(Runaway) trains of thought

There are two main things I worry about unnecessarily. The first is my parenting decisions (especially the largely insignificant ones). The second is the wording of emails I send.

Last night I probably spent 3 hours wondering and/or researching whether refusing to give my son a bedtime snack when he said he was hungry was wrong. He’d had supper 15 minutes earlier. He seemed like he was stalling. But he hadn’t eaten much of his lunch and he didn’t have a big tea. So maybe he was really hungry. But it wasn’t going to kill him. But it might stop him sleeping well. But he was asleep now. But maybe it was bad quality sleep. But, worst case scenario, he might feel a bit tired tomorrow and he can have a big breakfast. But if I’d just given him a biscuit maybe this whole thing could have been avoided. But then I’d be wondering if the sugar in the biscuit was ruining his sleep. He couldn’t be actually hungry, he’d just had supper. But maybe he didn’t get enough calories throughout the day. Maybe I need to rethink my whole approach to preschooler sustenance. Oh shut up, he’s fine, give it a rest.

Then I woke up sometime around 3am and started thinking about how I was going to word an email I need to send today. Should I apologise for not sending it earlier? Because I really did mean to send it earlier. Or should I just explain why I didn’t send it earlier without apologising? Can’t always be apologising for everything, explaining is probably enough. How much detail should I go into in the explanation? Should I even explain at all or should I just ignore the fact I was going to send it earlier? As long as I send it now it doesn’t really matter, no point making a deal out of nothing. Should I outline everything I’ve done, or try to be as succinct as possible? I could save the details for the meeting. Should I estimate when I’ll be finished by or stick to where I’m up to so far? I’m going to have to estimate to schedule the meeting. Should I suggest a time for the meeting or wait to see what they suggest when they know where I’m up to? For the opening, should I include any details about my Christmas or should I just keep the niceties vague? IT’S NEARLY 4 IN THE MORNING AND YOU’VE BEEN WRITING AND REWRITING THIS EMAIL IN YOUR HEAD FOR MAYBE AN HOUR. WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT? IT’LL BE FINE, GIVE IT A FUCKING REST.

I’m not always neurotic, but when I am, I am it well.

Wholesome torment

I got a surprise Fitbit for Christmas. It coincided with me signing up for an online yoga class membership, and together they have helped to reignite my love for Kundalini yoga.

There is something about Kundalini yoga that I just really, really like. Even before I had ever tried it, or really understood what it was, I felt in my bones this is my Yoga. Which is lucky, because it’s also exactly the type of yoga that I need. And it’s also hard as shit.

A long time ago, I burnt out in all the ways I can think of. And to recover from that, I basically had to stop trying. My threshold for giving up on something had to be really low, otherwise I’d fuck myself up. So I learned to live under that low threshold.

And that low threshold fucked me up in a whole different way.

It’s hard for me, now, to keep trying when something gets uncomfortable. I used to pride myself on my tolerance for pain and suffering; my ability to keep going regardless, consequences to myself be damned. That is no longer the case. Now, when I move into pain and suffering, a voice in my head whispers don’t be a sucker, it’s not worth it.

Kundalini yoga often involves repeating what seem like innocuous and perfectly managable physical movements over and over again until your limbs feel like they might be disintegrating and you can’t contain the whimpers of desperate agony.

If you’re lucky, you have a mantra to cling to to push out the thoughts of how difficult this is going to make parenting tomorrow, how it would be so much nicer to be doing literally anything else with your free time, how no-one has a fucking gun to your head, how you’re running out of time to clean the kitchen, how this was a really stupid idea and a waste of money, how the neighbours are probably wondering what the hell weird shit you’re doing down here. Because if you let those thoughts in, your world is a world of burning, bloody toil. So if you want to keep going, you keep those thoughts out, and you focus on getting through the moment.

It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to David Goggins, and it’s good for me.

My face, their shit.

I have a habit of giving my power away in the very moments when I should claim it.

No, it’s not a habit.

It’s a deeply embedded instinct for survival that, presumably, at some point, served me, but no longer makes any sense in my life.

I’m very clear with myself that I’m responsible for how I feel, not the external environment. When something is troubling me, my primary focus is on my own perception of it. That’s how I consistently endeavour to live my life, and it works well for me. I am good at being happy.

But I have a raging inflamed pain spot that blinds me to this reasoning in certain moments: When a certain someone close to me brings me all the bullshit they’ve accumulated in relation to me and slams it down on the table to win an argument, it seems I am compelled to just shove my face in it.

I try hard not to serve up my own bullshit in these kinds of interactions. The result of that is often incomplete, though the effort is always earnest. But why, oh why, oh why, oh why do I keep eating theirs? We both know it’s not food. What the fuck am I doing? This is not the correct response to the situation. They must be wondering as much as I am what on earth has possessed me to take this course of action.

If, instead, I could just lean back and say to myself “hmm, that’s an awful lot of bullshit for just one meal”, well, there are a lot of conversations that wouldn’t have been quite the ordeal I turned them into. If I could just keep my distance from the bullshit, I wouldn’t need them to stop serving it up. Obviously I’d be quite entitled to the preference. But their bullshit isn’t the problem. My face is.

Oh, wait, I see what I’m doing. I think if I eat it it’ll be gone. That’s part of the reason it’s so soul destroying. Because there’s always more where that came from. No matter how much clean-up I do, I can’t turn off their bullshit machine. In fact, all I’m doing is clearing space for more, and making myself sick in the process.

Gosh, this is so quintessential vintage Yve. What a perfectly preserved relic.

Well, here’s hoping that this absurd and offputting visual has triggered some kind of behavioural amelioration in me.

Naughty comfort bubble

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.

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!