In need of a redesign since 2011.

Sunday, 30 September 2012


I'm not good enough. The list of things I would change about myself are as long as the phone book, and decidedly less interesting to read (and to write. As a favour to both of us, I will not enumerate them here). Ultimately, it's the length of the list that proved the biggest obstacle to my self-improvment; I get paralysed by the indecision. What's the biggest problem? What's the most urgent one? What needs long-term improvement? I have no idea. I hate lists.

I've always thought the "kid in a candy store" analogy didn't really encompass that moment: the moment when the kid clutches onto mum's skirt and hides their face because this is too many everythings.

I have, however, made a huge leap forward: I've targeted the one area that I really need to work on, and it's time management.

I've always been terrible at it. For the past 15 years, it's been the reason that I got incredibly creative with my excuses for having not done my homework. Remember this blog post? Of course you don't; it was seven freaking years ago (almost to the day), but it was by no means an isolated incident. Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow?

Maybe it's hereditary. My own family was habitually late everywhere. Memories of school mornings are a blur of stress and hurrying, trying to remember where in the chaos my shoes were.

One of the side effects of this perpetual lateness was that I am extremely paranoid about travel time. I am currently getting to work about an hour early in the mornings, just because the journey home sometimes takes a couple of hours. It's hard to calm myself down enough to actually leave home later in the morning. I prefer being early anyway, I tell myself. I don't get told off for being too early. I go for walks instead; mentally calculating and recalculating that, since it took ten minutes to get this far, I should allow twenty to go back. It doesn't make a lot of sense, I know.

Oh yes, that's a new development: work. I work full time in a call centre now; 36 hours a week, or thereabouts. So far I've had two weeks of training in customer service. I won't get paid until a month from now, due to fluctuations in the mysterious forces that govern administration. That's sad. I wanted money for my birthday this coming Tuesday. I'm deferring my celebrations until I am ludicrously wealthy a month from now. (This is my first full-time job; it will feel like affluence beyond reason to me!)

So my job isn't paying me yet, but what it is doing is forcing me to think harder about how I'm spending my time. If I want to catch up with friends, I can meet up with them in town for a couple of hours in the evening, or we can plan something on the weekend. That's it. No more spending a couple of days at a mate's house just because we've gotten addicted to a new cartoon. No more spending all day on tumblr, unless I've actively decided that that is what I need to do that day. (Sometimes that is what I need. Sometimes I crave the mental space to bumblebee around the internet, alighting on a topic for only so long as it takes my fancy.)

In other exciting (to me) news, a short story I wrote has been accepted for publication by the UK Zombie Defense League! I'll let you all know when it's out. I'm planning to buy the paperback and show it to everyone I pass for a month or two.

Here follows a miniature list of things I have been doing lately, in what I'll generously call my "hiatus":

  • visited my family on the beautiful Isle of Wight
  • saw Frankie Boyle perform, thanks to my lovely twitter-friend Meryl
  • went to see Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm again
  • discovered Gravity Falls and decided that Mabel is my soul twin
  • the other stuff that I've already told you.
A few photos I've taken recently:

Judi, my big sister, who is crazy pretty and doesn't even know it
Cowes week 2
I finally managed to reattempt this after losing an SD card a few years back!
Fly away
A helium princess. Blurry, but just about perfect.
To round things off and reward you for reading my witterings, here is a story told by Neil Gaiman, in which his family are more terribly late than mine ever were: