10. Jan, 2016

Resolution Overload? Keep sane without sit ups & self help books. You COULD copy the muscle man..

..OR go for the looooong list of 'musts, shoulds and oughts'. The one rule we CANNOT break: ' we MUST succeed in all our endeavours, and BE HAPPY'. I'm reaching for the ginger wine (new tipple), NOW. Since when did 'doing more stuff to improve ourselves', become a religious mantra? 'It's making us ill', says Psychotherapist Mark Vernon


There's some choice observations in his review of  The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han. 'We become trapped in cycles of overproductivity, manic communication and hyper-expectation', he says. My two giant carboard lists (they cover half a wall - it's  a small flat), are giving me skin rashes every time I see the wretched things.

Was up the docs yesterday for 'stop the itch on my fingers cream'. That'll be stress eczema due to the typing, whilst sorting the printer, keeping an eye on a leaky washing machine, and de-fleaing the cat. For me, increasingly, less IS more. Doc gave me a 'cream'; sat on it on the sofa. Another bloody mess to clean up. Finger tip eczema up to 8 out of 10. 

Granted, I have a touch of the ADHD Piccadilly Circus head. There's so much going on up there and people/ideas/must do's crossing the synapses IN there, I have to slow DOWN rather than take on more 'must do's'. 


Strangely though, I have made some GOOD choices for myself, well before the New Year's Eve post party panic. NONE come loaded with the ''I will be a better person' mantra. All of them have naturally emerged because they help me to feel better in body, soul and mind. You will/can, no doubt, find your own.  I run 20 minutes 4 times a week; round the beigy bit of grass near my flat (it's called a 'green' - estate agent speak). My head slows, I get a bit of perspective on domestic duties and work deadlines, and it has NOTHING to do with keeping thin or trying to look 25. Before these minor changes, I WAS  making myself ill with that self improvement society 'be better', cocktail. 


I do 20 minutes on the computer and then TAKE A BREAK. I realise that my work is 'good enough' most of the time; it doesn't have to be 'the best'. And if I get just 3 out of the 15 cardboard list jobs sorted, then it's been a good day. And then I give myself a REWARD. Best bit. It's NOT sweets (I know how to party), they were a real passion, but just make my head even busier and then there's a slump. A cup of decent coffee, a bit of sewing (don't laugh, it's very therapeutic and the Primark T shirts I have customised......FASHIONTASTIC), are tiny treat things, but they are MY tiny treat things. 


Mark quotes the thinker and mystic, Carl Jung. 'Before we strive after perfection, we ouught to be able to live the ordinary woman/man without self mutilation'. The muscle man addict in the pic (for whom I have huge compassion, actually), is lifting weights,  fuelled by a large protein shake of wishful thinking.  We may have been there ourselves at some point, we may be there now. 


I feel shattered just looking at him. If there must be a resolution, let this be a year of living our ordinary run of the mill lives, tweaking bits of them occasionally because WE want to, and allowing ourselves to be TIRED sometimes and then STOP to replenish. So simple to write, so counter cultural to carry out. 

10/1/16 image source: babble.com