It all started Sunday night when I decided it was finally time to update JALC’s header image.
Strike that: it all started almost 2 years ago, when I recommitted to my blogging and decided to use my collection of “badass lady Pops” as a recurring motif in the pictures accompanying some of my posts. (One and two.)*
The first trumpeting of that motif was an attempt to use the full collection as the banner image here on JALC.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t properly thought through the actual proportions of the banner image in this particular WordPress template, so the banner image ended up being less the panoramic wonder I’d imagined and more of an awkward, semi-pixellated closeup of approximately half of my early-2019 lineup.
Now I was kind of annoyed about it, but I’m also super-lazy, and I didn’t have a quick and easy way to rearrange the collection in two rows, especially since they were all arrayed at the very front edge of an overstuffed bookshelf. So that banner image continued to appear on JALC for all the intervening months between then and now.
But here’s the thing: this particular shelf is one of the bookshelves that gets cleared off annually so I can set up my Solstice Village. Which meant that I had a precise window of opportunity—after packing up the houses but before UNpacking the Shakespeare books—where I could jury-rig some display shelves and create a new banner image that better matched the template proportions.
I may have to buy a new calendar to keep track of all the cultural programming being offered in response to all the stay-at-home orders.
In all honesty, I am more likely to print out some free calendar templates for the next month or two. Any calendar I ordered would need to be shipped here over some indeterminate amount of time, and I needs to get myself sorted now.
It is taking some real self-discipline to post a book review tonight. I skipped last night ‘cos I was binge-watching the end of Season 5 from Game of Thrones, and I’d be quite happy to cuddle in with my iPad to watch another few eps tonight.
But I need to get back on schedule for the reading challenge, so I’m limiting screen time today in order to read and report out on what’s been read.*
Mr. Mezzo has been spending the last week making preparations for his imminent descent in NaNoWriMo. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, NaNoWriMo is a (mostly) virtual event in which a bunch of writers band together and pledge to write a 50,000 word novel during the course of November. (Hence the name: NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth.* This will be the second time he’s done it, and I’m wondering if I should maybe do something of my own in solidarity.
Now, I’m not crazy enough to do NaNoWriMo. For starters, there’s the fact that I live in a Newtonian universe where time and energy are finite resources. I still have those two classes I’m finishing up, plus choir, plus the fact that I’m just now beginning to pull myself out of the black hole I recently fell into. More importantly than those practicalities is the fact that I don’t currently have a strong idea for a book. I know I’ll write one someday — but this day is not that day. (Or “this month is not that month.” Something like that.)
But NaBloPoMo? That’s a entirely different kettle of tea.
I guess I have some super-secret MezzoSherri playbook, where the private definition of “I’m going to post a couple times a week” means, instead:
I’m going to take two weeks off where I don’t write a damn thing at all.
I guess radio silence is sometimes unavoidable.
In part, this has been the result of living in a fortnight-long perfect storm. The last 16 days have brought me the following waves, in sequential yet overlapping order: deadlines, travel, more deadlines, illness, more travel. (Whee!!!)
Take a system already on the low slope of one’s personal energy curve and put her through that precise sequence of events and you pretty much have a textbook case of “something’s gotta give.”
Mr. Mezzo and I have tickets for the late-afternoon performance of Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna. As any self-respecting couple out-on-the-town would be expected to do, we’re going out to dinner afterwards — although it’ll be a fairly low-key affair, given how batshit-early I need to get up tomorrow morning to knock out a 50-page proposal write-through before heading out to church choir.
All of which is to say: no lengthy post on JALC tonight.
I’ve seen a couple of Cirque shows in Vegas, and one touring production that was hosted at Temple University’s basketball stadium. However, even though I saw the big Cirque tent built at the corner of Broad and Washington for many-a-year during my time in Philly, I’ve never actually had the “big tent Cirque” experience till now. So I’m intrigued.
I’ve also seen tell that Amaluna is (loosely!) based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which adds a whole other level of interest for me. (It’s actually that core detail which moved Mr. Mezzo and me instantly from “do we want to go?” into “hell yes, let’s pick the date!”) The fact that the show was conceived by Diane Paulus, whose revival of Hair I looooove just adds an extra extra attraction.
I wonder if this show, and my desire to say something about it, will turn out to be just the inspiration I need to “phoenix up” my otherlong-neglected blog.
A girl can hope — such stuff as dreams are made on….
It is also entirely common practice to skimp on sleep in these 21st-century over-scheduled times. Neither Mr. Mezzo or myself have been perfect in giving ourselves enough sleep-time, though Mr. Mezzo has a better track record of self-care on this score than I do. This may be because he’s better at disciplining himself to keep healthy routines — whereas I feel half the time as if I’m allowing my unruly inner 6-year-old to run the show. Another contributing factor is he feels the pain of sleep deprivation more acutely than I do.
And I daresay I’ve become quite good at pretending I can get by on a regular dose of 6, 6.5 hours of sleep nightly. But I’m rethinking that right about now.
One of the gifts of being away at the detox center was I was able to allow myself a full night’s sleep every night. The first night was a “minimal” 8 hours and the rest of the time I managed to schedule even more. Which is, of course, one of the benefits of having some time off from work.
But last night, I followed through on the pattern established while I was away and went lights-out when there were still 8 hours between me and the morning alarm. Shocking!
I don’t know for sure whether last night had its own effect, but I do think I felt the effects of being well-rested while I was at the office today. Obviously, a big part of that was the accumulated stretch of fully-rested nights preceding last night’s 8-hour miracle. (Plus the benefits of the other detoxing.)
But if 5 nights’ good sleep on vacation can add up to something special, there’s no reason that a similar — or longer — stretch of good sleep can’t add up for my benefit, even when that sleep is in my own wee bed.
Sounds like a simply enough plan, right? But I’m actually feeling some challenge around it.
I always have so many things I want to do with my evenings. Some of it is entirely frivolous — my TV/DVR obsession runs deep as the ocean, plus there’s my iPad gaming habit and the eternal time suck that the Facebook/YouTube rabbit hole can create in an evening. Those habits could use some inquiry, and I might do well for myself to release some of those calls on my time and attention. Some of them, mind you, but not all. I have too much love for the honest joy of frivolity to run some perfection/purity of life movement where I scorn all fun and foolish things.
And even if I were living some perfection movement where I’d purged all frivolity from my life, I would still be looking at a long list of interests and aspirations. Kinesi sessions, detoxing practices (footbaths, castor packs), joining a choir, reading books, taking classes, writing regularly here (and beyond?)….
I’m not quite clear on how to interweave all these interests and aspirations with a 9-to-6 job and a shiny new resolution to sleep more.
There is room to find some creative options here and there.
On days I get a lunch break, I could start writing my night’s post then. I already know how easy it is to run a kinesi session in the footbath and/or in front of my favorite shows, so I could cash in on that knowledge more frequently. I can watch my Coursera lectures or read the assigned articles on my iPad while I’m doing a castor oil pack. (Choir rehearsal, if I get in, might be something I have to do sole-focus rather than multi-tasked.*)
So, as with so many things: a work in progress. But also a realm of possibilities.
* I don’t know which is the larger sin: false modesty or arrogance. For the first, see above. For the latter: I’m real sure I’m gonna get in.