out of duty, I want to post when something drives me to it.
Anyway, moving on...
I've been doing some thinking recently about priorities and what I really want to achieve. It's always good to know where you want to go; there is, however, a flip side when you realise your own actions are preventing you. It can be quite disheartening, part of bigger issues.
I've written before about how I use World of Warcraft as an escape from real world problems but have also come to see it used as a form of procrastination, a way of avoiding things I want to do but haven't built up the self confidence to get started.
I mentioned that some will see the time spent playing a game as being wasted when I might instead see it as necessary respite from real world or mental health issues. Recently, especially in light of a few changes within our house, I wonder what else I could achieve with at least some of that time.
So, what's changed? My youngest daughter has gone back to university while both my wife and eldest daughter are starting remote degrees online. They're going to be very busy fitting study alongside their normal routines so we likely won't be spending so much time playing WoW as a family. The house will become more academic so maybe I should devote some of that game time to other pursuits rather than playing solo, things I've wanted to do for a while but felt I wasn't good enough to do.
Maybe the changing environment will be enough to make me focus, or is that guilt trip myself into doing it?
The plans I've had for these letters haven't happened because I've told myself they won't - nothing more. There's no reason they can't, just my hang-ups and insecurities getting the better of me over the move towards something bigger, something more focused.
It's stupid, I know, but I often can't help myself. My mental health issues are closely linked to my sense of self worth, or seeming lack thereof, and it's a vicious cycle that I need to break. Perhaps this will be one way of achieving that: getting into a routine of "doing the work" while others around me are studying, feeding off their actions as a way to trigger my own.
With all this talk about WoW it's not surprising that the last book I read was a game tie-in. As I wrote in that post, I've been struggling to read lately and I think it's been part of a larger malaise but I won't get in to that right now.
A number of the books I have on my "to read" pile are quite heavy going and not really suited to my current frame of mind. To be able to fall back on something that was an easy read was obviously what I needed right now and it got me back in the swing of things.
I immediately jumped in to Austin Kleon's "Keep Going" as I knew that it too would be an easy read but in a different way. Kleon's series, which started with Steal Like an Artist, fall into what I call the "obvious common sense" category but that's meant not to be disparaging. We often overlook the obvious thinking it can't be the answer and make things more complicated than they need be. Kleon has a way of presenting these things that prompts you to take notice, makes you rethink your attitude and realise that things don't need to be so hard.
Or at least as hard as I make them.
I think "keep going" is the advice I need right now.
In each of the "Steal" series Kleon both lists other books that have inspired him or quotes from them directly in the text. So far (I'm about half way through) it has been nice to note that I already have two of those mentioned in my "to read" pile and feel that "How to Think" by Alan Jacobs will be my next port of call. I've been meaning to get to it for a while.
And that's it...
Again, I'm sorry it's been a while but not that I haven't just written any old rubbish just to hit a target. Still, who's to say constitutes rubbish. One man's trash as the saying goes.
Take care and stay safe,