Today I took some time out to just get a hold of a few things that were rolling around my head.
I don't know about you, but since all things pandemic happened, the absence of 'normal' for so long has meant that things have been happening on a day-to-day basis, and as changeable as circumstances would allow.
Of course this was necessary and key to how I initially coped with this most unprecedented of scenarios, and taking things one day (or week) at a time [planning supermarket trips, carrying on working, staying sane] was eminently suitable.
But now that things are 'opening up', that restriction on movements and limitation of options, have all but been removed; and I think apart from the initial rush to go see the most important people in my life in person again; I've been handling things on a ad-hoc basis still, with very much an attitude of 'this sounds like a fun and good idea, let's go with that'.
Which has brought me to a June holiday in Norfolk; helping a friend move house; a celebratory meal; a family trip around a wildlife park; a Covid-delayed board games expo; hill-climbing in my own car; and excellent times with my godchild. To name some.
All of which has been lovely. Absolutely no question.
However, I think I am now in search of a structure. Some organisation, to moving forward. Some self-regulation if you will.
I don't think I'm talking about anything too dramatic; I am fortunate to be in a good place in most aspects of my life - though time is a precious commodity these days (maybe more so, in light of how things can change so dramatically in the last few years) - but there are changes that can be made.
As I sat in the park, with nothing but my thoughts to myself, and a notepad and pen; I wrote down all the things that intersect with my life these days: The people; the activities; the places; the social media; the everything else.
I've listed out my creative projects (both short, medium and long-term), and just figured out a few practical things that I'm going to look to change, and - essentially - 're-frame' how I interact with the outside world.
Chief amongst these is cutting down the scope of my social media.
Too much of what comes into my eyes every day is related to the death rolls of political and capitalist structures; and - for now - I cannot handle that.
And I know that is because of how privileged I am; those who aren't as fortunate and are stuck in the eyes of those particular storms, cannot choose to ignore those problems.
I really do hope that I can get to a headspace where I can get tuned back into being a part of addressing the multiple social problems that those juggernauts drive; but for now I take a hesitant step back.
Continuing on the theme of 'streamlining' where my time is focussed, I'm looking at all of the ways I've kept myself entertained/distracted during the various lockdowns; both in terms of computer gaming, and also YouTube focus. These have been great - nay essential - to keeping sanity levels over the past 18 months; but I do now find them as still the focus of many hours in my week, and I wonder if that is truly the distraction I am after.
Finally, and perhaps a little more fundamental, I am realising how I prefer to interact with others - much more on an individual, 1-to-1(or 2) basis, rather than in a group.
Don't misunderstand me; I enjoy being part of a group interaction - I am looking forward to being a part of two group celebrations in the next few months, and I will be happy to be invited to more. I just think the presence of group WhatsApps throughout the pandemic (and even before), tested my social skills, and often pushed them to places where my imagination ran riot, and wasn't easily controlled.
I am slowly reviewing my places in these groups, and what I get out of them. Absolutely nothing against the people within the groups; I am just adjusting how I communicate and interact with the people in my life.
There's definitely more in my notes, but translating a few hours of helpful clarity in my mind onto a blog that I haven't really published much on since Covid arrived; is a challenge in itself.
Things that often seem simple when the sun is out, and your phone is nowhere to be seen, can may well get complicated, which is something I am trying to be conscious of.
Just the small matter now of actually engaging with my plans, and assessing if they do indeed improve my quality of life.
I am sure this is something I will come back to in a few months time to reflect on.