juushika: Photograph of the torso and legs of a female-bodied figure with a teddy bear. (Bear)
Traditionally, I am very bad at auditory media because I succumb to multitasking and then to not listening, and I'm not a strong auditory learner to begin with. But then I learned to take podcasts on walks, which limit the potential for multitasking considerably; it's what I did with Wolf 359 after [livejournal.com profile] junkmail recommended it to me. Wolf 359 is really good! You should listen to it! (The first half of the first season is overly episodic; atop the humor, it grows slight. But as the overarching plot emerges, it forms a lovely balance between a focus on high risk setting and comic relief, united by a focus on communication. I liked what I listened to of Welcome to Night Vale once upon a time, but never grew attached; Wolf 359 has that missing attachment in droves.) And then I ran out of episodes and felt bereft.

I'd love suggestions for ongoing genre narratives in podcast form! No for serious give me recs. I tried The Leviathan Chronicles but just could not—long episodes, slow build, stiff info-dump dialog, and, while I want to love the sci-fi meets Old Ones premise, in practice it errs towards hard sci-fi meets camp which ... is less enjoyable.

And then it occurred to me that short fiction podcasts were probably a thing; and lo, they are totally a thing: Escape Pod (sci-fi) and PodCastle (fantasy) ETA: and Psuedopod (horror) have solved all of my problems. I'm impressed by the quality and variety, and I appreciate the accessibility. AKA: reasons Juu was walking down residential roads crying single dignified tears (today).

I started walking a lot when August was having food issues (which, thankfully, resolved a few days after last mention), because being away and therefore temporarily immune to responsibility was such a relief. It was also comforting to be entirely engaged, or, rather, unable to split my engagement. Multitasking is my default state, physically but especially mentally: multiple running, exhausting, competitive interior monologues that create a desire to disappear into external stimuli and an inability to successfully do so simply because I can never pare down or shut off my thoughts are the underlying framework of my anxiety.

Walking while listening to stories doesn't make the mess in my head go away, but it gives me multiple concrete and consuming stimuli (physical, auditory) while removing the tempting access to secondary stimuli, multitasking that mimics and therefore encourages my mental multitasking. I am aware I am hardly the first to stumble into what's effectively neurotic people's dirty tricks for walking meditation, but I'm glad I have. With one catch-22 exception: since my usual ability to do stuff extends to one thing per day, and walking counts as a thing, having this healthy and productive outlet means I'm tired all the time.

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juushika

July 2017

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