Usually when I finish reading a book, and I’m considering how much I liked it, I ask myself if I’d read it again. If a book has a profound impact on me, I’ll say with certainty that I want to reread it one day. (Whether or not I actually get around to rereading it is another matter altogether.)
There are a lot of books that I want to reread, but I never reread a book immediately after finishing it. At most, I might flick back through the book to revisit certain parts, but I know I must move on to another book before restarting the journey. The idea is to leave enough time between readings to allow some forgetting of events so that it can be experienced anew.
Last week-end, I finished playing Mass Effect 3. It is the final instalment in a trilogy of video games, which I would attempt to summarise here except that I’m not sure where to start, and I’m sure there are better explanations already on the internet. In basic terms, it’s a game in which you play as a character named Shepard, who has to save the galaxy from various evils.
It is very much like a “choose your own adventure” book but in game form — at various points in the game, you have to make decisions that will affect what happens next or what happens further along in the game. Even when your Shepard talks to other characters, you choose between different dialogue options to shape your character as more friendly (paragon) or mean (renegade). I suppose this makes it very easy to become personally invested in the game, as it feels like a unique experience shaped by your own choices, which are likely made based on what you would do if you were in Shepard’s situation.
Somewhere toward the end of last year — perhaps in October — we buried some pith and seeds in the compost heap, not expecting it to do anything other than decompose and rot like everything else in there (apart from the pumpkin seeds, which really don’t need much encouraging at all in order to sprout and grow).
Weeks passed, and we added more food scraps to the heap, forgetting with every addition what was already in there. But then, in the second half of November, something sprouted near the edge of the heap — something that didn’t seem like a weed (or at least not like the weeds we were familiar with). We left it there, sprouting out of the compost heap, to see what it would become.
A friend of mine shared an infographic on Instagram a while ago. It illustrated the difference between fixed and growth mindsets with regards to race issues. Instead of just thinking that you don’t know what to do, or that you won’t make a difference, or that you simply don’t have time to get involved (all fixed mindset thinking), it encourages people to seek new information, learn about how to help, and have the courage to take part in something that has far-reaching implications (growth mindset).
It’s easy to think that a singular person cannot have much impact on greater issues, but if every person thought that, nothing would happen, nothing would change, and nothing would improve.
As someone who attended their first protest last month — for Black Lives Matter — it really reinforced this notion of “yes, I’m just one person, but together we can be a force to be reckoned with”. It was incredible to stand amongst so many others, all assembled for the same reason.
And yet, the realist in me keeps wondering what will be the true outcome of this — will there be lasting change, or will people just settle back into “normal life”, and grumble about other things?
The same friend who posted the infographic has also been sharing resources for how to support the cause further, how to support indigenous Australians, and how to just be a better human. I’ll admit it’s a lot to keep up with, and I haven’t read everything she shared, but every step in the right direction — no matter how small — equates to progress, and it’s further than I’d gone before.
Today I got my first pair of prescription glasses. Apparently I am a little bit short-sighted.
Well, I’ve kind of known for a while, but I’ve just been avoiding seeing an optometrist. No real reason why — just that I was once told to put off getting glasses for as long as possible because once you get them, you kind of rely on them, and your vision will slowly get worse and worse, and you will be more and more dependent on glasses. (The friend who said this to me doesn’t really like having to wear glasses, and was probably being a little bit dramatic, but these things stick with me!)
Anyway, it wasn’t that I had that much trouble with seeing that it affected my life to any significant degree. I just started noticing that it was a bit harder to read street signs and see things far away.
This was last year.
I’ve been pretty good at putting this off.
I’ve been avoiding this, but I think it is inevitable that I would write a post about the current pandemic situation. Almost every blogger I follow who is actively posting on a regular basis seems to have written about it or at least mentioned it in passing. And even some who have been inactive for a while have re-emerged to write about it. (Perhaps for something to do during lockdown? Perhaps to help process it all?)
Anyway, I’d been avoiding writing anything about it because there’s so much material circulating. People keep sharing articles and videos and whatnot on social media, and it’s rare to enter into a conversation with someone without the pandemic also entering the conversation.
But I suppose that’s just how it is. I don’t resent that people are talking about it so much. I only lament that it is, indeed, happening.
I think it’s incredible that things can change so quickly. At least, they seem to have changed very quickly. At the end of February, I went interstate to meet my then barely four-week old niece, and to spend time with family. At that time, the virus (and news of it) was spreading, but life was more or less “normal”. I was away from home for three weeks, and the situation evolved so much over that time that I felt like I was returning to a completely new world.
I don’t want to add much more to this because I feel like there’s not much more to say on the matter that hasn’t already been said. I suppose I really only wanted to write about this in order to mark this point in history on my blog, separating pre- and post-pandemic times.