How to overthink things: A list

This is not actually going to be a list about overthinking. But I am really good at overthinking things. It’s finally the weekend, and even though it was a four-day work week, I am terribly glad it’s Saturday. Weekends are easy for me to lose, though. I get caught up in mindlessly browsing Tumblr or putting off household chores or not making plans with friends or getting angry at the news (and not even getting paid for it). These are the kinds of things I would rather be doing instead:

  • Papier-mâché — I used to run a blog about this, actually. I recently tried it out again, and it’s still hideously fun and pleasant for me. I’m still settling on how to decorate this dopey vase (thanks, weird juice bottle + toilet paper roll), but I’ve got a whole list of other things I want to make: monsters, dioramas, decorative boxes, birds, tea sets. Past me was super zen about how to do it and improv-style mindsets. I want that again!
  • Photo challenges — I have this fantastic camera and I really, really love photography. Why not? (But which! CaptureYour365? #365Project? the 30-day version? the one that got the “photo challenge” domain name? the Shallow Project? This… might be me overthinking things, in action.) (For real, though, I’m so glad the iPhone has a good camera too. I love how freaky the Empire State Building looked yesterday, in that photo up top.)
  • Writing — I continue to want more storytelling, fiction and non, in my life. I’ve had luck before with timed writing sessions, particularly Pomodoro-style breakdowns. I have so many projects to take on: NaNoWriMo, my renewed feelings about an old Americana noir project that never got off the ground, a whole bunch of journalism, even more possible short stories
  • Biking — I really love city biking. I enjoy biking to work, which takes exactly the same amount of time as taking the train, with the added bonus of showing up at the office drenched in sweat. I’m always happier during the day when I do it, though, and let’s be real, the weather is super cooperating right now.
  • Swing dancing — I’m angry every week that I beg out of throwing myself into the social dance community. I make all these excuses about the long train rides to the venues, the early hour I have to wake up for work, and yet. And yet every time I’ve done it, I’m so happy. Being sleepy for a bit the next day has to be worth that.
  • Ukulele — Music in general, really. I really need to commit to a little learning on this baby, but I miss Sacred Harp singing quite a bit too, not to mention how much I enjoyed basic singing lessons back at the Old Town School of Folk Music (an institution for which Chicago is much, much richer; I wish I knew where something even vaguely similar lived in New York).
  • Friend dates — New York is as lonely as everyone likes to moan about. I’m still looking for that group of friends or community that I crave, but I fully admit that is partly because I am easily discouraged when I’m overwhelmed. (I have considered making this blog more confessional, in addition to semi-professional-ish writing. I have other outlets for that kind of writing, but we’ll see. It’s not invalid work.) Anyway, I know a bunch of people here, and it’s no good sitting around on Tumblr waiting to be invited somewhere. I have a lot of good ideas for hangouts, including and incorporating all of the above, plus more.

The thing that’s not on here is “reading for pleasure,” which I’m basically doing pretty okay on. Right now I’m about halfway through Escape From Baghdad! by Saad Hossain, and I’m working my way toward accepting that it’s okay to buy ebooks when I can’t find the physical stuff quickly without ordering from Powells or similar. (Ugh, screw Amazon forever when it comes to books, okay?) In the meantime, it’s mid-morning now, and I’m ready to stop making lists and actually do something. (She wrote, determined to do so! Fake it ’til you make it, don’t fail me now!)

Thanks for reading, friends. I’ve got 36 good hours ahead of me, and they’re all mine.

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