Lying in bed one night the other week, an idea for a blog post hit me in a most inconvenient way. The kind of way that made it difficult not to get up and write it right then. But it was already about midnight and I didn’t want to fuck up my sleeping pattern even more, so I just stayed in bed, trying to keep my eyes closed. Every so often they’d spring open rebelliously, when another reason it was such a necessary post for me to write exploded through my synapses.
I didn’t write it then, and I haven’t written it since. It’s going to be a long one, it’s going to take some time, and it’s going to demand I pay attention to it and give myself to it fully. I have a couple of asignments already taking up that allotment of time and energy, so I’ve just been holding it ever since.
Is it a coincidence that my blog has become non-daily since that night?
Yes, I’ve been busy. And more than I’ve been busy I’ve been anxious about how much more busy I should be, which is a poor quality headspace to be in. But I think my decision to hold onto that idea until such a time as I can ‘do it justice‘ has made anything I write in between seem optional.
This is the first major blog hurdle of this iteration. I’m interested to see if I recover.
Lost momentum is hard to regain.
At this point, I’m really just aware that in the not so distant past, I had a nice amount of momentum. I remember kind of what that felt like, and certainly that it was good. But I can’t really connect with it anymore.
I’m pretty sure that for a while during lockdown I had my shit together, but part of me is beginning to wonder if it was really as good as my nostalgia would have me believe.
Lately I’ve been sort of floating around in a chilled out bubble. I flouted my dietary requirements a few times, which put me in brain fog mode quite regularly but, even in between, I was preferring to just bob along happily with my little toddler-oriented life.
Then I decided to commit to some actual work. But, after a blaze of inspired productivity that lasted, like, a day and a half, I found myself climbing back into the comfort of my floaty bubble with an indulgent smile on my face.
I’ve had to begin the process of coaxing myself out. But I am a sneaky motherfucker. Every time I turn my back, bam, back in the bubble, naughty-kid side-eyed grin on my face. Come on, Yve, just five minutes.
I ate something with soy in at the weekend. Soy is my own personal doomfruit. I know it’s not a fruit, but I feel like if a foodstuff is going to be prefixed with ‘doom’, it’s going to have to be a fruit. Although, okay, I will grant you, there’s something quite charming about a doom-legume.
Between six and forty-eight hours post-doomfruit-consumption, I begin to notice the onset of a pervasive dread descending. The physical telltales normally show up sooner, but I prefer to write them off under other explanations if possible. The doom-dread, though, is definitive.
I have built an arsenal of many coping strategies by this point, so the doom-dread comes in waves, and sometimes I fool myself into thinking I’m managing it fine and maybe soy doesn’t have the same effect on me as it used to, or maybe I was wrong all along and, despite the very substantial body of evidence to the contrary, eating soy is actually something I can start doing more regularly.
And then I realise I’m lowkey panicking that I’m never gonna have any money and my life will continue to be nothing but a long-drawn-out trudge across a field of desolation and lack. And I think, hold on, that’s a bit extreme, things aren’t that hopeless. And then I remember that I have two grand in my current account right now, and all of my bills have been paid, and all of my needs are met, and I’m totally comfortable, and my savings and investments are growing, and there’s no reason whatsoever not to be sitting here with a shit eating grin on my face. And then I think, fucking doomfruit!
Sometimes I look around my room at night, after I’ve put my son to bed, and partially ticked off my to-do list, and I assess the things I haven’t bothered to put away because they’ll just be out again tomorrow and I’d rather do something else. And I wonder: does anybody else live like this?
And, well, yes, surely, they do. And they live countless other ways too.
I have an ancient script running that tells me I’m the only imperfect one, and I have to keep correcting it. It’s taking a surprising amount of time to overwrite.
If I don’t leave the house for multiple days: does anybody else live like this?
If I only eat vegetables when I’m cooking them for my son: does anybody else live like this?
If I just kept piling up the laundry and now I’ve run out of trousers: does anybody else live like this?
If I forget to put the bin out for five weeks in a row: does anybody else live like this?
Yes, thank you, they do. And they live countless other ways too.
It’s not that it’s wrong to question whether what I’m doing is healthy, or optimal, or something to be improved upon. It’s the comparison that’s bullshit. It’s funny though, the script used to ask the question rhetorically, and shame me into a corner. Now I’ve started answering it, it’s actually kind of refreshing.
People live like this. And countless other ways.
It’s quite tiring living in such a complex world.
I try to be informed, and I try to pick balanced sources. I know everything is biased, I know everything has an agenda, and we have to be careful with that. I know I’m inclined to radical ideas and radical responses, and I have to be careful with that.
The shitstorm we’ve been living through lately really made me want to act more to help clean it up. But the more I get into it, the less clear it seems to me what cleaning up would be, rather than just smearing it around the floor a bit more. It’s difficult not to concede that I am too insignificant a player to even find a viable route, when everything is a tightly convoluted interwoven buzz wire game. I was happy to follow the leader, but all of the leaders have been letting me down.
When you know you don’t have a clue, really, it becomes difficult to make a move, for fear of doing damage. I went into relative stasis, unwilling to become an inadvertant pawn in a game of chess I didn’t even know was being played. I think, in this interim I staked out for myself, I have started to identify the boundaries of what looks to me like soundly ethical behaviour. But its range is fucking small. I still don’t have a clue about the rest of it.
Our brains weren’t meant to cope with shitstorms of this magnitude. Maybe we can’t be saved until Elon Musk’s neural implants or whatever come to usher in a new technological phase of our evolution. Or maybe that’s what he wants us to think…
I didn’t spend today doing the thing I had intended to do. The thing that was really set in stone as necessary to do today, I did very little of. I didn’t achieve my goal of completing it.
Instead, I got sidetracked catching up on the things I had been neglecting in the week. Mostly the intellectual self-care I require to maintain a sense of sanity. I got myself informed on the pressing topics that have been smashing up against my face but I haven’t had time to address. I expanded my understanding and made connections my brain had been clamouring to find. I gave myself space to think. Before I knew it, it was 8pm.
I don’t know how I should feel about the fact I veered off course today. Because I veered into something I needed, but I did it without a sense of control over it.
Because of my poor self-control, I nourished myself in a way I was theoretically willing to forgo, for the sake of my goal, but practically speaking would have probably hindered me in multiple ways.
Falling short of my schedule also forced me to re-evaluate my position, and realise that today’s deadline wasn’t as necessary as I thought, if I allowed my standards to drop a little. That may condemn me to the slope of a downward spiral, if not for the fact that my re-evaluation also flagged up the fact that I’d set my standards unnecessarily high. I’d been willing to sacrifice myself, frankly, without good enough reason.
I was not the master of myself today. But I’m still in conflict with myself over how much I should be. Sometimes I have bad ideas.