I have a newsletter writing ritual. And when I sat down today to perform it, everything unravelled.
I pulled my bulky noise-cancelling headphones over my ears and flipped the switch to connect them to my laptop. “Battery low,” the disembodied voice told me. I found the enunciation of each syllable particularly passive-aggressive.
So connected is my writing practice to the wearing headphones that I pretty much can’t do it without them. It’s not the music I listen to (Cinematic Chillout, if you’re curious) that shifts my brain into writing mode, but the comfort of the headphones themselves. A literal and metaphorical squeeze of the brain. It’s probably years of having to wear noise-cancelling headphones in loud offices (often with no music playing, just the sound-blocking on), that started it, but whatever the origin, it’s now my ritual.
I know that I’m in trouble when a small disruption to my routine sets my teeth on edge. First, it was the headphones. And now, I’m typing as fast as I can because a warning is flashing across my screen that my keyboard is charge is about to die.
Just as all the electronics around me, I too am out of charge. My batteries low, my nerves fried. So, for once, I’m going to listen to the alerts and enter power-saving mode. If you’re also running on fumes, here’s wishing you a restful weekend.