Technically, yesterday was the 30th day of my DoMagick Challenge regarding talismans. But yesterday ended on a strange pivot that effectively removed a third of the day from public review, so I took advantage of the New Year’s Day holiday to take some deliberate actions with some deliberate observations that I could report on.
I went to work.
To recap: Three passive sigils were placed in the mini-book I’ve been carrying around in my wallet as a paper talisman. One is the SATOR square as detailed in the Book of Oberon to “deliver from fear”, the second is a time-management seal I created specifically for entry into the mini-book as an experiment on its own, and the third is the drawing out of the shoal sigil I created for the June 2018 DoMagick Challenge.
The SATOR Square has worked as intended from the first day. So much so, that often forget that I installed it until something happens that would normally have caused me to be anxious about being afraid. Now, I’m still afraid, but it is a fear I can mitigate and work with. I decided not to intentionally put myself in distressing situations just to test the limits of the SATOR Square. It’s doing what I need it to do, the end.
The shoal sigil is something that I have been gesturing irregularly since the June challenge ended. It also is something that is passive in working and I would more notice the absence of its effect than anything else as I still have to apply myself to receive the benefits of it.
The time-management seal, on the other hand, is passive until activated. Which makes it sound like it has a mild and easily overlooked effect until you need it to slap you around.
No. It slaps you around for the fun of it, and then once you activate it, it gets serious.
Since I made the time-management seal and placed it in my mini-book, I have been made aware of all the times when I could have been doing something productive for my goals. As opposed to just being generically productive, which actually isn’t very productive at all without a goal to focus on.
Because of this, the seal has actually been making me feel worse over the past two weeks because I was suddenly aware of all the time I have wasted because of poor decisions I have made or circumstances that made decisions for me. The more aware I was of how each interruption at work was putting me behind, the more interruptions I seemed to have.
Instead of becoming morose about it (or rather, instead of allowing myself to remain morose about it), I started taking the awareness as an opportunity for me to improve upon myself and start working around the obstacles instead of breaking my head against them.
Which is why I went to work on a day that the office was closed. There were things that I needed to have done before tomorrow’s open anyway, and it was either I come in today when no one else was in, or I go into the office an hour early tomorrow and hope I have enough coffee with me.
I had originally predicted that the task I needed to complete would take “only thirty minutes” from start to finish as the phones were set to go straight to voicemail, the doors were locked, and the email client was muted.
It took two hours. And that was with the time-management seal’s help.
This couldn’t get done until that was properly logged. That couldn’t be properly logged until the supporting paperwork was properly processed. The paperwork couldn’t get processed because it dealt with confidential information and the open-door policy required by the board of directors meant before I could even understand what paper I was holding, I had to quickly tuck it into a black folder on my desk when a client came in and sat down before asking if I was free for a question.
All those other tasks had to be completed first before I could actually do what I came to work on a holiday to do.
I did what I needed to do, left work, and came home, but I still wasn’t ready to call “Day 30+” done just yet. Now that I saw how I had been sandbagging my productivity at work by not taking into account all the supporting steps, I had one last ToDo item to account for.
One of the components in the shoal sigil is for “Self Care”. I hadn’t realized how little time I had allotted myself for anything more than eating, sleeping, and showering. The time-management sigil had revealed all the times that I put off doing anything “special” for myself in the name of productivity and friendship. Now the shoal sigil was making sure that I took that time back even if it meant sitting in a room by myself for an hour.
That I spent that hour pampering myself is not the point.
The point is that what I originally thought was a throwaway action with barely any consequence to write of has turned into a significant tool that I can use to continue improve my life (and my lifestyle) as I further explore this thing called “magic”. I will leave it to the philosophers and the apologists why some odd shaped lines on folded paper had a tangible effect on my life, but I can look back over the past thirty days (plus one) and see where the paper talisman led me to make decisions I would not have made otherwise.
I will not be burning the mini-book as I had stated at the beginning of the month. Instead, I’ll be following suggestions regarding other seals that could work with the time-management seal to target weaknesses at work, and will likely make a more sturdy version of the mini-book that is meant to last years and not a mere thirty days.
Thank you for following along. May your talismans bring you joy, relief, productivity, and all the things that make you happy.