Today in Sicily, it is a cloudy and fiercely windy day. The Autostrada highway around the island has been closed as the strong winds have whipped down trees and turned over trucks on the snaking mountain roads.
I was whipped around while going to the grocery store this morning, and my husband has been on the phone with his elderly aunt, who is frightened by the wind.
It's a strange day, week and month in Sicily and Italy. Usually, May is one of the best months of the year, filled with sunshine and mild Springtime weather. But we have had so much rain, flooding in central Italy, Emiglia Romagna has been sweptaway, and people have lost their lives. It all feels strange; an unnatural darkness has come over the country.
Yes, I am well aware that I spend too much time talking about the weather, but I am really sensative to the seasons and the ebb and flow between the. It is as if I am strangely in sympathy with the natural environment, I have felt sad, frustrated and burnt out.
At the beginning of the year, I'd set myself the goal to post every day on my blogs, plus this newsletter. I've been maintaining this practice and have made a routine of preparing them.
It's almost halfway through the year, and I've kept my promise to write daily. I only have stopped posting my list of recommendations of exciting stuff to share over coffee because I don't always have a long enough list of things to share every single week, so I wait until I discover at least ten things to share something. I don't always get to consume as much content as I like. I'm struggling with the same dopamine addiction as everyone else, unwittingly spending moments scrolling through the internet without realising how much time I waste.
It is mind-numbing to realise how much everyone is addicted to their phones. I find myself scrolling and hardly see myself doing it. When I have a moment, without thinking, I sit and swipe. It is disturbing.
I had deleted TikTok for a few months, as I felt it was particularly deadly. I thought I could control myself and mistakenly reinstalled it. At first, I could see how stupid some of the content was and was aware of its lack of value, and I thought it would be easy to cut myself off whenever I wanted. So typical of any addict, I can stop when I want to. But no, it turns out I cannot. I need to delete it again.
The worst thing about this burnt-out feeling of addiction is how the scrolling and procrastination make you feel like crap. I constantly beat myself up and feel even more depressed with my lack of persistence or progress. Lethargy seems to be my schtick lately.
The result is that I feel like I'm being pulled in many different directions. Writing on my blogs takes time from researching my next big project, my first novel.
Following up on many smaller ideas and projects has been great, but I'm trying to do too much.
For now, the danger is creeping up on me that I will soon get exhausted and stop. This is the danger of taking on too many things all at the same time. Writing, blogging, parenting and a day job too!
I subscribed to the Farnam Street newsletter, and in their little thoughts section, there were these two pearls of wisdom I needed to hear.
The greatest threat to results is boredom and impatience.
The difference between good and excellent results is often found in consistently doing the boring things you know you should do precisely when you feel like doing them the least.
So here I am, pushing through my lethargy, taking time to rest and recharge without coming to a complete stop. I might take a couple of weeks off to charge my battery, which I think will be just fine since I haven't let myself take a break.
What overwhelms me is the amount of work I heaped up upon myself. I have pages and pages of blog post ideas and redrafts. So the old procrastination monster will slowly creep into this. There was no way I could get all of them done anyway.
But in reality, there is no need to get them all done; as long as I get five posts done a week, one each day is so much easier than dozens all at once. So shifting my mentality and giving myself space to do other things like rest, look after myself and spend time with the family will guarantee some new energy.
And staying off social media and away from mindless scrolling will also help.
I like that this newsletter is a journal filled with more random thoughts to share.
I started this newsletter to share my thoughts and experiences through my writing. I like to think I'm good with words. Sitting down at a computer or with a pen and paper is the most natural thing. So why would I be so hesitant to do so?
Creativity is inherently generous; art ultimately stagnates if it isn't shared.
So here's to sharing my art a little bit at a time.
I hope you enjoy it.
I hate to be long-winded, so I will stop here for now.
I'll keep trying to write something worthwhile here every week, perhaps more often if I get in some karmic writing zone.
Thanks for subscribing, and be sure to send this to a friend or someone you think might enjoy it.
Speak again soon.
With love and light from RDB
P.S.: If you are enjoying this free newsletter, why not consider subscribing to my paid version too, which is currently dedicated to my travel memoir, Sicilian Descent. You will get a serialised version of my book in your inbox weekly.
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As I read this you describe exactly how Ive been feeling. May is usually my favorite time of the year. Too much scrolling! I am now putting on the well being app at least once per day to shut down all apps except essentials and try to stick to writing during that time.