I am trying out a new strategy in my approach to working through texts. I am allowing myself to move slowly, to write larger, to work in a manner that could be called “taking baby steps”.
I even go out of my way to remove any kind of pretentious attitudes concerning mathematics. For example, I refer to what I study as “basic advanced mathematics” since I don’t care for the sound of advanced. What I study is basic, even though it is advanced.
Sometimes the print is small and the explanations not clear. I intend to make my notes intelligible, forcing myself to write larger.
Yes, the time has come to be kind to myself and to cease playing a role in my own oppression.
When something is totally incomprehensible, I can put it back on the shelf. When I am covering something which is not as clear as I would like, I will slow down and take baby steps.
I will leave this world with 25 unfinished notebooks where I went only just so far … and then moved on to something else. I will not hold myself prisoner, not even to my own plans or agenda.
Also, I think I want to embrace the depression that makes itself felt when I consider the futility of my mental exertion. All the books, all the helpful tools on the Internet, all the advanced calculators with computer algebra systems … all the time in the world … and still sometimes all I can do is bow my head into the palms of my hands … my empty head that suddenly cannot make sense of anything.
Some days and nights I feel sharp, and I don’t want to go to sleep. Maybe I am afraid that the sense of finally mastering some technique or concept will have vanished come morning time, when I groggily grind the coffee beans for my morning shot of enthusiasm …
No wonder some people just doodle on paper and stare off into space …