I feel like I’ve been drifting for the last little while. Some of it seems almost like depression, particularly where I have little energy as well as little interest in some things that normally give me pleasure. My sleep has been messed up for the last month, I’ve got some projects to get to around the house, and I’m just, “meh”. Sure, some of it is Covid, some of it is the dead cat bounce dropoff after a post-vaccine high. I still enjoy listening to Razamanazz by Nazareth, but it’s less compelling to get my juices flowing.
I’ve been reading various blogs and books about change, motivation, and more specifically, articles around jump-starts to your lagging energy. Many of them talk about the little things to get you going, kind of the typical philosophy that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, regardless of the evidence out there that much of that visualization on step one doesn’t work for certain personality types, including analytical introverts (i.e., me). We know it’s still only 1 step, and we can’t “trick” ourselves into thinking otherwise.
But, I still want to do SOMETHING in September, maybe harness some of the age-old “back to school” excitement in some way. Which has led me to the “3×30” idea. Basically, three things that I choose to do in a given day that is a bit out of the normal, something I am doing just because it makes some part of my life easier or moves me ahead on some project. Three items a day, thirty days in the month, ergo –> 3×30.
Yesterday was my first day, and I deliberately chose NOT to put anything big in the day. I didn’t want it to seem to myself that I had held off on something big, or that I was going to trick myself into thinking I was doing 90 big things for the month. Some of them are going to be quite small.
Item 1.1 is pretty small — I cleaned my work desk and installed a new work surface. I bought a vinyl deskpad a few weeks ago, saw some benefits to it including for example that I can use it as my mousepad. My existing mouse pad was a bit bigger than I wanted, and it didn’t work well to sit partly on one surface and partly on the desk beside. By contrast, the vinyl goes up and over the “lip”, and it’s flush with the desk. Everything fits well, all slides around nicely. Not “big”, but it is a bit different.
Item 1.2 was even smaller — I charged my Kindle. I have been actively trying to read more in the last four months, and while I did some of that on my phone, I really want to do most of it on my Kindle. After I uncovered its hidden location back in June (it was in a backpack I had checked several times expecting it to be there but it was tucked down in the bottom under two books I had never lifted fully all the way out to reveal the treasure!), I ploughed through some 50 books in June and July. I’m down a bit for August, not quite getting the re-energy boost that I normally do from reading, even though it is CLEARLY in the simple interest / mystery world. In August, I did some personal writing and have been reading some classic writers on writing (Lawrence Block, Stephen King, Syd Field, Blake Snyder, etc.). But my Kindle was getting low again, and I don’t have a great charging setup for mini-USB hubs at the moment. But I dug out a cable, hooked it to my desktop, back in business.
Item 1.3 is a bit of a cheat as it is more redoing previous steps than taking new ones. My host, WHC.CA, was the subject of some vandalism last weekend, and they have suffered fairly significant loss as a result. One result of the internal attack was that a bunch of website servers, including one that hosts three of my accounts, were reimaged and their backups wiped. For some people, it’s catastrophic. Everything they had is lost. If it had been last January, it would have been a pretty significant loss for me, and I’d be pulling out my hair. But I had that meltdown last February, my website situation is part of a more nuanced perspective now of my life, and, well, it’s easy to say all of that because I have a full offsite backup.
While my website is down, I was going to leave it a day or two more to see if the recovery process might produce better results, but in the end, I thought I would give it a small “go” myself. It’s not complicated — upload your backup, click a few buttons, good to go. Or at least it should have been. There’s a small niggling issue that the host has created what they call “lifeboat” accounts, which my backups don’t want to connect to, preferring instead to connect to the regular old account. As a result, I have to upload it manually and reconnect the database manually. Which I can do, but it’s a small pain in the patootie. And, well, I don’t have to. The hoster had the problem, not me, so if I upload to a specific directory, they’ll put it back together for me.
Which I decided to do. I turned it all over to them to fix and get going. If it doesn’t work, I can engage, but honestly, it’s more hassle than I need to take on. That’s what they’re paid to do. It might be faster for me to do it, it might be more satisfying for me to do it, but well, why take on work I don’t need to take on? I uploaded the files, stored them on the server, and said “Go to it”. They fixed it last night or this morning (I got confirmation early afternoon it is “up”) and I can see it, even if it isn’t fully public yet. That’s not on them, I had to change the internet DNS (domain name server) addresses to match the lifeboat over the regular accounts, and it usually takes about 24h for the internet to share those addresses with everyone. But fingers crossed. It seems to have worked so far. As such, I’ve given them the other two ZIP files and now I just wait for them to do the recoveries.
Three small “incremental” things to improve my life, although one is recovery more than progress I guess. Not big, just some small steps I’m taking to move the needle a bit. The big or important stuff often crowds out some of the smaller things, but some of those smaller things make a difference. Or at least I hope they do.