The Doom-legume

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!

Living like this

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.

Accidental wisdom

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.

Get off my lawn

I have a bad habit of seeking validation for my point of view.

I used to be offputtingly defensive, which I have come to understand was a necessary way of protecting myself from harmful and erosive influences. It allowed me to uphold boundaries, albeit it in an overly rigid, dysfunctional way. I used to keep a clear space around me at all times and if someone intruded on the lawn I’d shoot them down without thinking twice. Stay. The fuck. Away.

One day, I guess out of exhaustion or loneliness, I decided to lock up the weapons. When people turned up on the lawn, I just let them stay there. If they asked to come in, I’d reply “if you want”. And so people started indiscriminately trampling all over my space, according to their own desires rather than mine. They stole stuff, they flytipped, they made a fucking terrible mess in the bathroom. And the whole time I was thinking just don’t shoot them, just don’t shoot them, at least I haven’t shot them. Although I’ll admit I pulled out the sawed-off shotgun on a few occasions.

Eventually, when it seemed I had nothing left to lose, I shooed everyone out and started the clean-up. And then I went through the whole cycle a few more times because I still hadn’t learned what boundaries are meant to be.

I have built a lot of skills, and fences, and gates, over the past decade. But I still have much more to do.

Right now, I am noticing a problem when people come onto my lawn, or even just within earshot, and start shouting that I’m wrong, or that something similar to something I have said is wrong. My initial response, without any further qualification, is “oh shit, am I? “and I worry about it until I have the time to go away and reearch the same things that I already researched to come up with my original opinion. Because, yes, I did research it already.

The process of recovery has begun, with a few good stern talkings to when I’ve caught myself doing this inappropriately over the past few weeks, but, damn, do I look forward to a day when living isn’t quite such unnecessary emotional labour for me.

My slothful soul

I fell asleep yesterday evening right after putting my son to bed. I retreated to my room not long after seven, intending to unwind with YouTube for half an hour, and then it was 22:07 and I was groggily weighing up the pros and cons of dragging the laptop over and pushing out some words.

Cons won. I went back to sleep and woke up at about four-thirty with a trapped nerve in my neck as punishment.

It’s the first time in nearly three months that I’ve wilfully failed to post daily. Once, or maybe twice, I genuinely forgot, and a couple of times I technically posted after midnight, but this was different. This was ON PURPOSE. I must repent before the Devil of Lethargy claims my slothful soul!

Or maybe, whispers the Devil of Lethargy, posting once every couple of days works out better for you anyway…