Stormy Monday

Does anyone else get to the Monday of a bank holiday weekend and find themselves feeling down about how little they accomplished over the previous two days? And about how much they have to cram into the Monday because they did all the fun stuff already but also wasted quite a lot of time playing stupid fecking Facebook games and can’t seem to just start the things they ought to be getting on with? And then procrastinate further by writing a pointless blog entry?

Ok, not totally pointless, but I’m not going to actually report on anything. Just mumble quietly about life. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.

listen-with-mother-2

GETTING OLD

This applies to everything. Everything. In the past week we’ve had one of our dogs down the vet being checked for what is, in all likelihood, just middle age rearing its head. I’m not going into the full details of what’s actually been up with her, but there’s a combination of relief that she’s not got a terrible disease combined with sheer sadness that our beloved idiot pooch is actually starting to show her age. And then it’s a really easy hop-skip-jump to everyone’s getting so bloomin’ old.

My parents (who read this, actually: HI MUM AND DAD (and also sorry for this bit and also a joke near the end that you’ll hate) are now, to me, reaching the age and level of health difficulties where I’m wondering if living so far away is selfish of me; I should be closer. Not something I’ve actually discussed with the Coffee Monster, btw. But it’s on my mind. And it’s not just them – we are on a stroke count of 4 in adults of that generation that I know and love. Heart attack count: 3. And no more grandparents. My parents are the grandparents now. It’s terrifying.

Also, not entirely unrelated, it’s my birthday in a couple of weeks, and we all know that I’m totally calm about the getting older thing. I bought hanging baskets on Saturday. Hanging baskets, for outside the house. With little flowers in them. Shut up.

NOT GETTING STUFF FINISHED

For probably the first weekend ever (or at least in a long time) I did not write a To Do list this weekend. Because I never do everything on the damn list, and that makes me feel worse. And I find it overwhelming to read. And I just had enough of having things to do all the time.

CM said yesterday that ‘I know I take forever to get things done, but then at least I know if something is really niggling at me, I really do want to do it’. Which is one way to look at it, and there’s nothing quite like the relief of having scratched that itch after months of itching, I guess (I’m awaiting this feeling on a few fronts at the moment). Not sure the relief is worth the torture, mind. I think I’ve had a few too many of these things on my mind for too many months. Partly for work. Partly just me – which means I ought to just be able to forget them, but I can’t.

calamine lotion

Or just use this.

I really, really do not subscribe to the more spiritual conversations about being a writer. They downright irritate me, actually: ‘I just have to write. My soul pours out on the page etc etc.’ Usually in more flowery language than that, but I can’t bring myself to go there. Annoyingly though, stories really are an irritating bloody thing. They really do squat in my brain pan and witter on at me in the background all day. And I’ve got two long projects which will not shut up ‘til they’re done. I know that, and it’s making me miserable. I’d feel better if I just finished the first draft of one of them. I really would. Expectations for myself of things I’d like to do are just as bad – those things ranging from actually performing some music to actually buying a car. There’s like a big mental freeze on it all, and there really shouldn’t be.

FIGURING OUT HOW TO FINISH STUFF

So I’ve sort of belatedly realised that if I can scratch that story(&ors) itch first thing, with just a few words of some sort, any sort, then I can focus on the more boring work I need to get done far more easily. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to figure out why I freeze in the face of a lot to do, and how to break that freeze (NEARLY 34 YEARS). I think I subscribed to a sort of dinner-time approach to work. Like, ‘If you eat all the vegetable jobs first, then you can have the ice cream writing afterwards’. But I’m a backwards-eater in To Do lists as well as in food, it seems. This was the nicer analogy, by the way. I nearly went with the one about wanking before going on a date.

THE STUFF

I suppose I should just go and get on with it.

  • Currently reading: Erm. Nothing, actually. For shame.
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Procrastination pyramid

When my To Do List looks overwhelming and I’m not getting anywhere with it, I like to restructure it as a Procrastination Pyramid. Today’s Procrastination Pyramid works like this: I should be going for a run, but instead I procrastinate by doing some WORKwork; which I delay doing by noodling about with a song, which I’m not quite in the mood for; so instead I write on the weekend’s blog post (being done early so that I can get on with the WORKwork I should be doing tomorrow); which I haven’t really planned in my head yet, so instead I do the washing up; which I hate doing so I take a break from it by hoovering.

procrastination pyramid

This is a work of ART, people, and it may change your life (for the worse).

It’s a bit of a lengthy approach, but everything gets done eventually, and you reach the apex, or bottom, or whatever. I haven’t thought this metaphor through very well, but the approach does work, mostly. (Apart from when I procrastinate by playing Candy Crush and watching the mermaid show on Netflix. No, of course that’s not on in the background now, how dare you even suggest… Oh fine, it is.)

In other news…

… Shortly after the last blog entry, I received an email from Upsolut Volunteering, letting me know that I’ll be marshalling at the ITU London Triathlon Age Grouper World Championships in September. I’m really pleased to be able to help. The people volunteering at the triathlons I’ve done are the people who make the day and I’m downright chuffed to be joining them.  Doubly pleased to be doing it, in fact, because Upsolut emailed volunteers a couple of months ago warning that there had been so many offers of help that they wouldn’t be able to use everyone. I’m marshalling the day after my own race – it’s going to be a brilliant weekend.

… I’m successfully assembling my dream team for The 48-Hour Film Project – London, and was happily granted a dream location to shoot in. More on that closer to the time, but can we say ‘turret’?

… I totally almost wrangled myself a record deal* with someone in A&R at Sony** last night, but then the conversation was hijacked by the presence of Superman*** who is now my bestie****.

 

*Not strictly true.

** Actually true.

***Again, true.

****Complete fecking lie.