First day of seven here. Let’s start with the 1957 Windscale nuclear accident, the world’s first biggie.
At Bar Ristretto. Often the thought occurs that if I had my time again, I’d work on something different. Chapter 6 is humongous, so much so that (channelling Monty Python) my brain hurts. I’m looking forward to seven days all-in work in Darwin. No interruptions. None. Not a one.
Pressure, pressure, pressure, most of it self-imposed. I’m working away from home next week, there’s a ton of minor tasks to complete for that to happen, I’m pushing hard at data catch-ups, the material is complex, my head hurts, my heart hurts, why aren’t there more hours in the day?
It’s always the same. I breathe deep and long. Time to slow, time to patiently address one job after another. It’s always the same.
Doesn’t that sound plaintive, perhaps even whiny? Nonetheless for me it’s a serious question. This big year requires daily adherence to, essentially, waking up early, but when I signed up, I knew some “holidays” would be needed. Not many holidays at all, just enough to alleviate strain. I thought I’d maybe take three six-day breaks, say for hiking, and in each of the nine other months, a “long weekend” of three days’ break.
Well, so far, my January hike was 7 days not 6, and tiredness (due to the Fitness Big Year!) has led to sleeping in 9 times. Over the first three months, instead of rising late 12 times, it’s been 16. Should I call the Big Year a failure?
It doesn’t take long to decide that a better course of action is to get back to the early start and stick to the original “days off” framework for the rest of the year. This Big Year’s purpose is to grant me time and energy. Abandoning it now makes no sense. So . . . I forgive and push on.
A weekend away . . . cycling-induced weariness (I didn’t expect that, not after jogging!) . . . need to refocus.
Let’s be succinct. For my Rock Music Big Year, daily album immersion is now a routine and enriching habit. Can I say I’m tapping the Zeitgeist? Maybe. I run, cycle or heft weights daily, routinely, for the Fitness Big Year. If I’m still well shy of the three annual goals (1,000 kms, 5,000 kms, 100 gym visits), a restorative dose of variety in Sydney has eased my anxiety. What about the Writing Big Year? I missed some early morning alarms in the Sydney week but forgave myself because I worked so intently and diligently. Every month, week and day looms large but every day, week and month witnesses major progress. A book surfaces!
Check out CNN’s “This may be the most brutal, honest obituary ever.” Novelists, indeed nonfiction writers, take note. Use this.