Earlier this week, while flipping through some of my notebooks in search of a project's long overdue To Do list, I was surprised to see just how many notes were left in an unfinished state. These were snippets of ideas with almost no glue to hold them together, scribbled in fine print with my point-form notation denoting a line as a task, a note, or a follow-up. Many years ago these would have been converted into longer-form ideas and either written about, coded, or dismantled on a different page. However, since I hit the wall with blogging two years ago, there's been little motivation to keep up with the writing process. There are still items that get written and immediately shelved in "Draft Purgatory" for one reason or another, but at nowhere near the same degree as seen before 2020. Much like the mind where these notes came from, the ideas are both fragmentary and incomplete.

As I read the pages, a pattern was clearly repeating. One of dissatisfaction and idleness. The same is seen in many of the posts on this site from 2020 before I put the keyboard away and followed my late grandmother's advice about not saying anything at all if I couldn't say something nice. The issue has been present for years, but why?

Thinking about the things I want, the reason seems clear enough. I'm far too isolated. Working from home was once considered completely unrealistic for people who were fully employed in Japan. Recent events have made it possible for organisations across the country – and across the planet – to see that remote work is not only possible, but better in short bursts. However, as I approach the 4th year of working from the same desk where only my deaf dog provides company, I feel utterly disconnected from society. Walking around the neighbourhood and having an occasional chat with a retired neighbour is not the same thing as meeting friends and working side-by-side on the same tasks. Reading about the news is not the same thing as witnessing an event. Living in an ever-shrinking bubble is not the same as living a life.

My notes are incomplete because I am incomplete. Like a person who has been whiling their time away on a distant Pacific atoll, there's only so many days one can perform the same actions before they begin to wonder if they're becoming unglued.