Day 63 (19 May): Ticked off
I’m late again!
Number 2 daughter phoned to say that her car would not start, so could I do her shopping? Bacardi? - it seems only last year it was baby milk.
Number 1 daughter then enlisted my help to find accommodation for her next university year. And afterwards Alfie and the guinea pigs insisted on being fed as they do every day, whatever the weather. So I’m only now firing up the blog machine and feeling stressed and guilty.
I could write about the Prez abandoning disinfectant in favour of antimalarials or I could do a paragraph or two about the UK government's feigned surprise that it is not being treated as an equal in trade talks with the E.U. (27 against 1 - not too surprising). But no; I try to avoid politics and politicians as subjects for this blog, however much I am tempted, as I want to keep both my readers.
Being as I already told you I'm feeling guilty that is what I will write about.
A common thread we will all have seen emerging from discussions on confinement is that it is important to keep structured. Loneliness and a feeling of pointlessness can be kept at bay by running a tight ship. That, as you know, is exactly what I have been doing. Get up, shower, shave, penguin infested language lessons, sport, meditation, yoga, blog, cook healthy meals, FaceTime conversations, Netflix, bed - press restart.
And that is fine - as long as you hit all the targets.
But things slip. For the last few days I’ve been getting over a cold and feeling tired; I haven’t done meditation or yoga, I have missed my running and I have been late engaging with you.
I feel bad about this. I feel as though my source of pride and motivation is being whittled away. I feel without 'raison d'être' - as though I’m not earning my keep.
And things get worse if I have a couple of glasses of wine mid-week - which I shall do tonight.
I hate to think how sloppy and worthless I would feel were I to eat ice cream.
Shock and horror!
And this is where being a disciplined, competent and responsible adult slides over the line into becoming obsessive.
Or, in the more technical, clinical language of my brother, "a silly bugger".
This feeling is a recognised and not uncommon danger. The danger of becoming compulsive about one's activities. Actually I have no idea if that is true.
I’m just hoping it is because that is the life buoy I cling to in this sea of obsessiveness.
I desperately hope you are all nodding your heads and saying
‘I see where you are coming from Neil. I have that too.'
I am waiting for the comments - “Nope. Your brother is right. You are just a silly bugger.”
Perhaps the solution is to modify my list; to play mind games with myself.
I can draw up a new list and add a final item :
“Scratch out two activities per day and refuse to do them.”
I can call this training. I can congratulate myself on the execution of non-executed tasks.
Ideally I would give myself a slap on the back - but since I stopped the yoga I find I lack the flexibility.
At the very least I can have a glass of wine in the evening and say that it is anti-obsessive behaviour training.
Anyway. Let this be the last of the more introspective blogs for the time being! Tomorrow I shall endeavour to tickle you.
I raise my glass to you!