There’s a skill to being able to relax that, in the last year or so — thanks to such joys as a global pandemic, a social lockdown, and a collapse of my career as I once recognized it — I suspect that I’ve lost. That’s not to say that I used to be a master of the art, but I was certainly a skilled student, even if I do say so myself; I could find the mental space in which to happily while away the hours without too much effort, especially if it meant I had the ability to wander without purpose or simply read a book for an extended period of time. For all that was going on in my head, I knew enough to be able to leave it behind when possible.
These days, that’s not really something I’ve found myself able to pull off easily. There’s too much to think about and keep track off, whether it’s the numerous freelance gigs for different outlets — and who’s paid me for what and who I need to chase up, as well, sadly — or the latest updates about Gavin’s school and whether for not he’ll be able to attend in person, or if the Delta variant is fucking even more things up, or whatever. I try to drift off into my own head, only to be greeted with massive neon signs reminding me that I owe the ex-wife an email about taking care of the dogs and who’ll be taking care of them and when, or that there’s some bills due and maybe I need to take another look at my bank account just in case.
I’ve written before, I’m sure, about the value of silence when it comes to relaxation for me; the more complications that life likes to throw at me, the more I realize that they’re all versions of an uncomfortable sound interrupting that quiet. If there’s a personal goal I should be looking at for the near to mid future, it might simply be described as finding out how to create emotional noise cancelling headphones.