Some days I’m just ticking along through life and there is no over-riding problem to the front of my mind. Or at least, there’s no new problem to excavate. Maybe that’s the point though.
When I first started the writing as self-therapy process about 16(!) years ago, one of the main things I remember thinking was that the repetition of something that was bugging me might finally make me do something about it. I theorised that I would get so bored with hearing (reading?) myself go on and on about the same tropes over and over again that it might finally spur me to action. And I do think it can happen that way.
Now that I’ve started this blog though, despite its minimal readership, I feel like every day I should be discussing new things, rather than harping on the same 3 – 5 life issues that tend to immediately impact my life. Maybe that could work as even more of a spur to me? The fear of how I’ll appear to my (limited) public?
Instead it seems more likely that I’ll hide in shame. I’ll stop speaking truth and start trying to write about who I think I should be and how I feel I should be feeling. I can sense that impetus in me, to want to talk about my intellectual observations of life and how it should be lived and what a “great” person I am /could be. I bet I’ve already even done some of this.
And, you know, I think there is something to be said in favour of the aspirational view of life. Something to strive towards; desirable images seen as attainable. But if I do too much of that, all that’s going to happen is the true behaviours will become hidden again. I’d either start outright lying or omitting what’s actually happening in my life, or I’d stop writing here altogether, rather than ‘fess up to what’s really going on.
So, all this to say – Sorry. Sorry if I’ve already told some lies of omission or hyperbole (no, I can’t point to what they were, but I sense they might have been there, inside a cheerful facade, or in the presenting of a determined and optimistic self). Sorry if this space becomes repetitive or boring (and it may well do). All I can say is that I’m going to keep coming back, and that my main aim here is honesty. And the honest truth is that at times I won’t really be progressing. At times I may go backwards, I don’t plan for any of that, but I’m going to do my damnedest to admit to it – when I even manage to be aware of it myself.
Right now, I’m probably still stuck in the same spiral of wanting to do the best I can in each day. And some days, or some parts of days, I feel too drained to even do that. I get tired of trying. I get tired of analysing and thinking about it all. I want things to be easy, accessible, and preferably filled with sugary treats. I get frustrated with the small unimportant stresses of daily life. I get frustrated when I’ve made a plan of attack for any area of improvement – personal or political (by which I mean in work and outside life) – and the small impediments of life thwart its perfect execution, leading me to long to throw all babies out with that flawed bathwater.
Sometimes I feel like my whole day is “useless” if I haven’t awoken and dragged myself out of bed to do writing and yoga before the rest of the day has begun. I feel like I’ve betrayed a commitment to myself and then feel way less inclined to follow through on any other commitments – for example, stopping eating when full, ensuring I get exercise, not vegetating into a coma whilst reading the internet, etc. – that I might have made for the rest of the day. Something (that thinks it’s) defensive pops up inside of me to bemoan how much work it all is, and don’t I deserve downtime and rest, and isn’t it part of living well to go easy on myself anyway?
Sure! I so think there is something unhealthy about whipping and pushing oneself when already tired. And part of mindful living probably is to recognise when you need a break and allowing yourself to have one. But mindful is the keyword here – it’s not very mindful to become an internet zombie. It’s not really self-care to eat past the point of satiety. Exercise actually feels good. So does living in a little bit of a tidy house, and having a plan for the next day and the next.
So there we are. That’s where I stand right now today. Frustrated with myself. Frustrated and cranky with life. And still trying – at the very least, trying to be honest.