It’s my birthday today! A certain amount of self-reflection, which makes me both happy and sad, but mostly happy, on reflection. I’ve done a lot of stuff that most people don’t get to do — published comics, been in a documentary, travelled to England, built the world’s smallest art gallery, created a podcast network. Who knows what’s coming?
Well, I know — a Master’s in Law is coming. But who knows what else?
Better fitness, that’s for sure. Birthday present to myself is running shoes for the spring, as the old ones are a year past useable for any outdoor purpose.
I guess the big news is I’ve been accepted to the LLM program at Queen’s, so as early as this September I’ll be taking classes and working toward a Master’s degree in Law. I’m an unconventional candidate for the school, not having a law degree, but I guess I was convincing in the cover letter and submitted writing work.
To say I’m nervous about it is a bit of an understatement; I’ve never been a serious student, having gotten a BAA in Radio & Television, of all things, and only having had done some online undergraduate-level work since then.
I’m also excited, obviously — the subject I’m choosing to focus on is legitimately fascinating, and I’m really happy about my choice of supervisor.
What can I do to prepare?
I mean, read and stuff too, obviously, but right now I got up at 4 a.m. with Marisa. I’ve half-assed some exercise, and now it’s back to bed so I can spring up, shower, prep food, log food, and keep on the “back on track” vibe I’ve been happy to restore since recent overwork and tragic news threw me off.
It’s really hard for me to know what’s genuine and what’s, you know, milking it a bit. I think it’s because I’m in my own head a lot of time time, and it’s hard sometimes to get out of it.
It’s been busy at work, and tragedy on the personal front, so sleep has been rough. It’s hard for me to really get back through my own head. Do I need the sleep, or am I opting for a bit of slack? Am I really that stressed and sad, or do I just like goofing around in the middle of the night?
I think I need to be kind to myself… but then I worry that I’m being too kind to myself.
Look to successful models — and today, that’s my wife, who has been dealing with tragedy I think better than me for the past 36 hours. I’ve been logey and distracted, sleeping poorly and dragging my butt this morning.
Part of this (she volunteers) is that she wasn’t working yesterday and had dedicated grieving time, while I was working, and she’s had better capacity to process than me. But even so.
Running late this morning as we were up in the night with some upsetting news about a friend possibly passing away Stateside; even in the age of social media, you can still get caught playing Telephone when people who only half-know the situation are texting and the only people who know what’s going on aren’t saying anything about it.
Which is understandable; we’re remote and they have things to deal with.
It made for a rough night, though — the people are in question are friends of my wife’s for 20+ years; one of only a handful of people invited to our wedding. We aren’t in constant contact, but still feel close.
So a pretty sleepless night and a stressfull day ahead as we wait for more official news.
It’s been great having houseguests for the weekend, and weathering a comic convention without an existential collapse.
It’s good to be back, though. Up early with my wife as she gets ready for the early shift, some brisk spinning, shower, and this — then back to bed! I’m ready for some Second Sleep so I can then get on to a very busy week at work.
Work is still pretty bananas, but I feel like it’s largely setup for later execution. I’ve tried to be good about not working over the weekend — I know it leads to busier Mondays, but having that time “pure” is important.
Houseguests! Happy to have ’em, love to see ’em, but they do throw the schedule off — as does having a D&D session at 7 a.m. for REASONS.
The big deviation this weekend is my wife’s grandmother passed on this week, and in her memory, we’re diving into the biggest sense memory my wife has: coconut cake in the grand Florida style. Literally in the oven now, so I have to duck back downstairs momentarily to check up on it.
A bit of catch-up to do next week, but it’s nice to have food things to do on a Sunday morning — gets me up and going, and you feel productive before noon when there’s a cake fresh out of the oven (and a batch of chili on the stove).
A quick, quiet Jerkpod this morning because I have houseguests. Things are good in general! I feel like it’s still a big work push right up to vacation in 10 days, but on track to actually have a lot nailed down by vacation in 10 days, and then return to something a bit slower and more stable.
Radio show today, and the (modest) comic convention that happens every year is in town; you may recall these things give me an existential crisis but I think I’m in better shape now than I was two years ago to mentally manage all this.
Insomnia! Powerful insomnia! Up like stupid late and running for the door, due partly to work stress and partly due to cats being bonkers. This is putting me off track, which is aggravating, but I’m trying to maintain the condition of “game” and stay positive and look for the creative/fun elements while powering through the sheer volume of STUFF going on.
It still looks and feels like this is a lot of establishing work, with major shifts in April as all the things being worked on now transitioning from planning to execution in the next 10 days and then a sudden lightening of the load. One hopes.
This feels like a big idea, but I’m pressed for time so let’s put a quick pin in it here and maybe essay this later.
I’m interested in management theory, and productivity, and all that stuff, and “grit” has been on my mind for a while. It’s been around for a while, too. I don’t know how somebody relabeled “tenacity” and made a ton of money off of that, but well done, whoever.
But I don’t think it’s grit.
I’ve been listening to Off Book again recently — it’s an improvised musical podcast, pretty great — and the episode that’s sadly behind a paywall now, because I think everyone should listen to it, is “Pump the Stakes” with Jon Gabrus. Here’s a sliver:
In brief, the podcast is hosted by two preposterously talented people who make up a musical every week on the spot with a guest. They can rhyme, they can sing, they can do it all. In the Pump The Stakes episode, their special guest is comedian Jon Gabrus.
Jon Gabrus is not a singer. I’m not throwing shade, here — he’s very up front about that. Jon Gabrus is not a singer. He’s also not a human rhyming dictionary.
What Jon Gabrus is, though, and this is what I’m getting at with the “grit” thing, is game.
The more I move forward in life and in my career, the more I find that being game is possibly the most important thing to position yourself not for success alone, but for that special space where success is paired with actually enjoying your life and your job.
Being game is not being a singer but going on an improvised musical podcast and giving it. Being game is not being a dancer but not hiding in the last row on stage, and instead just putting it out there with every move you know. Being game is routinely getting outside your comfort zone, but with, well, joy.
That’s all I got for today, but there’s something to this, I think. It’s not about grit, really, it’s about being game; life isn’t a grim plodding march to the finish, it’s a dance, so why not lean into it?