Would you believe me if I said I’ve written two posts over the last few weeks, both of which were eaten by dying laptop batteries? (More to the point, I suppose: would you care?)
I don’t know about you, but what with wildfires, earthquakes, volcanoes, impeachment trials, and something about the british monarchy, 2020 already feels like it’s a few months old, so writing about either 2019 or goals for 2020 feels irrelevant.
But here is something, before January ends. I’ve given some thought to sewing goals for 2020:
1. As little as possible. I have enough damned clothes.
I’m sure needs will come up over the year and I will make things, but I’m trying to slow it waaaay down, and spend that time doing other stuff that I “just haven’t had the time” for. So far, that’s meant that I finally (finally!) replaced the dining set I hated, and finally (finally!) got window coverings (that I am not sewing because there is nothing relaxing or fun about sewing three miles of straight seams). It’s also meant even more books, not that I needed to read more, but I’ve finished 14 so far in January. Which is excessive, but at least they’re mostly library books, so when they’re done they go back to share with someone else.
I’ve set myself two goals for 2020 that are working a bit at cross-purposes. If you all have brilliant insights for reconciling it, please let me know!
1. Write more, here and elsewhere
2. Focus on communicating in person on issues of importance
I know technically it’s possible to do both. One can both write and speak! If a body starts typing, no one comes along to cut out your tongue. I know. But I am a single working mom, and my favourite human has a lot of medical appointments, and it does affect free time, and if your suggestion is that maybe I didn’t need to read 14 books in January and might have contented myself with ten and done more writing *and* speaking with that time … I probably would concede your point and then say that I spent the first two weeks with a terrible cold (you know the kind where a phlegm monster moves into your lungs, and you spend weeks expelling them one ounce at a time? Yeah), which has something to do with the book count.
The downside with reading research on climate communications and outreach strategies, is that you (I) learn that all the things you (I) would rather do, enjoy doing, and are good at, don’t work. Which is a bit on the harsh side, maybe, but the research keeps showing that, in climate as in other contentious subjects,what works is small group or one-on-one in-person conversations. So I am committing myself to doing more of that (see goal #2), in the climate parties, as well as hopefully organizing some small community groups this year.
But I am much better at writing than speaking. Those of you who have never met me in person will just have to take my word for it. If a sentence makes it out of my mouth in the same word I order I conceived it in, it’s a miracle.
In fact, if you were going to describe a person who would be most suited to organize small community dialogues, you would look for my opposite. Ideal community organizer: extroverted chipper sort with a lot of patience and enthusiasm for people and their foibles. Andrea: highly introverted bookish/crafty person who enjoys spending entire weekends speaking to no one, alone in her house, and who is often driven to slight misanthropy by the behaviour of many humans.
(If you live close enough to be involved in community climate stuff and want to know more, let me know! I’ll probably post about it eventually anyway, but given my blogging schedule the last few months, god only knows when.)
So in my limited free time, besides reading more books than anyone has any need to, I am trying to be more active in person in local climate work, and also, I am trying to spend more time by myself writing things. The balance is hard to find. (“Read fewer books, Andrea.” Maybe I will read slightly fewer books. But still. What is the right mix? How does one approach writing when, these days, it seems all of us pre-select our reading to confirm what we already believe? Is that a good use of time? <–asks the woman who spent a few years sewing more clothing than she could possibly wear.)
At least I am contemplating this dilemma in a living room with blinds.