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Making time to be un-locked-down

At the beginning of New South Wales’ second major COVID-19 lockdown, I made a list of projects that might keep me occupied while unable to go outside. I felt fully occupied for the whole lockdown—yet at the end the list seems at least long as it was at the beginning. For one, I have half a dozen ideas noted for possible inclusion in this blog without having written anything for over a month.

Part of the reason is that the lockdown coincided with the busiest time of year for my paid work, and that outside of paid work I chose to work on several long projects that easily consumed my evenings and weekends without coming near to being finished. Another is that I have a few projects with only a little remaining to make them complete, but for which I’ve been struggling for months to find exactly what little bit would make the project perfect. And even when I did finish a project, I simply added a new project to the list just as quickly.

For all the reasons above, I reached the end of lockdown wondering where I would find the time to take up any of my outdoor and social activities anyway. But of course it’s a matter of choosing how to spend one’s time: I had time go walking and attend social events before, and I will do so again, I just have to carve out some of the time I’ve been spending on writing and programming at home.

Lockdowns aside, it’s also the end of semester, and I haven’t had much of a holiday since June. So I ought to take a break—in fact I’ve already booked one short trip for November, have plans for a slightly longer one, and am sketching plans for Christmas.

Yet I don’t want to put those longer projects aside, I’m impatient to get started on the new projects that I thought up during the lockdown, and National Novel Writing Month is coming up again. So, by way of keeping the projects moving along without become lost in my to-do list, I’ll use my non-holiday time to pick off the near-finished projects, finish the next round of edits on the shorter of my two long writing projects, and set a leisurely aim of 500 words of historical fiction per day for National Novel Writing Month. Even that sounds busy—but hopefully I’ll go to Christmas with a shorter to-do list.

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