Rolling back the clock…

For the duration of the Great Plague thus far, I’ve been even more of a recluse than normal. Avoiding places where people congregate is a decided lifestyle choice and hasn’t felt like much of a burden. 

During this last week, I’ve taken the opportunity to catch up on some errands I’ve been putting off. I almost wish I wouldn’t have done that. What I observed out in the world does not fill me with confidence. While some are making concerted efforts, at least as many seem to have decided that masks, and distancing, and… basic hygiene rules of any kind don’t really need to be observed. 

Seeing the virus come roaring back across Europe as they’ve loosened their restrictions – and yes, watching the infection rate surge here in the US over the last couple of weeks, it’s become painfully obvious that no one anywhere really has a firm grip on how to be open and doing it safely.

So, with that, I’m rolling back the clock. From here at Fortress Jeff, we’ll be leaving the homestead for essential business only. All of you are more than welcome to go sit in your favorite bars or restaurants, wander around Walmart to your heart’s content, forgo your mask, or bunch up in any crowded place that strikes your interest. I don’t want any part of it.

I’ve always thought I had a reasonably well developed self-preservation instinct. Smart people are telling me there is a problem and have offered remarkably simple ways to avoid it. If you can’t be bothered to follow their bare minimum advice or recommendations, I truly don’t have any desire or interest in sharing space with you for the foreseeable future. I can’t control what anyone else does, of course, but I bloody well can control what I do as a result. 

If anyone needs me, stand at the end of the driveway and shout loudly, I guess. 

Distinctly lacking in motivation…

What we have here tonight isn’t a lack of things to say, but rather a lack of motivation to put in the time ckick-clacking at the keyboard to make anything meaningful appear. It’s probably safe to write that off to being the backlash against spending the best part of eight hours today turning out evaluation reports, project kick off emails, and trying to answer what felt like several thousand questions that revolved around the difficult task of putting 100 people on a bus two weeks from now.

Maybe it’s not exactly a lack of motivation so much as it’s just the idea of spending another second sitting in front of a keyboard making me want to violently spew my dinner all over my nice home office. No good every comes from that feeling. It seems that this week is determined to turn itself into a case study of knowing when not to say things. I recognize that has being an important skill even if it happens to be one I have never completely managed to master.

So I hope you’ll forgive me just now if I step away from the computer, set the phone down for a minute, studiously avoid tuning in to any form of news and find myself something absolutely mindless to spend the evening doing. It feels like exactly what the doctor might order as a salve for missing motivation.

The longest week…

It’s Tuesday. Yawning away on the other side of Friday close of business is eleven days off as I burn away the rump pot of leave left over at the end of the year. We’ve reached the point of 2017 where grinding my teeth and just doing whatever’s necessary to get through the week has become the most important order of business.

​Sure, some of those days will be consumed by the holiday, in making the rounds, putting in appearances, and keeping up the traditions. I don’t really mind those things though. They’re a friendly constant in a world that seems to be bent on upending itself at every opportunity. With those filial obligations tended, though, there’s still a long stretch of days that I’m leaving unplanned, unscheduled, and just barely accounted for on lists of things to do.

In a week that should be winding things down towards a good rest, Olympus seems determined to grind we mere mortals on towards the bitter end. I’m quite sure I’ll be sanctioned for not displaying the requisite good cheer and positive attitude the season demands, but just now I’m going to consider any obstacle at all between me and the 11 day weekend to come an existential threat to my well being and therefore something to be avoided with extreme prejudice.

On the desire to be a vegetable…

No, I don’t have some oddball dream of becoming a radish and I don’t want to suffer a catastrophic brain injury that leaves me lying in a hospital bed drooling on myself and peeing through a tube, but I the idea of spending the weekend being a vegetable has a certain appeal at the moment. It’s been one of those weeks without much of what felt like down time. Those weeks seem to be happening more and more often lately. Not a complaint, a statement of fact. My natural response, of course, is to want to spend the weekend knocking around the house doing my best to avoid the world and other people as much as possible.

I don’t know how it is for other people, but my style of introversion makes dealing with people, especially large groups of them, a seriously exhausting experience. I do my best to be civil because that’s what polite society expects, but during every interaction I’m suppressing my natural avoidance instinct. When a week has been nothing but external inputs, by Friday it has a tendency to feel like I’m just barely holding it all together. Under the circumstances retreat into a good book, a handful of movies, and a quiet house is the best elixir. It’s not running away to a private island, but it’s what I can manage on short notice and more importantly, it’ll be enough to make sure I get through the next week without bitch slapping some poor unsuspecting extrovert who tries striking up a conversation.

And yes, as always, I recognize the bizarre counter-intuitivity of the introvert that keeps two Facebook pages, a blog, and semi-active Twitter feed. You see, the difference is at any point when I decide I don’t want to deal with that stuff, I can just minimize the page and it goes away. People, by comparison, are notoriously butthurt when you try doing that to them in the analog world.