What to do when your go train derails

I think sometime last week the driver of my train of thought started drinking and then she fell asleep. The train didn’t crash; it slowly lost steam and veered at a snail’s pace off course into some rather large bushes.

The derailment happened a little before my birthday earlier this week. I have been graciously granted an extension by my loved ones for said birthday - I get to be special for the rest of the week. But I still have a lot of work to do. To catch up on. I literally have no idea what is happening.

This post was affected by the derailment. I had, or have, no idea what to write about. One potential idea was the concept of "me time," given the whole birthday thing. Unfortunately, that threatened to become a dissertation on me time being a misnomer, because what we really want to have is "life time." That would have led to more whining about my unfulfilled artistic ambitions and how U of T sometimes feels like a big fat waste. That would have to have been reconciled by some kind of "follow your dreams" compromise. And then I would have forgotten to include...

Alright, well, yeah. Back to the train. Though there was no large crash, passengers aboard felt a slight jolt upon impact with a passing baby elephant (who is doing fine, despite the lawsuit). Only one passenger, Indomitable Fighting Spirit, sustained an injury as the jolt made her trip over a suitcase and fall out of a window. Oh, and the train driver has a hang-over.

While both recover, I can only offer you some stuff, some stress-related suggestions, I suppose. At crazy end-of-the-semester time, just gun it. Listen to Bruce Lee* and just get everything out of the way any way you can. Focus on some endpoint, one that you will actually experience in a reasonable time frame (for 20-something undergrads, ‘retirement’ does not work).

So, the stuff I promised. Here’s one thing: Time Management For Anarchists! How to get t'ings together for non-conformists, renegades and the like. It’s by Jim Munroe, it comes in seminar, flash animation and comic-book format and it’s pretty awesome. Time management is easier to do at the beginning of the year, when everything is not-yet-late-or-in-a-pile, but I think it can be a good motivator for the I’ll-just-wing-it-non-keeners at the college level. A lot of it applies to jobs, but I think the flash animation and parts of the comic can apply to one’s mentality while in school.

Case in point: page 19. Social acupuncturist Darren O’Donnell, who looks like a more-balding version of Anthony Head, does not work a 9 to 5 job. But rather than do the whole stereotypical "work-when-inspired thing" that everyone thinks artsy people do, Darren has made some deals with himself where he can’t work after 6 pm and he has to take off one day a week (all nighters = no). I especially like the line, “The more I do, the less I become afraid of doing it. The less I put it off.”

It works. Proof? This post exists!

Here’s one more thing. Breathe, realign, strangle a teddy bear. Remember why you are putting yourself through this and if the reason ain’t so nice - gun it. Enjoy the process if you can, I guess. Either way, our lives have to become ours again at some point. Whether now or later.

Preferably now.


*I realize that "Empty your mind" has far deeper implications than just "get everything out of the way," but I’m pointing out the quote because it definitely applies to emptying one’s brain of all that anxiety crap in order to be able to act. So you don’t hide under the bed.

** This sounds scarily like the schedule of the Grey Zone Man Lucy told us about. Which my body is instructing me to leave for another post… on… time… managemzzzzzzzzz.


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