Just posting an update on my whereabouts. Not that I think that anyone is waiting with baited breath for my posts, however it’s the first time in months I’ve been able to take a break before 9 p.m. on a weeknight and have a glass of wine. I feel compelled to check in a bit.
We’re in the final four weeks prior to the Rogue Performance Festival’s opening and there’s a ton to do and not enough people to do it. It’s a non-profit arts organization. There are never enough people. We all work on the Festival in the hours after our day jobs (I work for a small publishing company during the day), so it doesn’t leave a lot of room for other things (like a day trip to Santa Barbara for a film festival, for instance. Damn!).
On top of that, my mother’s long health decline (of 14 years) is speeding up rapidly and her kidneys are shutting down, so there’s that. And then there’s, you know, the state of the world and the general upheaval of the the United States soaking through the crevices of my life.
I’m pretty stressed and in more emotional turmoil than I’ve been in a long time.
As a result of my long task-list and my short amount of time, I’ve gone back to lurking in the fandoms I follow. I’ve managed some RA related comments, but not too many. Mostly, I’m scanning a blog post here and there, liking a few tweets, and scrolling photos on tumblr. The only fan activity I’ve managed is returning to Armitage reading David Copperfield on Audible. (I had gotten a little over half-way before Dickens Fair in December, then left off due to my schedule). But I spend my few minutes of down-time each day looking at photos of RA, of the Outlander cast, of historical costumes, of various locations on Pinterest that remind me of a favorite book or movie.
Since I was a child, one of my coping mechanisms with stress has been to take regular mini-mental breaks into fantasy land. Just daydreaming while looking at photos in magazines. So that’s where I’ve been when I haven’t been tackling the real world of my life.
But I have also been thinking about the relationship between fangirling and stress.
I’ve often wondered if there’s some sort of stress relieving chemical released in me when I’m scrolling through a random listing of images I like – of favorite faces, of costumes that give me a jolt, of characters that move me, etc. Maybe my serotonin and oxytocin levels inch up just slightly. Maybe I enjoy the mini-worlds I create with the characters I see enough to let go of a little anxiety. Who knows?
When I was a teenager I used to cut photos out of magazines and make scrapbooks of my favorite actors. I’d get home from school and spend a solid 30 minutes pouring over them before I was fit to tackle anything else. Now I just do it digitally. Tumblr and Pinterest require fewer binders!
Why do (did?) teenagers put pics of their faves up in their lockers? What is it about just getting a little piece of your favorite in the system that helps? And when does it start to hurt? One of the things I have to watch out for is when the compulsion to get that little tiny fix gets in the way of what actually needs to get done in my life.
At this point, that’s far less of a problem than it was when I was young. I have so much that needs to get done and so many other things in my life that need the space. Funny though, that I haven’t entirely given up the habit.
At any rate, the mini-breaks and bits of daydreaming usually help a bit. I sometimes find I can work a little longer on an issue after fangirl daydreaming, when I thought I’d throw in the towel. Sometimes I can come at an issue a little differently. Other times it just allows me to treat the people I work with a little more gently. Whatever it is, it seems to work the kinks out a bit.
Anyway. . . that’s my digression and therefore my blog post for tonight. Thanks for bearing with me! I’ll be around a bit later.