Yearning for flow state. And sleep.

This week has been a complete mindwreck at work. I’m generally very good at leaving any shits I give about my job AT my job, but when there is a lot of complicated, ridiculous business going on, I can’t exactly leave behind the fuzz my brain becomes from handling it all as easily as my actual care. This has coincided with my desire to now do ALL THE PLANNING for this trip, and the two states of affairs are simply not meshing well.

Last night I was trying desperately to get a handle on where to start with the plans and failing miserably because my brain was just not having it with anything at all. I looked up various packing gear and visa requirements and random cities on Lonely Planet and then at one point decided that reorganising my wallet was the best possible thing I could do RIGHT NOW to help me plan. Because, you know, that makes sense.

It’s like work dropped a massive weight in the middle of a very organised pile of those super bouncy-balls you get in vending machines and they’re bouncing all over the freaking place and I’m trying to catch them all at once. When really I should just let them settle on their own. This is a bad analogy – or maybe it’s not, but I just don’t know what to do while I let them settle. Probably nothing, but I’m not wired that way.

I also haven’t been able to get to sleep very well lately because my brain just Will. Not. Quit. This is a nightly occurrence for the most part, but especially on days when I’ve done a bunch of dancing AND work and I am shattered to the core and all I want is sleep, and my brain goes all Kanye like, ‘Yo I’m real happy you’re tired and IMMA LET YOU SLEEP but I just have to go through this list of all the ten billion things you should be thinking about first.’ Or maybe bouncy balls.

I have yet to figure out how to shut Kanye off. And no, herbal tea and all that stuff people usually suggest doesn’t work. So. I just need to stop thinking so much. But the only thing that seems to shut off the madness is hitting some kind of flow state.

This tends to happen only when I’m making something – designing, coding, cooking, making giant paper calendars – or dancing, actually. Tonight during a lesson I got all the way round the room once to a break where I had no lead and realised I hadn’t thought about anything but my feet and staying on rhythm for the past 30 minutes. No code, no logic, no computers, no work, no personal life drama, not even travel plans. One-track brain. No distractions. BLISS.

Precisely what I needed at the end of this day. And precisely the kind of wipe I need before I try to focus on breaking this massive planning task down so I don’t feel so scattershot about the whole thing.

Because I mean, do you know how big Mongolia is?

Forget even Russia for a minute. Mongolia is huge and I don’t even know where to START in terms of figuring out what bits of it I want to see. Because I’m going to have to choose. And then multiply this by the other two massive countries I’m covering (Russia and China) plus all the more sensibly sized ones and you’ve got a whole lot of ruling things out to do.

Logically I know the thing to do is hit it in pieces. And I can do that. But I’m excited and I’ve not reached the stage where my excitement-driven impatience has been beaten down by my ability to organise the shit out of things.

Amidst my inability to pin down even a single useful action in the past few days, I have at least identified that I have friends who have taken significant trips to almost every country on my list. (Except Russia, funnily enough.) So my current master plan is to take relevant said friends to the pub one by one, buy them drinks, and listen to every last tip and story they have to give. This means I get to go to the pub with people I like AND find things out at the same time. And beer does nearly as good a job as flow state of distracting me from the fuzz in my head (or perhaps just replacing it with nicer fuzz).

Also I do know I want to ride some horses in Mongolia. AND LEARN TO SHOOT ARROWS FROM THE BACKS OF SAID HORSES. Yesss. Even though I may well freeze my ass off because: winter in Mongolia. So there’s one decision.

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