“Intermittent dopamine fasting”, Week One – a slow start, some changes

“Intermittent dopamine fasting”, Week One – a slow start, some changes

And just like that, a week has passed since I announced my intention to be less online and in my life more. It was the final week of my job, which still hasn’t quite hit home yet. Most of the week was spent wrapping up projects as best as I could, setting up a handover and finally letting suppliers and other people I worked with know that I was leaving. When I left my previous job last year, it felt like a momentous thing. I counted down the weeks, not even days, and everybody in the little 20+ people team we had knew I was going, and some were dreading it. After three years of more or less dedicating all my energy to that job, leaving felt like the strangest thing.

Not so this time. I’d only been in this place 10 months, for one; a perfectly fine job with a nice office and lovely colleagues. But I soon realised that I’m not quite done with challenging projects yet. I was underworked almost the entire time I spent there and felt strangely detached from the place and the people, so much so that when Friday came around, with cake and thoughtful gifts and a request for me to say a few words, I had trouble finding them because it didn’t feel like I was leaving at all. I value that place for the fun work I did get to do, the many wonderful books I got to read, and the headspace I was able to find and get comfortable with again after three years of forgetting I had any interests other than work. Just before I left, one of my colleagues called me a ‘real book person’. It takes one to know one, and I still feel blessed by this comment, in a way. At least professionally, I’m exactly where I belong.

As the work thing kind of took over the week, I didn’t make something every day as I had planned. I stuck to my bed- and screen times on all days but one, so my reading is going well. I’m also moving more – I got a fitbit earlier this week, which is now my master. The fitbit demands daily exercise, so I go do it. It’s only been a few days, so I have no idea how long this kind of motivation will last, but right now it’s doing its job.

I now have a week off before my new job starts. That’s a week to read all the books I started this months, write that blog post on logo design I’ve been putting off, write that cover design post I’ve been putting off (these progress posts take so long), make daily sacrifices to the fitbit and go visit the Book Fair in Leipzig. Because I’m a Book Person.

I’ve been reading

  • Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead. I’m a little less than 100 pages away from the ending, and while it’s one of the most intricately detailed and researched novels I’ve read in a long time, I’m reaching the point at which I think it could be shorter.
  • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. I’ve had this one on my shelf for a very long time, but picked it up on a whim this week when I saw that the TV show is available on Disney+. I wanted to read the book first, so that’s what I’m doing now. I’ve waited long enough.
  • How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Saša Stanišič. This one’s dense for its relative shortness and I’ve been at it for a while. It’s full of sometimes quirky stories and symbolism and, probably for lack of something better to compare it with because my knowledge of (South-)Eastern European literature is limited, it reminds me of early Jonathan Safran Foer. Not my favourite thing to read in spite of some stunning turns of phrase (I don’t know why we don’t have the original German version in our household), but absolutely worth it.
  • Die Leiden des jungen Werther (engl. The Sorrows of Young Werther) by Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Werther is a book I try to read every once in a while, because it’s the book that first made me aware of how differently we can react to a book at different times in our lives (hated it at 16, quite liked it at 20; having mixed feelings at 34). Also I’ve started a new cover design course on Domestika and I’ve picked this one to work with. For the first time reading it, I’m older than both the protagonist and the author when he wrote it. It’s certainly a wild ride.

Other things I’ve been into

  • A certain video game that shall remain unnamed still has its hold on me. I’ve also started to replay Breath of the Wild, but I’m happy to report that neither is eating up a whole lot of time. I’m nailing this balance thing at the moment.
  • Speaking of the Video Game That Shall Not Be Named, we have been blessed with a new ContraPoints video called The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, a 2-hour deep dive into J.K. Rowling, TERFism, that podcast of the same title that I didn’t finish (and now don’t have to, thank god) and how we deal with people and groups whose opinions we oppose (Debate? Violence? Pie to the face?). I thought it was excellent and absolutely recommend it.
  • Just … sunshine and being outside. It’s been a long, dark six … seven? … months, man.