A Tuesday, blue sky outside, the best of Melbourne’s spring weather. Shortly I’ll catch an early train eastward, to dine at an early hour with a friend. Today had no plan. This week had no plan. November has been unplanned.

Yes, I’m drifting. Weighed down by a compulsive personality, the drift isn’t my default state, and I know I should be concerned. A week, so I believe, can be judged by how close my average rising time is to the ideal of 5:00; in 2020, I’ve woken at 6:30 and insomnia has reared its ugly head. Any semblance of proper project execution and monitoring has long vanished. And it’s not as if I don’t attend to writing work nearly every day: ten months in, I’ve averaged six hours a day. The trouble is, without proper drive, half of that isn’t on the main book project. Without my “Big Year” goals, I’ve also let the body soften. I’m a few kilos overweight, I’m injured and therefore not jogging, and nothing challenging sits on the horizon.


But I’m unfussed. There is no logic to that statement. I should be fussed. But no, I’m not. Instead, I feel a soft light infusing my days. It’s a deadly world out there, and here in Australia, in Melbourne, we’re blessed with politicians (from both sides of our political divide) who have deferred to the scientists and have beaten the virus. Around me I am honored to count wonderful friends, some of whom are graceful amidst grave illness. My joy in just being occasionally amongst inspirational children and blessed grandchildren has softened my natural grimness. Food and wine (oh yeah!) loom as so, so pleasurable. Yes, the anxiety of the climate emergency poleaxes me some days, but Extinction Rebellion determination grants me hope.

No doubt one morning I’ll click back into that obsessive personality who rises in the dark and fills his days with maximal purpose. But not today. Today I’m fuzzy.

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