I have complicated relationships with many things in my life, even with some words. But there are three that are the most consistent: writing, sleep, and technology.
When asked to describe my relationship with writing, I can’t say that I love it. “It’s complicated” is much more accurate. Like an intense attraction and equally intense resistance to it. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? For me, writing doesn’t really involve choice; it’s simply something I must do. Storytelling isn’t something I sought out, it’s something that continues to choose me; regardless of how I feel about it.
Honestly, some days I actively despise writing and wish I could untangle myself from its grasp. I’ve tried, and it’s simply not possible. So I get to a place of thinking Fine, if I’m going to have to write, let’s just do it.
Right now, I’ve almost finished the final edits on my first memoir. The manuscript of which I’ve had for, oh, several months by now. I am so damn sick of this book. UGH!!! However, I’m also aware that I’m now into writing my third memoir, and in order to move on, this damn first one needs to be published. So I force myself to sit down and work on it. Ignoring all of my (very loud) internal protesting and just keep reading and writing.
Sleep and I have a long history of being complicated with one another. Starting way back while I was married, sleep and I are occasional acquaintances. Despite the fact that I do really love sleep, it seems we constantly have a push/pull connection with each other.
The most severe insomnia I’ve ever experienced led to some very productive writing. Funny how the two are related. I’m not sure when I slept at all during the first half of September 2017, but I do know that’s when I wrote one of my favorite parts of my first memoir. Contemplating whether there might be men who are compatible with me that I just haven’t met yet led to simply writing: Fuck. One of the favorite sentences I’ve ever written.
I’m currently not experiencing insomnia because I am sleeping…just at some rather interesting times. Often, I’m awake from 2 or 3am until daylight, when sometimes I have to put myself to bed. Sleep and I continue a complex relationship, but there is something I really like about that early morning time of day. It’s peaceful and quiet of the communication that is so prevalent during “normal” business hours.
Finally, probably my least favorite: technology. With this one, it’s definitely more of a love/hate dynamic at work. I do love and appreciate the ease of connection technology brings. At the same time, I hate the overwhelm of information and how easy it is for people to reach me.
From telemarketing sales companies to political campaigns, I find it disturbing how many people contact me. Many with the sole intent of selling me crap I don’t want or need. Fucking salespeople. And yes, I realize that as a real estate broker, I am one; cold calling and harassment have just never been my style.
When it comes to technology, I can admit that it’s brought about connection with people I would never otherwise have met. And I do see value in that. Instagram seems to be the most reliable resource for connections and I’ve even hired people through connecting on that platform, without having met them in person.
On the flip side, there is a creepy aspect to IG when some men try to use it as though it’s a dating site. It’s not. One message I recently received read, “Hi dear, how are you?” To which I thought Dude, who the hell are you and WHO replies to such a thing? All I know is that I do not.
When it comes to technology, severely limiting notifications has helped. As has deleting apps and leaving places I no longer have profiles. I do use technology on a daily basis and appreciate that it allows me to record podcast episodes from home. I also appreciate the times that I get to silence my phone and simply be inaccessible for a while.
It seems likely that I’ll continue to have complicated relationships with writing, sleep, and technology. And I’m actually comfortable with that fact.
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