This past weekend, I was extremely wasteful. I stayed in bed until after 11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and then got lost down the Facebook wormhole for hours at a time. Together with the constant stream of posts on Facebook that generate outrage and foment revolution (interspersed with much-needed cuteness and laughter breaks), I also get an overwhelming number of daily emails from a whole slew of politicians, local and otherwise, and organizations like MoveOn.Org and Global Citizen. I try to quickly read them and delete them, but I’m so far behind at this point, I don’t know if I’ll ever get through them all.
The two things I fear most when it comes to our resistance to all things Trump are (1) fatigue and (2) missing something. There’s been such a bombardment, so many distractions and misdirections, who can be sure that they’re not sneaking things through – bad, destructive things, even worse and more destructive than the horrible stuff we KNOW about –without the media or the watchdogs knowing? I think we can pretty much guarantee that that’s what they’re doing, and I don’t think it’s paranoia speaking. But the fact remains that I spend far too much time occupied with it, to the exclusion of other important things that need doing in my life.
I don’t know why I can never tick off every item on my daily “to do” lists. Are my expectations too high? Am I just too slow and lazy and easily distracted? I get down on myself about it, but is that self-denigration justified? Should I push myself more or give myself credit for the items I am able to cross off my list? I spend the bulk of my waking hours engaging in this kind of self-dialogue: beating myself up for not achieving what I set out to do, alternating with letting myself off the hook with platitudes like “I’m doing the best I can (which has to be good enough)” or “Hey, I’m only an imperfect human, after all.” It’s a constant battle between feeling like I have to be harder on myself to do what needs to be done versus treating myself with a little more kindness and patience.
Take, for instance, getting out of bed in the morning (or, more accurately, NOT getting out of bed). I don’t even get an early start on those days when I have nothing scheduled, as was the case this past weekend. It’s such a waste of precious time, languishing under the covers when I’m not even really sleeping anymore. But clearly, I prefer staying in bed to doing ALMOST ANYTHING ELSE.
Sometimes I wonder, if I ever did win the lottery and was able to quit working for a living and could do as I pleased every day, would I still waste so much time in bed? I like to think that I would not; that, freed of the work shackles and possessed of a new outlook on life, I would leap out from under the blankets at first light, ready to take on whatever the day might bring. I’m pretty sure that’s a fantasy. Part of the reason I stay in bed is because I don’t go to sleep till 2 a.m. most nights. Eight hours of good sleep brings me to 10 a.m., so I’m already losing the bulk of the morning just by virtue of my circadian rhythms.
Then, once I finally do manage to rouse myself out of bed – usually because I have to pee, or the phone rings, or Mimi is making a racket in the litter box – it’s time to slog through my seemingly endless morning routine: shower, brush my teeth and put in my partial denture (which I used to be able to get away with not putting in but now it’s a necessity given that I’m missing a front tooth and I look like a hillbilly grandma when I don’t), take my pills, scoop out the litter boxes and pick up the wee-wee pads, take the dogs out, and feed everybody. Last to be fed is me, and then I sit my fat ass in front of the computer and just STAY THERE ALL DAY, sometimes working but most of the time just trolling the Internet, trying to clear out my email inbox and keep up with all the reprehensible behavior of the Trump administration and the Republican-dominated Congress that does nothing about it (which has the effect most days of making me feel physically ill, and yet I can’t stop).
I really need to make some changes in my life. I know I’ve been using my pending move/transition back to my house as somewhat of an excuse to remain in my rut but there’s no real reason not to make some adjustments starting right now. Money, weight management (food intake and exercise), getting organized, writing more consistently, thinking about my job/career/future – all very important things. I’m 57 freakin’ years old and it’s time to be a grown-up and get my act together.
There’s a blog I follow called Seeds 4 Life that sends inspirational emails every day. A couple of days ago I got an email that said, “Today we will decide WHY we have unrealized dreams. What excuses have we made? Why have we allowed dreams to stay dreams? Time? Finances? Fear?” My response? YES. The post goes on to say that we have to DECIDE: If what we want is important, we’ll find a way. If not, we’ll just find excuses. The idea is to change “one day . . . “ into “Day One”. [Lily Daub, “One Day or Day One. You Decide – Unknown”, The Seeds 4 Life, http://www.theseeds4life.com/one-day-or-day-one-you-decide-unknown] That advice resonates with me, but so far I’ve remained stagnant and continue to make those excuses, so clearly changing my life is not that important to me at the moment. Of course, a perennial excuse is that I lack a clear vision for my dreams for the future. I mean, I DO know what I want my future to look like but I don’t know how to get there from here, especially since the future I envision involves living on a lot less income and also requires me to be braver about putting my work (and myself) out into the world.
I wish I could end this week’s post on a more positive note. Perhaps it’s just the winter doldrums getting me down, or being so close to getting back into my house and yet still not there. Maybe it has something to do with my suddenly all-too-real job insecurity (see “Job Insecurity”, 2/7/17). Maybe it’s Trump. Who knows? I guess I’ll just have to keep focusing on (and being grateful for) the little joys in life (Learning that my friend is cancer free! Buying new music! Kitties at home and at the shelter! New York Rangers on a winning streak! Chicken souvlaki from Abe’s Pitaria and Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt with all the toppings! Watching the hilarious mocking of Trump from all quarters and knowing it’s making him furious!) Once the seasons change and the sun gets warmer and stays out longer, maybe then I’ll be ready to make those changes I keep going on about.
POSTSCRIPT: According to WordPress, this is my 100th post! Whee! I’m kind of proud of myself!