Here, and not here

So today I logged into WordPress in definitely more than a year (probably more like three), to have a message announcing to me one very interesting thing:

Today is the 10th anniversary of my signing up for WordPress.com with this email. Who knew?

I mean, I’ve been on WordPress for longer than that, I think. But as a medium for my life and writing, it’s been largely abandoned for some time. It’s in good company: I’ve likewise left Blogger, LiveJournal, DreamWidth, Twitter, and a host (ha) of other services, some of which don’t exist anymore. I’ve spent roughly the last 20 years trying to organize and/or express myself online — since the days of GeoCities, in fact. Pre-Yahoo! GeoCities.

I’m no more organized about this now than I ever was; I’ve drifted back to Tumblr in the past year, creating yet another account, theoretically devoted to fanfiction writing…but of course, it’s now become an amalgam of fandom, feminism, and whatever other random things catch my interest.

Why is it that, every time I present myself online, I feel compelled to compartmentalize everything, splintering my interests until they’re littering the interwebs? And then, when I’ve tired of trying to find every bit of it, I create another page just to try and contain all the pieces? I have lost count of all the iterations of myself, and lost track of all the places I left them.

A lot of this mania has been fueled by the Next New Thing – coming to WP after Blogger, Twitter after Facebook, Tumblr after that. I’ve slowed down, neglected to automatically adopt WhatsApp and Snapchat, leaving those for other (younger) people with more time and, honestly, emotional energy.

If nothing else, I suppose that onset of inertia will bring the fracturing of my online presence to a halt, at least eventually.

 

Simplification

Break down, pare down.

I spend so much of my time swirling around in my head that I just don’t focus on much, and when I do, I often get distracted on the way. I am still so comfortable with the chaos that I create it if it doesn’t find me, and my online life is a reflection of that: fragmented, scattered, and, for the most part, neglected.

Apropos of nothing, as it were.

I, like so many people in this linked-in age, have come to think of relative luxuries like Internet access and smartphones (without which we lived quite comfortably, before their invention) as basic to life, if we think about them at all. They are, for many of us, assumed. Assumed to be true, present. The question isn’t “do you?”, it’s “which one?”

I was even a relatively late adopter, buying an iPhone 3 in the summer of 2009, right after the launch of the 3GS and a fortuitous bit of grandmotherly surprise money made it “affordable”.

Actually, it just paid for the hardware.

After “only” paying $30 a month for unlimited data for almost three years, I realized how much I could have used that $1,000 or so, especially if it had been applied to those pesky student loans or something of that ilk.

It should be noted that I’m composing this post on a smartphone. Ahem.

All ironic self-awareness aside, I’m hoping to cut that expense, and do something useful with it. I’ll still use the existing hardware, reduced to wifi, and probably sense little difference.

After all, a commute is easily filled with knitting projects and library books.

On the Road Again

Another day, another ambition abandoned.

I started a new blog, Asana Year, about two weeks ago, intending to do, and blog, yoga on a daily basis.

Hahahahahahahhhaa, I hear you say.

Actually, that was me. I know my propensity for what my fellow Ravelers call “startitis” – great ideas with inadequate follow-through. I knew it when I started the site, just like a few others I’ve made – and some I’ve joined.

It started with Geocities. I have a long history of aimless Internet presence.

To which I say: So frikkin’ what?

I love order. I find it comforting. I want to compartmentalize my life until it ticks happily along without my interference or maintenance.

Life just doesn’t work like that.

If I am disordered, or haphazard, or neglectful of my ambition-of-last-week, OK. As I have occasionally proven to myself, I do come back to previous endeavors. If my focus is elsewhere, fine. If this is the way my mind works, devouring interests in fits and starts, then that’s what I’ll go with.

I discipline myself to concentration and persistence in my job, 40 hours per week. If the rest of my mental exercises are scattered as a result, let them scatter.

Chances are they need it.

Fiber Geekery: It’s all a work-in-progress

Or rather, they’re all works-in-progress. I have four projects on the needle now, besides the knitted star-shaped afghan I keep starting and restarting. I’ve frogged two versions of that already; I hope the third time will prove the proverbial charm, and that I’ll have actually planned which yarns to use, and stick to them.

To do that, though, I need to finish a few other projects, like that afghan for the now-nearly-three-months-old Tobit. I keep getting distracted though, by my own desires to design (or at least adapt others’ designs) and by pure admiration. But I’m very proud to say that I’m making my First EVAR Something Knitted For Myself*, which will be both an experiment in multi-color pattern knitting and in knitting with something smaller than US 6 (4.0mm) needles.

It’s a rare thing, at least in my knitting career, to do something really nice for myself. I’m very good at volunteering to make things for other people, and having a little critter who doesn’t care what the clothes look like as long as they’re warm enough is a huge temptation towards focusing solely on that one Other Person, and leaving myself out of the picture entirely.

But you know? I deserve a hat that is lovely and warm, so I’m making sure I get one.

*if you don’t count the felted bag of ’04, which is still sitting in a box in Dory’s kitchen in Germany.

Balance: I needs it

It’s a daily, near-constant struggle to (attempt to) achieve, and requires endless maintenance.

But still, it’s worth it all. It’s always worth it.

I’m not even trying to balance a job with all this, yet I find myself quite busy enough, thanks, just trying to keep my sanity and the kiddo fed. It’s getting easier, and yet I can’t seem to get caught up. I think the sleep deprivation is getting to me, and staying with me, even though I’m getting more five-, six-, even seven-hour stretches.

Parenthood is definitely not for the faint-of-heart.

Medical bills (most from the birth) have been piling up, and that’s a stressor, although my mother has been able to help me out a great deal in getting those things paid off (“pay it forward”, she always says, followed by “you just have to take care of me when I’m old”). Financially, our heads are just above water, which is good enough for me right now. Things could be much worse in this economy.

But remembering my own needs (eating well, getting enough daylight, taking care of my wonky back via yoga or chiropractic, getting to the dentist soon) is the most difficult of all, and I only seem to remember them when things go wrong, when something gets out of balance.

Still, the way of life is error-correction. Turmoil is to be expected with a new baby in the house, no matter how sweet-natured and good-tempered. Things change. Change disrupts the patterns in daily life, and as mine weren’t all that strong to begin with, it may have upset the equilibrium, if not the actual scheduling. I am, in some ways, looking forward to the changes this will inevitably produce, because I will, hopefully, develop some more of the self-discipline I’ve heretofore lacked, in order to combat the chaos inherent in new parenting. Already I’ve noticed myself trying to “make the best use of time”, grabbing 5, 10, 15 minutes here and there to wash dishes, knit, read, or just rest. It may be that I begin to marshal myself into some semblance of an orderly life, taking those precious hours during the little one’s afternoon nap for some sort of self-enrichment, or even start taking on translating gigs, and begin to regain a feeling of self-sufficiency, even if actual financial self-sufficiency is still a ways off.

It’s a goal. I’m on my way to it, even if I have only made a small start.

Picture yourself

If you can, when you see this meme, take a picture of yourself, just as you are. Change as little as possible.

The vicissitudes of energy, and First Fig

Yep. I’m not back up to snuff yet.

I thought I was. I had such a surge of energy yesterday, a delirious, intoxicating rush of competence and ability and determination, that I was deluded into thinking that yes, my body had fully recovered itself from the exertion of 12 days previous, that running a marathon wasn’t out of reach like it had been a week ago, that my full self was finally back and conquering the world fully within my grasp.

Today showed me that, alas, this was most certainly not the case. After relatively “normal” activity — a third of an hour at the park, and the remainder buying a few groceries for the house — my energy plummeted suddenly after my lunch, during Tobit‘s lunch, enough to have me shaking myself awake every few minutes, babe in arms, and finally relinquishing the little one to the safety of the crib, because my grasp was no longer the safest place for a child that small. I tried to manage on a 30 minute nap, when what I really needed was no less than two hours, and I’m still moving at less than normal speed, feeling less than my normal self.

It will return. It will. Patience isn’t just to be practiced on the newborn, but on myself as well.

The culmination of yesterday’s festivities was convening with other writers of First Fig, which, among other things, produced a septet of verse, and inspired this more florid prose.

Edited to add: I’m also writing haiku.

Mai Soshalizm. Let mi sho u it.

For fun, because I can:

You are a
Social Liberal
(85% permissive)

and an…

Economic Liberal
(8% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Socialist

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Maybe I can lure a few hits to this blog with a fluff post like this one, since baby pictures are more popular than anything I’ve written in the last several years online.

Of course, there are grandparents who look at that site, so that might explain a few of those 354 hits yesterday.

New Projects: First Fig Writers’ Collective

So, one of my comrades-in-blogging, tanglethis of Sublunary Limins, sent me an email about a week ago, saying “Hey, I’m starting this writing group with some friends, wanna come?” I, being both somewhat literarily* inclined and otherwise unoccupied, decided to accept.

We met for an initial gathering (read: sipping Pinot Grigio at a fancy wine bar, and generally talking about everything until everyone arrived) two days ago, and I think I can safely say that A Good Time Was Had By All.

There wasn’t any presentation of anyone’s work, with the roundabout exception of a good game of Dirty Napkin**. tanglethis was kind enough to set up a blog and post the poems we created during the game.

So, unless I’m otherwise occupied***, I’ll be doing this again in two weeks.

Good times.

*Yes, made up word. Germans do it all the time.
**Dirty Napkin: everyone takes a piece of paper or napkin, writes a line of poetry or a prose sentence. Everyone passes their sentence on to the next person, who writes another line/sentence. When you get the one you started back, put a title on it. Five people produce five five-line poems.
***You know, that giving-birth thing.