I still want to do all the things

Hello once again,

I have too much to do and not enough time to do it in, a somewhat ironic statement considering churning out a 400-word blog post apparently takes me upwards of a week these days.

For instance, this summer I want to, in no particular order, finally finish my novel, get a job, massively expand The Game Shelf, complete literally all of my third-year uni work before September, save money, buy about £400 worth of clothes, get bigger and stronger for football, get more toned and agile for karate, get thinner and curvier to fit into dresses, see my parents, not move home and beat the entirety of Skyrim for my dissertation. One of those things is worth a summer project, and it’s insane to expect myself to do all of those, especially considering some of them are mutually exclusive.

But here’s the thing: I refuse to appreciate the idiocy of such a to-do list, and refuse to prioritise the things on it. I won’t cut anything from the list because that would be accepting that some tasks, and by extension some people, are less important than others. Of course, some are more important than others, but I’m not mentally tough enough to dismiss, say, the getting stronger for football thing, because it’ll make life harder for my teammates.

I’ll just shoot for everything and complete nothing in the time-honoured style.

Which sounds like I’m barreling towards disaster – in the past this has led to tragedy after tragedy – but I’m fairly relaxed about getting all of these done. Just maybe not this summer.

I’ve been seeing the end of my degree as the end of my life for too long now, and that’s not really a helpful perspective; when I graduate I won’t be some shrivelled, physically and mentally exhausted shell, but a 21-year-old with a solid CV and a thousand and one interests. While university provides a framework for a lot of these interests to take shape – classes help me make friends, sports clubs help me keep fit, societies and magazines help me write – the removal of uni won’t remove those things altogether. There’s a pretty good dodgeball club in London I could play for when I graduate, for instance, and I can’t be the only person who like writing about games in this city.

So I won’t get a great body, loads of money and flexible groins all in one Summer. But I won’t have to.

I have a laptop charger


I almost wrote ‘JP Casey’ in bold at the top of this post; thirty-odd articles identically-formatted over on The Game Shelf have started taking their toll on me. I wasn’t even thinking about it; my fingers just went for CMD-B and ‘J’.

While formatting might be tedious and laborious for most people, I rather enjoy fiddling with alignments and spellings and layouts; it’s one of several mundane things I quite like. Another one is having a charger for one’s laptop.

You see, recently, my laptop charger broke. I’m certain it was the charger – I could charge my laptop with other identical chargers, and other functional computers wouldn’t be charged by that charger – so once I had isolated the problem, lobbed it haphazardly into a waste paper basket and spent a million quid on a new one, I faced a problem. How was I to use my computer without a charger? How was I to play Civ V when the battery would drop from 100% to 40% within 35 minutes of playing?

The answer came in the form of my flatmate, who let me borrow their charger until mine arrived. But even this was an imperfect solution; while I shall forever be eternally grateful to this angelic individual for their altruism, this solution did require a bit of schedule-jigging to operate.

‘Oh, you can’t use it then because I’ll be out all day.’

‘Can I have it overnight then?’

‘How will I get it in the morning?’

‘Take it from my room before you head out.’

‘But that’s at six! What if I wake you?’

These were the exchanges that dogged my attempts to use electricity over the past few days.

The upshot of all this is that I realised how important small things are; the mundane are mundane not because they’re devoid of value, but because they are so valuable that we need use them all the time. Mundane things are really spectacular things so spectacular that we can’t live without them.

Without a grey cable with a current running through it – a device not considered ‘groudbreaking’  in at least three generations – I couldn’t write. I couldn’t submit any work, nor could I edit it. I couldn’t translate Boethius, or play games, or watch videos, or do much of anything related to the Internet. That cable is one of the most important things in my life, and it took losing it to make me realise this.

Now, I’m not going to go overboard and start punching the air whenever I successfully plug in a charger, with my newfound appreciation of how bloody cool that is, but I think it’s important to be grounded. My aspirations involve novel-writing and game-teaching and relationship-forging, when 99% of ‘living’ consists of wrestling with laundry and remembering to pay bills.

And some of that smaller stuff is cool, most of it sucks, but all of it is important.