Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Journaling on journaling (and a few prosaic updates)

It's been suggested that I'm not giving much detail about how my life's going currently in this journal. Naturally, this made me wonder if that's actually true--or more to the point, whether I've been giving out detailed pictures of my life that I've stopped recently.

I've never been inclined to the spill-out-your-secrets style of journal writing. Way back when, I started an online "slice of life" column mostly to see if I could just get myself writing again. I couldn't, not consistently, and it petered out after only eight or so installments. In July 2000, I resurrected it as a journal, first using a simple back end I wrote myself and, starting in December 2001, using LiveJournal as a back end.

The main difference in the journal incarnation is that--at least the way I write--a "column" tends to be on a specific subject filtered through my eyes, and even though that can be awfully personal, you don't end up with "what Bob did this week" messages. Journals encourage you to introduce those to the mix. This became a little more pronounced when I moved to LiveJournal--the ease of making entries encourages one to post even when one doesn't have anything in particular to say. My second entry on LJ made the observation that a journal system which allows you to just click an icon and spew off whenever you want to has the distinct flaw that people will, in fact, do exactly that. (This immediately ruffled a few feathers among several of my LJ-using friends.)

Looking back, I can see that I was actually only writing two or three entries a month in 2000 and 2001, and they were awfully uninformative if someone were looking for juicy gossip. Most of 2001's entries documented my dawning realization that the company I'd gone to work for was run by escaped circus clowns; I suppose it's nice to have the record.

In 2002, there were many more entries, mostly because the "what Watts did this week" messages crept in. Even so, posts that boil down to "today was just like yesterday except that I had a tuna salad sandwich for lunch" are not my forté. There are people who can write journal entries like that and keep me interested--I'm just not one of them. It's difficult for me to make an entry just for the sake of making an entry.

So. Is it just that nothing interesting's been happening in my life recently? No. Stuff that interests me enough to make time to write about it has been in short supply, though--which says at least as much about time management, or lack thereof, as anything else. I've never been good at "making time" for things to start with. I'm easily distracted and not good at follow-through. This last week, being without my laptop hasn't helped; I don't have a good workspace anywhere else. (One of the things I haven't made time for is configuring my room well.) I should have written about last weekend's trip up to Point Reyes and dinner at Vladimir's, a forty-year-old Czech restaurant on Highway 1. Longer-term, I'm way overdue in putting together the "road trip report" about my trip out here in November. And of course there's all those non-journal-related projects to do...

You'll notice I'm adding this journal entry in the morning, not the evening. This is hardly my first (or second, or probably even tenth) attempt to start being productive in morning hours, but weekday evenings are frequently lost causes now. I get into work by 10:00, sometimes a little earlier, and leave around 7:00, sometimes a little later. So I'm rarely home before 8:00. In practice, this encourages me to eat out--by the time I'm home it's already past the hour I'm accustomed to eating at. The usual pattern is for me to show up by 8:00, wait around a half hour to see if anyone else actually shows up and wants to go out for dinner, then zip out and get something quick. (At least last time I picked up a few frozen entrees, so the next few run-throughs of this I can stay at home.)

At any rate, the upshot of all this is that if I can start getting up just a little earlier, I have the opportunity to be productive for an hour or two before work. Unlike the times I've tried doing this before, this doesn't mean I have to get up before sunrise.

Now, since this is a morning entry--I need to get moving on into the office. My laptop has been repaired, so I'll be picking it up today. My work contract ends on March 13--evidently next Thursday, a kind of odd day to end on--although it seems like there's a pretty good chance it can be extended, and a reasonably good chance that I can keep a few contacts for other potential positions around the company. And, I've been reminded that when you're sufficiently good with Excel, it's actually a saleable skill--and that I enjoy this kind of analysis. (From a résumé standpoint I'd like it if they were using Crystal Reports somewhere, but I imagine they're not the only company using Excel for similar functionality.)

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