I’m well into my summer slump. It’s predictable, unavoidable, frustrating and, most of all, boring. I keep dipping my toe into the water to see if I’m ready to plunge back into the thing I think of as real life, but quickly find I’m not.
I have half-written several blog posts this past month, but lost heart with each one. A summary might show where my mind had been ambling.
To begin with, I pondered the difference between people who document their lives like a magazine, all pretty pictures and pithy soundbites, and those who write their memories like a novel with page after page of text. I fall into the latter group. I meandered around this subject, but never really came to any conclusion (just like life, really).
Then there was a post about my current failure to settle into a regular routine in my diary/notebook life, wandering between The Blue Book and my Filofax. Much like the moth I photographed on the window of our city-centre branch of Marks and Spencer, I haven’t been able to blend in seamlessly with anything I’ve tried.
After that I wrote quite a bit about not being able to walk away from the A5 Filofax despite the size and weight disadvantages. I think that particular post was where I ended up feeling becalmed in the summer slump, re-treading paths so over-used that they are more like motorways.
Most recently, I was going to write about inking up my three most-used and possibly best-loved fountain pens, not to mention the way I’m currently stuck using the same blue and purple inks and not feeling the desire to move on to something fresh. I should be finishing my current journal this week and I’ve decided I will ink up a fresh pen with something other than purple ink ready to start in the next volume.
Sometimes when you’re a little bored it’s because the things that usually occupy you don’t currently need your attention. Your mind is free to seek fresh ideas, but it keeps wandering back onto the familiar pathways instead of striking out in a new direction. The lid is off the box, but you’re not thinking outside it yet.
I’m distracting myself by binge-watching Stargate Universe. The Stargate film is a long-standing favourite and I enjoyed Stargate SG1 back in the day, but never followed on with any of the spin-offs. Recently, though, the lure of a bit of Robert Carlyle has piqued my interest. If I’m not going to be doing anything much with my knitting and writing, I might at least take the opportunity for a bit of entertainment. It’s comforting to find that my nerdy sci-fi fan is still just under the surface, even whilst some other parts of my personality are lying dormant.
How is summer treating you? Has it boosted your energy or left you feeling jaded?
5 thoughts on “Summer slump”
Sorry that you have been feeling a little bit in the doldrums. Probably the heat has not helped, but it holiday time and we can’t all be driven and focused all the time!
It was good to read what you have been up to.
With regard to how people document their lives, the glossy picture and pithy captions are good for Instagram for those with exciting lives. I prefer to write, and always enjoy the slight challenge of trying to remember what I did the day before, as I write it up for 10 minutes, fountain pen in hand! It’s a habit that I have had for nearly 50 years and so I am not about to change it. One year I dispensed with the diary, but it turned out to be 2012, the Jubilee and the London Olympics with unique levels of feel-good factor and I missed not having diarised it.
For journals, just use whatever seems to work best for you and this will become apparent eventually but of course there are trade offs, with pros and cons of each “system”.
Having Stargate Universe sounds a good escape. For me it is music – on Youtube, Spotify or BBC I-player (check out the Eagles and also Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on the Old Grey Whistle Test if that’s your thing!)
I am still basking in the afterglow of the Joshua Lee Turner and Allison Young gig on 15 July and have been humming their tunes ever since. Someone has posted a video of their recent show in Bath which is a good watch.
The more I view the Instagram and YouTube lifestyles, the more hollow they seem and I often end up feeling like I am being fed a sumptuous but unreal version of life. It’s obvious that a lot of people who post in the “planning community” do not use the planners they post about and possibly don’t use paper planners at all. I then get very irate when those same people post about how much pressure there is on them to keep posting these pictures of perfection – as if it’s the audience demanding it rather than the content providers peddling it.
I’m just doing some ink tests in the new journal I’m going to move into. I’m looking forward to those new notebook vibes.
Adam Ant has been touring in the past couple of months and I’ve watched a few YouTube videos – good to see him back in his leathers. It’s funny but music has always been the part of my life where I feel I’m not up to scratch, where I fall short of people’s expectations (as if anyone has any expectations). It’s not easy to admit to your contemporaries that you prefer Peter Skellern to Peter Gabriel. I enjoyed a bit of Punk music in my youth (still do), and from this distance people make the mistake of thinking I must have been a punk. I wasn’t a punk, though, I was a bank clerk.
Sorry to hear that you’ve hit a slump which having done so myself I fully sympathise with. A series of events and lack of events have come together to mean in my case that daily journaling has stopped for now and an unhappiness with my current A5 planner arrangement/s has taken over. The upshot is that I have moved my journal to a completely separate book that has no link to my planner and much as I like full size A% and intend to keep using it I am finding more and more that the Midori Travellers Company full Size (regular) multi notebook approach with two 6 monthly undated weekly planners with notes on the right hand side is rapidly becoming my “go to” setup. There is a temptation to designate full size A5 as my desktop and the Midori as the “go anywhere/everywhere” setup. Another option is to create a full size A5 version of the Midori multi notebook/planner and see how that goes – too bulky maybe??
Hope all goes well and you get back in the groove or should that be rediscover your Mojo!!
Thanks for taking the time to write and share your own struggles. It has surprised me how much I enjoy the combination of a week on one page plus a ruled page opposite, at least so far as my personal system goes. I must admit I always treat my journal as a completely separate entity, there is no crossover with my planner and it isn’t something I want to carry with me on a daily basis. Your comments about the Travellers journal setup are triggering some response in me, probably because it’s one of the few things I haven’t tried. Is the comination of a desktop system plus a go-anywhere setup something you’ve tried before? I think it may be the most sensible approach but when I seriously think about setting it up I always talk myself out of it. I envisage it as a disc-bound system rather than Travellers notebook.
Thank you for your reply. I haven’t really tried and tested a desktop system and a go-anywhere before but, duplication apart, I have always thought it could be a way to go. I have decided not to use my WH disc-bound system as the go-anywhere as it is full A5 and when loaded with paper is quite heavy whereas (at the moment) the Travellers setup uses smaller thinner notebooks (A5 height but not width) that are pen friendly so less bulk with less heft required.
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