Oh, god, could it be true? Probably. I was, once again, reading other people’s blogs today, while I was half thinking about how I really needed to start focusing on what I am going to do after London and after I travel. I was focusing on this huge decision by reading about celebrity gossip, how to make a lemon meringue pie (Easter is coming up after all and my mother always makes one on Easter), and checking my email. To be fair to myself, I was a bit tired from going on a very long walk with Emily, all the way up to Hampstead Heath, around it, and back home again. She runs. I do not. You can imagine what I looked like. Ahem. So anyway, there I was procrastinating, thinking about doing some writing, probably.
And then my phone rang. And then I got a text. And then another. And then I remembered that I am going to the opera tonight and so I had better pick out something to wear and wash my hair and put my contacts in and suddenly, I was overwhelmed. And pressed for time. And I knew that I wasn’t going to get any writing done today at all because my social life is eating my professional life. Which is very confusing to me, because when I lived in Edinburgh, I got a lot of writing done. I was always writing. I wrote in my bed, I wrote at the kitchen table, I wrote on the couch while the girls I looked after watched The Simpsons. I think this is because the truth about Edin-burgers is that they are innately lazy and enjoy a good self imposed exile and so my social life was never so all consuming. Despite Edinburgh taking no more than an hour to walk from end to end (I lived in Leith and worked in Murrayfield and it took me an hour to walk or 20 minutes on the bus, and those sections of town are pretty darn far removed) and yet, no one will travel farther than 20 minutes walking time to see someone. In the winter (8 months of the year), they won’t travel more than 5. So, this means that when I moved to Edinburgh and lived in Tollcross and a boy I was dating lived on Easter Road (20 minute bus ride) we were in what is considered to be a “long distance relationship”. It did not end well for us.
But in London, people generally allow that they are going to spend at least 40 minutes getting anywhere and so they don’t really mind meeting up any day of the week and no one really plans that far ahead, calling you up last minute to do things. So all of a sudden, I have a lot less free time. Although, another issue is that surely, I would rather be out of the house right at 7pm so that I don’t get reeled into reading the kids a bedtime story. (For some reason, lately they have been trying to convince me that ‘Beano’ is a book. It is not. And I do not read stupid comics, and I most certainly do not read them aloud). So that means all the times that I used to spend curled up in my bed, writing away happily, is now spent in dark rainy streets, using up all the money on my oyster card to get away from suburbia.
So anyway, during my time procrastinating, I read, who else, but Penelope Trunk. I often time think that while she’s sitting at her desk, pondering what sort of article she should write that day, that she thinks of me and creates something in that vein. Which is what she did yesterday: she wrote an article about how not having any long term goals makes it impossible to get any work done because you aren’t sure if any of the work you will be doing will be valid for anything and so you get stuck and you stop. And in my case, you socialize. Partially because I have been told over and over that knowing people and having contacts is a really wonderful way for you to advance your career, but mostly because it is so easy and so fun to just hang out. It’s so easy to leave the house and relax, and trust me: you don’t know job stress until you realize that for 6 hours of your day, you are listening to children scream at top volume. Or worse still, talking non-stop for an hour straight while you are walking slowly in the cold, your fingers going numb and your brain on fire…
Right. So as you can see, I clearly have had my mind eaten away by this job as of lately and it’s actually making it hard to focus on my long term goals. And apparently, while I am sitting here, flummoxed and confused, drinking gin and tonics in Sloane Square, Dutch pedophiles are plotting out how to legalize having sex with twelve-year-olds. That’s right, they formed a political group. And they are campaigning for office. And then deciding that campaigning is taking away from their LONG TERM GOAL of legalizing pedophilia, so they stopped running for office to focus on making the general public aware of and sympathetic to their plight.
I’m bemused. And devastated. I’m actually less organized than child molesters. Although, let’s face it, I should have known that all along. After all, child molesters are always really planning ahead and doing all sorts of crazy hard work to organize themselves, from building secret basement dungeons to buying up all the cotton candy in three counties so that they can lure the child beauty pageant winner that they have been stalking and photographing for the last two years into said basement dungeon. They really do plan ahead. I bet they even have to-do lists where they prioritize all the really important things in their lives. I also bet they are very capable of packing light on vacation because they have already narrowed down what is really important to them and never need excess baggage. Lucky bitches.
I, however, do not have such a straight forward long term goal. I do not know, deep down, that I want to do something so badly that I have organized my life, my political affiliations, or marital status to reflect this goal, nor would I stage a battle with the law to be able to do that thing. While I don’t think I want to ever see these crazy Dutch people succeed, I do admire their dogged single mindedness. I admire their ambition. I admire their organization. I wonder if they have a productivity blog?
Although, probably, if they had one, they would, like most people who have productivity blogs (and there are A LOT out there) they would tell me to pick a goal, focus on it, and cut out all the social crap. I mean, they would spend 1,000 words saying that and also add some things in about having notes on your wall urging you on to your goals and making charts with star stickers as well. But basically, they would say: stop being so damn social. So that is my new long term goal: to be less social. I bet hermits get a shitload of work done.