Is there such a thing as a new-event fatigue? I mean, every time I glance at my social media feed there’s a dozen new announcements for virtual conferences, events, races, and live streams.
Adobe Max just did a thing, with a bunch of great speakers, and it was all free, and like, I just did not have the bandwidth to pause for an hour and watch something… in the middle of the day. I guess I could go back and watch, but there’s probably 13 new things for my eyeballs to ingest in the past hour.
I’ve signed up a few virtual races and every one of them is a nervous vomiting of emails, with links, dates, codes, and mystical instructions, some of which include screen shots (like a fucking WikiHow article).
Emails about signing up for new health care, too. And I think I need to renew my car registration.
Oh, and I think I need to plan for a coup, too? And stock up on survival gear, and a AM/FM radio in case civilization collapses next week.
Wait, will that interfere with that virtual 5K I signed up for?
Will Philadelphia burn the ground? Will another Black person be gunned down by police in the next 12 minutes (probably)? Will more disinformation spread? Will any of this shit get better?
Gotta stay on top of my inbox, though. Good thing I signed up for a virtual seminar for “Staying Productive While Your Country Implodes Upon Itself Like a Dying Star.”
Medical professionals have publicly called on the president to discontinue his rallies. Seventy-five doctors led by the Committee to Protect Medicare, a health-care advocacy group, signed a letter last week asking Trump to cancel one in Erie. And on Monday, Meaghan Reid, an emergency physician in Drexel Hill, hosted a virtual news conference again asking the president to stop.
Seventy five DOCTORS – people who went to school for a zillion years, paid a boat load of money, working long hours, made so many sacrifices – got together and said this!
I think the biggest thing I keep coming back to during these *unprecedented times* is this; there was a time when you could go to bed at night knowing grown ups were running the show, and watching out for everyone. Sure, there are policy differences, but we still listened to science.
“We cannot rely on herd immunity,” (Pennsylvania’s health secretary Dr. Rachel) Levine said. “That is not a good public health strategy.”
Like, we’re seriously not wearing masks. And then when a vaccine is available, there’s going to be so much disinformation out there on how it was developed by liberals, or aliens, or Hollywood elites.
Timely words from track and field Olympian Tianna Bee:
“Whatever it is you’re facing-whatever the adversity or the obstacle- there is a solution. Yes. There is. The question is- are you going to take quitting off the table in order to free up the space needed for the creativity and new perspective to find it.”
During this season of a maddening political world, a national shit show during a pandemic, racial injustice, poverty and about a million other things – quitting isn’t an option. Not for Bee, not for any of us.
There are days of rest, tears, and eating cake out of a baking tin at 9pm on occasion, but then it’s back at it.
Anyone can easily market their own music, books, or films online, drum up a thousand true fans, and enjoy a decent living. We see proof of this, time and again, in profiles of bold creators who got tired of waiting to be chosen, took to the web, and saw their work go viral.
The artists tell another tale. Yes, you can produce and post your work more easily, but so can everyone else.
From the early 2000s until now, there has been no shortage of music, which is why there is no shortcut to getting your stuff out there. Unfortunately everything is stacked against the artist – rent, time, space, COVID-19. For every Marc Rebillet, there’s probably 1,000 artists who got two plays on YouTube today.
This is not some moral failing of the artist with two plays. The entire system is broken, art is de-valued, and oh yeah, almost 250,000 Americans are dead from a runaway virus.
I wrote about “Soft Running” a few days ago, and the idea has kept with me. Enough so to start a Substack newsletter for the idea, the concept. The idea behind the Soft Run Substack newsletter (sign up here) is to have it’s own home, a space, to explore the idea a bit more.
It’s been a weird time for running in 2020, especially if you’re just getting started. There’s no run groups, no local 5K races to join with your friends. So how do we get started, and keep going? That’s what I’m going to be writing about.
Just like soft running, sometimes you need a soft ride. I’ve been going hard these last few months, trying to lose weight, get faster, and all that other pretty fucking typical stuff. Then came a 10 mile trail race and I realized I didn’t have that much fun. It’s time to recalibrate.
Left the house and it was around 70 degrees, but sort of cool on the bike. I actually rode slow enough to be chilly; like, just riding so easy that I wasn’t really warming myself. It was a nice feeling. I slowed, looked deep into the woods, scanned the creeks, stopped to smell some pine trees.
Just like we can’t focus on work for 8+ hours, at least not in a healthy way, we can’t always workout hardcore either. I mean, if you’re young, cool! Do you! But it’s also nice to just switch it up.
Stop and smell the roses is cliche for a reason.
And I’ve discovered in my journey with outsourcing, there’s been some quiet time. There’s been moments in the day where shit is actually done, caught up. Nothing to do. It’s glorious, but also terrifying. It’s just not something I’m familiar with, having gone pretty much full tilt since 2018 when my Close Mondays operation really took off.
Tonight it felt unsettling to just get away on the bike, but it was absolutely everything I needed. The best ideas come in the shower, or those quiet moments just staring at the mountains.
Avoiding those moments isn’t advisable for me. I need to keep searching them out.
Reminded of this article after a long talk with a friend today:
We’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.
That article is from March 23rd of 2020, which feels like a life-time ago. And how did anyone hit the nail on the head just a week after we started shutting things down?
We’re grieving the loss of normal, of safety, of security, of spontaneity. Stuff is upside down right now, and just keeping our head up is an act of defiance and bravery.
We no longer have a commute. We don’t have shows, or dinners, or meet ups like we used to, to break up our days. Our weeks. The day to day is stuck on loop. Like the Groundhog Day movie, but way darker because it’s happening in real life, and the ending credits are nowhere to be seen.
Today I remembered going into the city. Driving to the bus station, the two hour bus ride, walking out of Port Authority Bus Terminal and seeing the NYTimes building. I fired up Google Maps street view just to remember what that was like. I strolled down the street, heading east to Bryant Park. Dammit I miss Bryant Park.
I miss being able to meet up with friends at shows, and all the talks and adventure that place before the doors even open. Late night drives home, and everything they reveal.
This year has stripped a lot of the possibilities away. Great conversations are still happening, and the random hangs with select folks, but still, this shit is hard.
Close that laptop and go for a long walk, run, dance, whatever. Move your bones, emails can wait.
I went through some dark harrowing times in 2014, 2015; broke as fuck, closed bank account, no steady work. Long walks helped save my ass (along with wonderful friends). Note that I’m not saying JUST GET OUTSIDE! DEPRESSION ISN’T REAL. Fuck that noise.
You can only answer so many emails, check off so many tasks. Eventually you’re making mistakes, resentment swells. Just get away. Law of diminishing returns. You’re not gonna remember those three things on your to-do list that you cleared on a Thursday night. Not compared to some walk where you might run into a great dog or two, or a gorgeous sun set.
Some days hurt, some days you float. This was a nice six miles around the Trexlertown Nature Preserve, on a new route I’ve never done before. Started off chilly and breezy, and saw a woman modeling with antlers in the woods, so all in all a great run.
The thing about trail running is it’s time in the woods, which I cherish. Lately I’ve been taking it slow and easy, which just means more time in the woods, so it’s a win win all around. I keep reminding myself that I’m not racing, I’m just out in nature. So when it hurts, slow down. Walk. Take a photo (or two).