This is, by design, not a very personal blog. I made the decision early on to keep most of my real life away from CircleThrice. There are several reasons for this. First, most of my life appears pretty boring. I have a family and a good career and a house. I'm interested in food (cooking, baking, preserving) and crafty hobbies like knitting -- probably a reaction against my tech-focused day job. I generally appear like a mundane, middle-class person. Or at least that's my goal. See, years ago I figured it was better to look ordinary and actually be interesting than the reverse. I enjoy passing as normal. Of course, there are still people who react to me with discomfort, suspicion, and sometimes fear -- kind of modern witchfinders, I suppose -- but I can't help that so I don't worry about it. Second, the most interesting non-magical part of my life is my work, which I also can't talk much about. Much of it is protected by NDA. I like my job very much, but that doesn't mean you're going to enjoy hearing about it.
Gordon recently wrote about filling pails and lighting fires (go read that... oh, right of course you already did). His position is that the goal of his blog is to light fires within his readers, not to fill up their pails. I have a kid who's been in and out of the education system to various degrees over the years (homeschool, online school, charter school, private school -- we've basically been conducting a hands-on survey review of education in America). So, I completely agree that much of what passes for government conditioning, er, I mean public education is simply about packing predigested facts into flaccid, malleable brains. And that this is a terrible way to learn things.
CircleThrice however, isn't about filling pails or lighting fires... it's about providing tools. it's not the classroom, it's the SHOP. This blog is a toolbox. You can use the tools to build a better birdhouse or invent a new machine. Craft your best life, tune your brain, fuck with reality, adjust the odds. When things are going badly or you need a change, you pop open the toolbox and see what you've got to work with.
So, back to me. The last month or so, things have been... challenging. Not necessarily outright bad, but with difficulties and difficult situations in all areas of my life. Part of this was just nasty space weather, part was a couple of situations coming to a head, and a third part was a convergence of deadlines and milestones. So, as I usually do in these circumstances, I inventoried my own toolbox. There were several tools I needed to apply in order to sort things out. They included:
- Prioritization. When in doubt, prioritize. Everything was crazy, and I needed to identify the most important things to deal with. This is a powerful tool and one that I use often.
- Self-care. Better food, more sleep, being kind to yourself. We should do this all the time of course, but sometimes we forget. And we're most likely to forget when we need to care for ourselves the most -- when things are difficult.
- Perspective. Always a good tool for when things seem bad. And I don't mean the kind of "first world problems," you have nothing to bitch about, perspective. I mean the kind where you put yourself in others' shoes, look at the larger picture, and even remind yourself that we're just specks of soul floating in the vastness of space.
- Clearing. This is one I use less often, but it works great when it's the right time. Similar to cleansing, clearing is the act of unraveling active enchantments that aren't effective or that have outlived their usefulness. This includes physical dispersal, but also mental and emotional clearing.
- Focus. The act of putting your attention on one thing exclusively is a very powerful form of magic. You can do it with people (try with your family and see how they respond), projects, situations.