So now the new year is underway, and it’s time to buckle down and get to work, and keep my head on straight. Part of the problem with that is January is such a challenging time for me to do that, for two key reasons.
Reason the first: I love living in Austin, it’s a wonderful city, but in January, the city wants to kill me. Namely, it releases SPORES OF CEDAR DOOM into the air and it takes high levels of allergy medications to stay functional. For real. Five years ago my reaction was so bad it gave me vertigo for two weeks. I literally couldn’t walk, and worse, couldn’t write. It was awful. Right now, even highly medicated, I’ve got light congestion and watery eyes. And I’ve been indoors most of the day.
Reason the second: For those who don’t know, the “day job”– which i put in the quotes because it isn’t just in the day, nor does it have regular hours either– is running our business Live the Language, where my wife teaches Spanish to children and adults. Now, if you run any business which provides Service X, where people will say to themselves, “I really should DO X this year”, January is when you get ALL THE INQUIRIES. It’s great, it’s the very lifeblood of our business, but it does mean my workload right now cranks up.
So, given that’s just the normal Things of January, and add in the whole “2017 was a Trashfire Year, what is 2018 going to bring” aspect, how do I keep my head on straight and get work done?
- Put some people on your social media who JUST BRING JOY. I’m talking make sure your feed has someone who just puts gifs of otters playing, or daily affirmations. Me, I’ve got a guy, who just plain loves Star Trek. And I mean, deep cut stuff. Like he’ll post about Ben Sisko’s outfits. But that’s what he does, he just LOVES STAR TREK, and man, just seeing that on a regular basis was a great counterbalance to the usual doom-and-gloom of the social media feed. And so therefore…
- Just stay the heck out of the Social Media. I mean, yeah: World is a Trashfire. But I’ve made peace with the fact that 98% of the Trashfire is stuff that doesn’t really mean much to me other than give me something to stress about. And, I mean, I am stressed, but frankly I don’t need to know the minutiae of the Trashfire. It doesn’t help anything.
- Watching Superheroes. I’ve made no secret that I’m a total superhero junkie. And in the coming months the universe is giving me not only my beloved CW/DC shows, but adding one more with Black Lightning. And Black Panther comes out in a few weeks, and Avengers: Infinity War is a few months down the road. All this stuff is just tank-fueling joy for me. Sometimes when I get stuck on a scene I’ll rev up the Captain America Elevator Fight or Everyone Fighting Nazis and a bit of that just clears my head and gets me back on track. (And, come on, how can you not love Supergirl saying to her Nazi Doppelganger, “General, would you care to step outside?”)
So, that said, time to get back to work. I got plenty to do, and I’m not going to let this year hold me back.