To keep writing
Over this past week, while struggling with the chore of de-junking a house, divesting myself of decades worth of stuff, and getting my singing in, I have been physically exhausted (even though I direct the work, not do it).
The sleep I’ve been getting has been fractured, erratic, odd – and never deep enough.
So, the perfect time in life to take on another major task?
So, of course I did
Because, among other things, I realized that the moving tasks are ordinary. And while they need to be done, and every detail has to be supervised by me, and there has been a huge emotional content (you try capturing in a few scrapbooks about twenty years worth of homeschooling three kids!), it wasn’t hard, or tricky, or complicated, or complex, or even challenging.
Ordinary stuff. Every homeschooling family has tons of stuff to dispose of. Every family moving out of a long-time home has a lot of stuff.
But there is no great intelligence or problem-solving ability necessary; in fact, that gets in the way because methodical and utilitarian are the words that describe the process. Just do it. Make a decision: box it for the move, declare it object unnecessary, give it away.
What keeps your brain usable as you get older?
I’m convinced it is USING that brain, not letting it get fuzzy and lazy and go easy.
Starting a page on another platform for promoting your work – that’s complex and challenging. Patreon doesn’t make it particularly easy – I find a lot of applications which are developed for online and Windows use somehow seem to lack menus and a sitemap which works and guides that are more than basic – and I had to keep poking to find even rudimentary details. Such as which is the best way to get your money out (when you get any).
Inexplicably, for Direct Deposit via Stripe, the payment page gave you a form to fill out which required banking information AND your Social Security number, but which didn’t mention fees.
And for Paypal, it listed some fees which could reduce your take.
Thus giving you the impression that even though Stripe usually costs money, the direct deposit part didn’t. Making it better than Paypal.
Stuff like that. (It’s not true, BTW. But you have to figure it out based on the amount being transferred, by going to the two payment methods’ sites and doing the mental work.)
Digging and logical thinking
It would be nice to have no fees to deposit your money earned into your bank account – Amazon does it, right? Amazon’s fees are probably included in their calculation of their cut – they just don’t break it out.
Doing this kind of mental work, hard, new, in a different and unintuitive (for me) format is worth doing – because it keeps me flexible – for the next thing that comes along.
I’ve found myself getting lackadaisical about learning tasks like how to control the network of TV and Netflix and Amazon video and Youtube – the spouse clicks thousands of times a night while organizing a couple of hours of something to watch. I let him do it, most of the time.
But watching TV is not my profession. Writing is. And I take it seriously for now, and as long as I can do it. And it changes continuously, but no one is going to make it easier for me.
So I charge in, do the work, maintain the flexibility to attempt and conquer the next challenge, and revel in the ability to still master the new.
It’s exhausting – and necessary.
And then there’s all the daily physical exercise
Which keeps the physical pain under some sort of rough control, so I neither take too much additional medication nor sit here in a haze of pain, unable to think.
But physical pain is boring. Not intellectually challenging.
So I’m not talking about it.
But I gotta get my mental ‘steps’ in, and push that to the limit.
Do you find yourself slacking off when there’s something new to be learned? Are you conscious that you’re passing up opportunities to keep the ol’ cerebrum functioning? Are you making an actual choice?
Don’t forget to visit the Patreon page – the first chapter’s on me (pages are public), and you don’t even need to figure out how to create an account, and then have to close it. Feedback welcome, whether or not you will use the platform to read.