How can I possibly find joy in such an unexciting necessity?

Consolidation is not exciting. I mean, moving away from the zone of creativity, of excitement, of struggle, is not inspiring. It may be comforting, it may represent stability, but fun, no.

Maybe that's a little of what people around the world, but particularly in the USA, have been feeling post-Trump. It could have felt like a step backwards, even. If we try to cross a raging river, and sense it is too dangerous, too deadly, then it is time to go back to safety.

Or, it could be going back to the old comforts. If the old comforts are like addictions, it's not good. Comfort food? Comfort drink? Comfort consumerism? Comfort internet browsing? And, to me, these things don't even bring the comfort they used to, because the excitement, the vision, the engagement, the newness has meant that the old certainties can never be as reassuring again, and they simply don't comfort in the way they may have appeared to in the past.

Alongside starting this practice of near-daily writing, which is new for me, I've been wondering what to do with the past material I wrote. I started my own personal WordPress blog a few years ago, but only got round to writing a few things there. It was there for me to write things that didn't fit into my Cetis blog, which I was quite enthusiastic about for a time, particularly with the Logic of Competence series. It makes no sense at all to have a separate personal WP blog with only a few entries, so I'm about to bring them over here, and will close down that site. (WordPress is useful, yes, to many people, but to me its drawbacks far outweigh its usefulness.) That leaves me with a job to do, and to be honest, an unexciting job. It's going to be even more of a job to bring in the Cetis posts, but I would really like to do that as well.

One ray of light shines for me in this rather gloomy space. It is that I see the potential of tracing themes through all or any of my past writings, rather than just within one medium. So what I plan to do is to dispense with the themes on the index to these journal entries, and just have a single themes page, where I can do the work of identifying and tracing through issues, themes, threads, topics, categories … whatever they are called, and it does not matter much what they are called. It is one feature that blogging systems, and computer systems more generally, lack: the automatic consolidation of themes across different platforms.

I've been somewhat wallowing today in unexcitement, but what I'm seeing now is a possible way to turn the anticipated boredom of consolidation into something at least interesting and worthwhile, and potentially itself engaging and even joyful. Is this an exercise for myself, or is it to help others find their way around the material I have written? I'm happy both ways. But I do think it will help me to reflect more deeply on the undercurrents that have recurred and surfaced in what I have written. Partly also to avoid getting stuck in a loop – the metaphor of a record being stuck is sadly outdated these days – to avoid simply repeating thoughts that I have expressed adequately already. I want to be moving on, not marking time.

So, maybe here's the lesson I can take from my own reflection today. Some kind of consolidation may be necessary from time to time, but let's try to make it a positive, new, engaging activity in its own right.

Now I remember something else I've not been good at: clearing out and letting go of things. Talking of Marie Kondo has in the past tended to tense me up: ouch, this is something I ‘should’ do but find difficult. Why? Do I need to awkwardly introspect about this? But organising things – decluttering – is quite closely related to consolidation, and I can see that the way forward here might also be to focus on the joy that is likely to come after what could feel like a reluctant, and possibly difficult start.

I just always find the new, the stimulating, the creative, easier and more appealing. Time for some serious reframing and learning new habits, as this journal itself represents.

Topics: Complex psychology; Current affairs; Journal writing; Personal development

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