Look, there is only so much
Roads Go Ever On 20: Making time
💻 what I'm up to 💻
When I was around 20 and stupid and kind of a shit, I was very into working out. I didn’t particularly enjoy the act but I did like saying that I worked out. And whenever it came up and people said they didn’t have time, I was quite obnoxious about saying, “Well I make time for it because I prioritize it.”
Hahahahha. Honestly, Past Amy. What a jerk.
I thought of this recently as Duolingo sent me a passive aggressive notification about practicing: “It’s only 5 minutes.” True! My daily Spanish lessons don’t take long. But when seemingly countless things during the day take “only” a certain amount of time, they add up. If I meditate with Calm, that’s 10 minutes. If I work out, that’s anywhere from 40 minutes to over an hour. Cleaning litter boxes? 5 minutes. Making the bed? 2 minutes maybe, but I don’t do it in some futile act of reclaiming a miniscule amount of time. Then there’s 8 hours of work 5 days a week, because capitalism. And I don’t even have a family!
Making time is not as easy as my past self thought—even if you’re prioritizing something. We only have so much time, and if you make room for everything, you’ll just wring yourself dry. Especially if you don’t rest. An empty husk doesn’t have energy for any activity, not even pleasing the annoying Duolingo owl.
So I guess what I’m saying is: try to be kinder to yourself. Ask for a little bit less of yourself and see if it makes a difference. Maybe that’s letting whatever streak in whatever app lapse, or leaving the bed a mess in favor of resting, or taking an actual break for lunch instead of eating a sandwich with Slack open on your phone.
We can’t create more time; let’s be good to ourselves with the time we have.
📘 my book things 📘
I have things maybe happening for new projects?! So… that’s all I can say. We’ll see what happens. Writing books involves a lot of waiting. So. Much. Waiting. Though while we’re here I will also remind you my next book, Star Wars: Battles That Changed the Galaxy, will be here October 12 and is available for preorder.
📺 what I'm watching 📺
If you like What We Do in the Shadows, both the film and the TV series, turn on Wellington Paranormal as soon as you can. It’s a spinoff from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi and though it’s already aired for 3 seasons in New Zealand, it only just got US distribution. You can watch it on The CW or HBO Max. You follow two polite doofuses that make up the paranormal unit of Wellington PD, and they try very hard to be good at their jobs. It makes me laugh out loud regularly. I’m also rewatching WWDITS, which has the same effect.
The Green Knight
Okay, I sat alone in a theater and screened this movie in early July and I rewatched it last weekend. David Lowery directed and wrote the film, an adaptation of the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Don’t go in expecting swashbuckling. The Green Knight moves at a slow pace as it follows Gawain on his quest to confront the titular Green Knight. It’s haunting but not scary and the cinematography is stunning. (If you’re curious, I interviewed Lowery about the movie and also the ending).
📚 what I'm reading 📚
Where to even start?! I’m going to limit myself to highlighting 3 recent books.
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
I've been wanting to reread The Wheel of Time books for ages, and the upcoming Amazon series encouraged me to get a move on. It's been... 15 years? Ever since Knife of Dreams came out. The first 100 pages were a struggle, but I settled back in soon enough and wooboy, I forgot that the action does not stop once things pick up. I'm so happy to be around Moiraine and Mat and Perrin and everyone. Anyway the first book is a thickboi epic fantasy and the series has 14 books, so you may be like, "Hard pass, I'd like to live my life." But it’s worth committing. And if you’d like to learn a little more about the world before you say yes, I wrote a basic overview.
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall
A rom-com set against a fictional version of Great British Bake-Off?! I was sold from the description but then Rosaline and the whole cast pretty much stole my heart. Rosaline is discovering her purpose, finding love, and really just in a general getting shit together mode and not taking shit from anyone, and I appreciate it. CW: does contain a description of attempted sexual assault (also noted at the front of the book, which I appreciate).
Float Plan by Trish Doller
Okay, this has an intense premise that I won't sugarcoat. A woman's fiancé dies by suicide and as she grieves, she decides to take his boat on a long sail through the Atlantic as they had once planned to do together. She’s not what I would call an experienced sailor though? But fret not, she meets a stranger, who helpfully knows the ins and outs of sailing. It goes into a lot of processing Feelings with a side of gorgeous travel escape, and a v. cute dog.
🐳 something whalesome 🐳
I like wholesome things and the whale emoji is cute so: whalesome!
So Jason Sudeikis is basically Ted Lasso IRL. This article made me feel like goo in a good way.
🍃 creativity corner 🍃
Here I’ll share tips and tricks that are helping me write, imagine, and/or stay productive.
Let’s jump back to what I said earlier about making time. If you’re constantly wondering “where the eff is my day going?” keep a running list of what you do. Include every little thing (okay, maybe not when you go to the bathroom). Try this out for a week and see if what, if anything, you can let go. If you can’t find one thing to let go, look back through your list and consider these questions: will my well being or someone else’s be affected if I don’t do X? If not, think about dropping it.
📃 quote of the week 📃
“We sidestep ourselves in order to move forward.” - Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
First of all, read On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (yes I managed to mention another book). In a book of sentences so delicate they feel like silk but so strong you know they couldn’t be torn, this quote stood out. We’re in our own damn way so much.
And finally an update: This newsletter is now going to be once a month, as that just makes the most sense for me right now. Feel free to reply and let me know how you’re doing! And if you feel so inclined, you can buy me a Ko-fi.