I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe in affirmations. If I tell myself “”You’re good, you’re wonderful, your talent is amazing!” the voice at the back of my head just gets sarcastic. And frankly, it gets sarcastic enough to undo any even vague acquiescence I might be giving to that stuff. Plus my sarcasm…. I’m really good at it. So I emerge beaten.
In the same way, I don’t believe in pampering yourself. Look, I know myself. I’m made of laziness and loving not to do much. Yeah, I say if I win the lottery I’d probably write more, but I’d have to discipline myself to do so. Because otherwise I could easily while my life away going down rabbit holes on the internet. And don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve recognized the disease in a few of you. Something is mentioned and even if you don’t have any interest in it, suddenly you have to know EVERYTHING about it. You look up what seems like two minutes later, and 400 years have gone by, give or take a week. This is actually how Deep Pink came about. From simultaneous deep dives into apparitions (some of which smell a little of the diabolus and to be fair aren’t certified) and Hard Rock bands history. Okay, I lost less than 400 years. Only about three months, but seriously, I could have done so many other things with that time. Including written other books that have been waiting longer.
Anyway, the point is if I say “I’m going to pamper myself” I don’t even know what that looks like. First thought is a lot of chocolate, but that has its own issues. I mean, that type of pampering, when I used to do it after finishing a writing jag, usually meant a day or two on the sofa sleeping, drinking hot chocolate, or eating ice cream out of a carton, and watching the A & E Pride and Prejudice.
That’s good for like a day, but then I start feeling guilty, mid of the second day. And by the third I’m too guilty to enjoy it.
Just letting myself do whatever no judgement has the same issue. I’ve slipped into that a few times this year, more out of of “I can’t even” than out of “I’m going to let myself do this.” It’s not fun. After two weeks you start feeling you’re completely useless, and why are you bothering getting out of bed in the morning.
So, we’ve established I have no clue how to be good to myself, right? And I suspect I’m not alone. In fact, according to older son, I only ever accomplish stuff by being the most complete (compleate, really) *sshole to myself. He’s not wrong.
But listen to me anyway, if nothing else because I’m a past expert at doing this all wrong: Be good to yourself.
We’re all hanging on by our fingernails, barely surviving. No, really. Well, okay, I am. 2020 has been a scouring year. I feel we’ll emerge from it stronger and more determined…. if it doesn’t kill us first. The jury is out on the “if,” but hey if it kills us our problems at least in this reality are over. And all I accomplish by telling myself “I’m not worried” is that I worry at a subconscious level, and then don’t sleep. We’ve seen our country turned upside down by fiat of a bunch of dictators. We’ve seen petty criminals and the children of the rich riot and burn down our cities. We’re not allowed to engage in commerce unless we muzzle. And we’re told things that are patently not so — this virus is the most dangerous evah! The country is tired of capitalism! We’re the most racist nation evah! — even while our eyes and reason tell us something different.
And some of us — okay me — have lost all our fun stuff. I haven’t been out to the botanic gardens or the zoo since March. Dining at Pete’s is okay, if you feel like having food in the apocalypse, with most of the diner empty and everyone looking strained. Oh, and nothing can be spontaneous. One of the joys of both of us working from home most of the time has been “oh, hey, I’m not getting anything done” Headache/whatever. “How about we go for a quick walk and then hit up the lamb’s special at Pete’s/have the charcuterie platter at the German place/go to x lecture at the museum?” And we can do stuff at the drop of a hat. It might be we have to work two hours late, but we can go and do it then. Only not now. Most of those things are not happening/curtailed/I’m not sure they’d let me in with “just” face shield.
And most of us — even my husband, which is weird — have lost our “time”. I don’t have a very accurate time-sense. Oh, I’m pretty good about “what time is it” but not “What day of the week/month is it.” It used to be anchored by our day off — Saturday — I could kind of figure out how many days it had been since we’d taken an afternoon off. Most of the time. But that is… gone.
Other people had other things they did. Gaming night. Saturday breakfast with friends. The day they meet Bob for lunch and to catch up (Bob gets around.) BUT all that is gone. So most people are disoriented and have no idea what day it is, or sometimes what month it is. (March. It’s the billionth day of March 2020. I swear.)
And because everyone is frayed and stressed and on our last nerve, we are getting other hits. A lot of other hits. Stress increases illness, and at any rate some of us are on the run from our doctors, who make us wear masks though they know damn well we have breathing issues. People aren’t going in for routine checkups, and everyone assumes it’s fear of the ‘rona, but I think that’s stupid. It’s like college students not wanting to have classes in person it’s assumed to be fear of the ‘rona, and that’s stupid too. Sure, some of them — those who mainline XINN on the daily — might be scared. But given the ratings of those stations, I doubt that’s a majority. It’s just that most people don’t enjoy going out in public during the pretend apocalypse, or LARPing the end of civilization. Everyone in masks, and having to stay out of shouting distance of each other (which btw in Europe is only 3 feet, or as we call it in the states “normal”) and everyone acting like we’re all going to die? It’s depressing and stressful, and none of us — even those who CAN wear masks without huffing like Thomas the tank engine after five minutes — wants to do that.
So, stress and lack of medical care, we’re all losing friends to death, or finding out they have cancer. And all our personal relationships are stressed as heck. Even our impersonal relationships. I’m still not sure — and kind of gobsmacked — at the commenter who took offense/though I was casting him out yesterday. What the hell, even? Normally, at least I have a vague sense of a suspicion of a glimmer of what I might have said, but not that time.
And if it were just commenters on the internet, I’d just take a vacation from it. But all human contact is strained, (and rare.) Husband and I are making a point of being extra nice to each other because we realized we were each overreacting to everything, for instance. And in the store I feel anger and fear radiating from people. And what’s worse, as Herb pointed out in yesterdays post, I’m not even sure what they’re angry about/scared of.
Me? I wake up screaming at the thought that our republic has barely two months to live, if things are done as they always have been and the frauding is worse than ever.
And I don’t know what to do. I’ve been doing (rare) writing jags, reading the world’s stupidest cozy mystery series (No, let’s see…. The main character has the same name as the author; in the inevitable love triangle she chooses the insane-sounding beta male (kind of like Dyce deciding she’s in love with Ben, but only if Ben were WAY more effeminate and weird); the police are complete bumbling fools. Not “the character is so weird that she/he sees what the police doesn’t” but complete bumbling fools.) I’ve been reading them one after the other because they require no mental effort. I’ve been doing covers for books that haven’t reverted and might never revert and obsessing on them, like it mattered (Oh, I do have plans to engage a lawyer and/or burn it all down (which would be entertaining) at the end of September, but at best it’s going to be a bitter battle. Also, I figured out Luce’s clothes were too tight/weird so I changed them this morning, and will post at end.) And I’ve been cleaning/refinishing/fixing because I’ve found that being exhausted means I sleep for at least a couple of hours.
None of this is healthy. None of this makes me feel better.
We’re going sort of on vacation (it’s complicated) tomorrow for a week (which means posting here will be weird, meh, like you’re not used to that these last few months) and hope to get my head in order as far as writing/getting back to writing. Well, at least I can’t RENDER on the laptop.
And then I’m trying to figure my way back to some sort of sanity. Because if it all goes to hell and gets very bad this winter (which I fear will happen no matter who wins) I need a routine in place, so that I can survive it mentally, emotionally and physically. And hopefully be around for the rebuild. (If they don’t catch me first.)
I think part of it is establishing a routine and sticking to it. Not that I know for sure, because I suck at both those things: routine and “establishing.” But it might be time to make an unwonted effort.
But I hear routines have a calming effect. And you feel like you’re safe, because you’re doing things you’re supposed to be doing at a time you’re supposing to be doing it.
And I’m going to try to make part of that routine being good to myself. No, not that way. Not endless deep dives into internet useless trivia. Not eating ice cream from the carton (well, maybe once a week, but probably not from the carton.)
Because being away for a week — I’ve found in the past — is enough to shatter my “habits” particularly the dysfunctional ones (I’ve fallen into this before, and gone away to a hotel for a week to “reset”) when I come back, I’m going to try really hard to establish a routine where I walk or do something vaguely like exercise every morning (it used to be a thing pre-march) then work, then take an hour and make something nice for lunch (this has become a thing, but it has been erratic) and then I work again till five or so, and then I’ll have something diffferent and fun each day of the week. Yes, rendering (though some of that is work. I owe a few of you covers. But that is not necessarily for “fun time” unless… well, some of it is) and crocheting and, once the sewing room is done, some sewing or drawing (same room.) And I’m going to try to put in time to just sit on the sofa with Dan and read. And I’m going to schedule in the occasional low-carb hot chocolate or dessert. Because.
And I’ll try to write blogs at night for the next day. And do more articles for PJ, because some stuff still needs to be said.
And then I’m going to hope it works. I’m going to try really hard to be good to myself. Even if in my case that means doing it on the schedule and forcing myself to do what’s good for me and being good to myself on the clock.
I am, of course, also open to suggestions, because, you know, I’m kind of new at this.
But I suspect most of you are better at this than I, and I want to ask: What are you going to accomplish by worrying obsessively, or getting in fights on the internet? Will it change a yota of what’s to come? If not, then it’s probably best to be good to yourself, and get yourself in good shape, so you can survive what promises to be the most difficult winter of our lifetimes.
Be good to yourself while you can. The time for sacrifice is coming soon.
And below is my latest iteration of my time-waster.
UPDATE Well, one thing can be said…. you guys are making me learn Daz. I should probably scrap the figure and try again. Came CLOSE to it, and lost the positioning in the process. I think this physic is more….believable? Realistic? Though it actually looks worse/bizarre naked, but works better with clothes. I think there’s something toggled on this figure that I can’t see/find and might be from an installation issue. As in most body mods I tried to make it more believable made it even weirder. (Sigh.)
Anyway, this probably looks better…. maybe?