Clearly, I took a little blogcation over the weekend. I wish I could say it was because Mr. Mezzo and I were having a romantic getaway weekend (though we have one of those scheduled for October), or even because I was at one of my hard-working spiritual retreat weekends (though I have one of those scheduled for October, too).
The truth is just much much more mundane: I simply couldn’t get my head in the game.
One of the ways that overwhelm, depression, stress — however you want to label this state I’m in — manifests during a “rough patch” for me is a dramatic lessening of my mental and emotional energy. I think the brief archives here should indicate how, at my baseline, I tend to be someone who is always noticing things, curious about them, examining them, and eager to unpack them and write about them. The eternal student, in an authentic non-grade-grubbing fashion: someone for whom looking, growing, thinking, and learning come as natural as breathing.
Living in the grey parasitic fog, when it seems to take all the energy I have to go through the required motions of job and basic hygiene*, there isn’t a whole lot of mental room left for much else beyond survival.
(And oh, how narcissistic and self-indulgent do I feel, to be metaphorizing the stakes of my pampered life as if it were a life-or-death struggle with an unseen foe.)
So not as much makes it way through the fog to catch my attention as possible blog-fodder. And then, with those few topics/articles that do grab me enough for me to add them to my “blog-ideas” Pinterest board, I’m not really summoning up much a sense of what I might say about them.
There’s a double-edged sword to that last bit. To my perception, the brain-fog does actually make me more sluggish in the cultural analysis/case-building department. There’s also the way that the mind-voices currently have the self-doubt, “I have nothing worth saying” complexes amped up to eleven and beyond.
Add all those things together: less catching my eye to talk about, less ideas of what to say about the few things that do catch my eye, and much less confidence in the use-value of saying any of the few things that do occur to me….
It’s kind of a recipe for silence, at least as far as my usual modes of blogging (responding to news events or cultural happenings) are concerned.
So I’m not quite sure what this means for the immediate future of JALC. I suppose I could just shift my focus to writing about this depressive episode/whatever-the-hell-this-is that I find myself mired in. But the thing is: I never wanted this to be a navel-gazing blog. I am just way too suspicious of my tendency towards self-pity to want to spend a whole lot of airtime on all my petty weaknesses and wounds.
Here’s a couple things I do know, and a couple more I think are likely.
I know I am not making any statements about taking a “hiatus.” No need to recreate the kind of radio silence that happened last time I did that.
I know I am going to stop worrying about the Blogging 101 challenges. With my physical and mental energies so limited, I need to set some things aside. I think I saw something online about how the next Blogging 101 cohort will start in November — I am hopeful to be re-balanced and re-energized by then to make a better show of things.
I think I am going to continue blogging semi-regularly, but at a more relaxed pace than the (almost) daily pace I’ve been keeping up in recent months. Until I get to the other side of this rough patch, I’m kinda thinking I’ll be satisfied with two posts a week. And I think by lessening the pace in this fashion, I’ll still be able to keep the main focus of JALC on the kinds of cultural commentary I usually enjoy so much.
Think of it like that stretch of the marathon where I’m needing to slow down and walk for a little bit to catch my breath and prepare myself to be able to start running again. Forward progress will be a bit slower at this walking pace, but at least I’ll continue progressing. Step by step.
* Seriously. the level of victory in managing to take a shower can be sort of epic.
Image credit: http://emi2hips.com/2012/01/24/lets-take-a-walk/