Day Fifty-Eight: Overloading

Okay, I know I’m overloading, taking on too much, right now. But I also know that I’m doing it within a limited window.

Here’s the thing — I think, and I know I’m abusing this term, but I think I’m a leeeetle bit manic-depressive. I definitely swing into cycles of high activity and productivity followed by lulls. The lulls usually accompanied by moroseness. So I’ve learned over decades to kind of manage this and not let the high phases write checks that my lull-phase ass can’t cash.

But I’m moving into a small window of time where a lot of my volunteer commitments are converging. And it’s in my nature to try to excel at certain things. Among other things, I’m going over the top for our upcoming radio station funding drive. I mean, check this out:

Fundraising Bonus Banner Overdrive

That’s pretty cool, yeah?

But among other things, I have to now print and frame photos of our cat, write some terrible songs, and down the line go to peoples’ homes and make waffles. I enjoy all of these things. But they’re commitments. I’m also helping set up and promote for some of the funding drive events. And manning the phones for a couple of shifts. And making breakfast for some volunteers one Saturday morning.

Overloading is no excuse

It’s going to be a lot… a fun lot, but still a lot. So I need to manage my time very carefully from now til the end of March. It’s important not to let this stuff excuse me from exercise, or to let myself stress-eat because I’ve gotten myself in an overloading pickle.

I’m also going to have to be firm on other commitments, including fun ones — saying no to things until I’m over this particular hump. I hate saying no! I’m very bad at it. Mind you, I’m also bad at saying yes to things too. I guess I’m just not very good at saying things.

At any rate, now’s the time to both buckle down and get self-aware about the consequences I’m lining up from overloading. I’m excited about these projects. I just need to be careful about managing them.

Day Forty-Two: Inspiration Stuff 7; Don’t Panic

When I think of the formative things in my life, there are obviously a bunch of ’em. In terms of the shaping of my sense of humour, though, the standouts are the Canadian sketch comedy troupe The Frantics, and Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.

So, with the culmination of Inspiration Week falling on Day Forty-Two of this podcast, I’d say the stars are definitely aligned.

Don’t Panic.

There are, in fact, two key things that you can take from The Hitchhiker’s Guide that will be useful in daily life. The first is, as stated, the words in large, friendly letters on the cover. “Don’t Panic.”

That is helpful. As Arthur Dent says, “it’s the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody has said to me all day.”

I don’t know if there’s much to add here. Don’t Panic. It’s good advice. There is almost no time in life in which it is not useful. Don’t panic.

Always Know Where Your Towel Is.

Being the nascent nerd I was in high school, when my slightly older friend and fellow Hitchhiker’s fan Iain left for university, I bought a towel and some fabric paint and gave him a towel that said “always know where your towel is.” I was surprised and gratified to see last year that he still has it, a quarter-century on.

Here’s the radio bit explaining why this is important:

…this one is a little harder to parse than “Don’t Panic,” but basically boils down to “have your baseline shit together.” At least, that’s my takeaway. Projects, extracurriculars, hobbies, all of those peripherals can be in some sort of state of disarray. You gotta know where your towel is. Shelter, food, sleep. Those are the towel, in my mind. If you know where your towel is, then you’re free to start worrying about the secondaries.

But — thanks to Iain — whenever I think of “always know where your towel is,” the other thought is doing nice shit for people is nice. I spent maybe a half-hour  making this towel because I thought it would be cool and my friend has had it hanging around his house for 25 years. That’s a hell of a return on investment.

So there y’go! Inspiration Week is over. I had fun doing this. I’m definitely going to be doing more theme weeks in the future; I think it will be regular chaos for at least the next seven days, though.