Ok this is my first proper Bravetank post written on my new netbook – a Christmas present from my lovely husband and father-in-law. It enables me to write my blog posts while sitting curled up on the sofa in a posture never ever recommended in any work DSE assessments. It’s all very nice and cosy aside from the fact that bloody Gulliver’s Travels is on in the background (don’t get me started on Jack Black) and the netbook is stopping me from typing every five seconds to ask solicitously whether I want to install this or that update and did I know that this or that application is very resource intensive etc – basically it’s like an anxious grandmother asking me if I’m studying too hard or want to put on an extra layer. It will not stop nagging me and when I ignore the messages it flashes icons at me – passively aggressively rebuking me and my lacksadaisical attitude to updates.
Anyway – I have been thinking today about what I want out of WoW in the year ahead. In fact not just WoW – what I want out of my life basically. But this is all so cliched I’m actually cringing as I write it. The New Year draws near I’m thinking about next year – goals, objectives, aspirations. I hate being so predictable. Why can’t I be sitting here thinking about the best way to clip a pig’s toe nails or something (do pigs even have toes or should I be thinking more in terms of hooves?) Actually I’m not just thinking about everything I want to do in 2012 – my crazy need (although husband sweetly tells me it’s endearing) to compartmentalise everything means I’m actually anxiously sitting here pie-charting up my daily week into something that will enable me to be 2012’s “Renaissance Girl” (complete with catsuit and cloak – the catsuit has musical notes on it, the cloak has a talent tree embroidered on the back). This means WoW player (tank mainly of course – but with time for all my alts), blogger, keyboard player, script writer, runner, and culture and current affairs guru.
This on top of my actual job in which I want to be successful, impressive, forward thinking and so innovative I continually astound everyone with my insights and forecasts (which means finding time outside work to research new ideas, innovations and developments). Of course in my fantasy every board meeting in which I impress with this or that idea ends with someone handing me an electric guitar with which I then astound everyone with my musical talents, and then autograph my novel that has just won the Booker prize.
Ok- back to reality- I would also like to eat out more, go camping regularly, be a loving family member and have a wonderful skin care regime.
And drink more water.
Aaaaahhh!!! How can I do it all? Earlier I sat here reading one of the books I had for Xmas (Anne Tyler- Searching for Caleb) I’m half thinking about the other books I had (if you’re interested- Graham Greene,The Heart of the Matter; Emma Forrest, Your Voice in my Head; Charlie Brooker, The Hell of It All; Blake Morrison, The Last Weekend; Sarah Waters, Fingersmith; Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway; David Foster Wallace, Girl with Curious Hair and the Alan Partridge biography) – thinking which one I will read next and how quick I can do it so I can read the next, then the next etc.
In fact I never fully focus on anything while I do it – as I watch TV I think about how I can become more knowledgeable about current affairs. As I run I think about doing my own WoW podcast (we need more Welsh accents in WoW broadcasting I think!) and when I play Bravetank I worry that my shaman (or some other dps) is being neglected.
What is the answer to all this? I want to achieve so much and enjoy so much. I get wildly excited about silly things (I jumped up and down earlier when I discovered we had some herbal tea in the house!) but then I quickly get overwhelmed with it all (not so much by the herbal tea- I think I’ve settled on the one I want). And then I get fearful that something awful will happen and I won’t be able to do any of it anyway and then I know if that happens I’ll will think back to this exact time when I got stressed about how much I wanted to do and think, “Those were the glory days alright- now I’ve ruined it all by not appreciating it when I had it.” The other day I was enjoying myself reading when the thought struck me that one day I might go blind. I hope Peter will read to me then, I thought to myself, so I’ll still have the pleasure of books. But what if you’re deaf came the next thought. Braille? I suggested to myself – but already I was wondering how you learn braille if you’re both blind and deaf – I mean how do you know what the word you’re feeling is? Then I started thinking about the scene from the Helen Keller film when Anne finally understands what water is – but how would that have worked for complex philosophical ideas I wondered? (Though thinking about it if I was struck both blind and deaf would my first question be how do I now read deep philosophical ideas? I suspect not.) Anyway on and on it went. You see where I’m going with this – every time I enjoy myself in the moment I have the fear of that moment being taken away from me forever and I have to immediately come up with some sort of plan as to what I would do if that did happen.
In fact this is the exact thing that stops me tanking as much as I want to. I think – what if this or that happens, what if I get lost, what if the DPS criticise me, what if, what if, what if. I’m either timetabling my life or contingency planning.
I had my Myers Briggs results in work last week – I am INTJ – but the T was very slight and my extreme dislike of any degree of conflict suggests more P. But the J was very strong. J dominates my life. I think that’s good in work, and good to a point outside work, but when I’m sitting here dividing all my spare time into half hour blocks so I can become Renaissance Girl extraordinaire it’s gone too far.
Live in the moment everyone says but when I think of that I imagine myself just standing there gazing around me vacantly - doing nothing & thinking nothing. And that terrifies me. And yet as I toss and turn in bed, twitch and kick out when I sleep, dream about work, plan and re-plan, worry and stress I think maybe that’s just what I need – some silence, some stillness, some peace. But what happens then?