Added Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns to my reading list. Not really new anymore, I think it was originally published in 1999, but looks worthwhile.
Tasks* for a Sunday mood, restlessness, feeling like I need to Get Something Done. When I feel like that, I default to doing more work or work-adjacent hobbies on a laptop / tablet / phone. I need to stop that, I spend enough of my waking hours in the digital aether.
Prep some food
Maybe the most helpful thing for the week ahead, Wednesday-night-me will be thankful for Sunday-me’s foresight. Boil some eggs, roast vegetables, wash the veg you bought last week, bake cookies, parboil potatoes, make a bean salad, cook a big batch of chickpeas, collect some wild rocket or blackberries.
Fix / alter some clothes
Sort through old / unused stuff
Donate or give away books that aren’t worth keeping, recycle tights w/ holes or trousers that can no longer feasibly be repaired (and get a discount while doing it!), cut up threadbare t-shirts for rags, sort through makeup and donate gently- and unused (unexpired) items to a local women’s shelter (UK, USA).
Give your plants some love
Dust off the leaves, do some repotting, pick the dried-up stipules off the pothos. Propogate the sage that grows in the park.
Cleaning / tidying
Do the weird, rarely-done cleaning tasks. Hoover the places behind bookshelves, clean your laptop, wipe off the tops of the kitchen cabinets, tidy up the chaos beneath the sinks, get the cobwebs out of the corners, take down the coats / bags that have accumulated on the hooks behind the doors and put them away properly.
Go for a swim. Finally finish those drawings.
* These are chores, really. But we need a better word than “chore” for these sorts of things, that word’s got baggage.
I’ve been ill on and off for three months now. It’s not so bad, I’m not completely out of commission, haven’t had to go to A&E. But it’s bad enough.
It has a weird effect. The symptoms aren’t always there, thank goodness. And I’m getting better at handling it when things go south, I’ve learned how to alleviate pain quickly.
The more difficult element to cope with is the psychological brittleness. The feeling that I cannot rely on myself. I’m reluctant to make plans because I’d rather not make them than break them again. That can get pretty isolating.
It’s particularly weird when it comes to work. If I were working as part of a larger team I’d talk to my manager, or HR. But the only people I answer to are my collaborators and clients. They’re very understanding (it helps a *lot* that I don’t work totally solo), but still. It’s a bit of a weird conversation, one I’ve avoided for the most part.
It will probably be another month until things are “settled”. The powers that be are sorting it out, I think. And I’m staying busy. Practically, I don’t want to fall behind. Emotionally, I need the distraction. Distraction from the larger distraction.
Current mood. Photo taken by Bradley and Jean Piper in the 90s.
Edit 2018.06.27 at 16:23 – I think this is Holborn? Had to transfer there yesterday to get back from a Musarc rehearsal near Holloway Road and it feels very similar.
light blue stucco
navy blue shutters
kitchen window like a fishbowl, or a porthole
one floor, mostly
mom splitting her knee open on the brick stairs up to the front door
pots & pans band
dad’s lime green motorcycle, briefly
agapanthus & jade plants
the scariest palm tree
garage always full, but never the car
where did mom keep her drawing board?
huge glass sliding door at the back
games through the wicker rocking chair
cinder blocks and chain link
ice plant covering the hill to the creek behind the house
sliding closet doors, the paint would stick
neighbors with the scary Halloween ghost
Zeke & Aileen, and the toys they made for us
white painted brick surrounding the fireplace that we rarely used
– – –
blue stucco and blue shutters again,
but this time with white wrought iron
two floors now
wisteria taking over at the back
parents’ brass bed frame, with ceramic decorations on the spindles
mom and her study, wooden artboard and captain’s chair
endless stacks of continuous form paper
tins of colored pencils, meticulously organized by hue
AOL and computer games
the oven that went baroom
Sega Genesis behind the couch
Brett was way better
possom in the wood pile under the lemon and lime trees
the water main broke, water gushing down the street
jumping over the water to get to school
Mr. and Mrs. Redlitz next door
the not-so-nice lady on the other side
Teddy & Dmitri
games barefoot on the berm
until I stepped on a bee, and dog poo
Cassiopeia, Pleiades, Big & Little Dippers
Pleiades was mine, my little tornado
people jumped off that cliff sometimes, but we didn’t hear much about it; probably on purpose
falling about 5 feet on to my back on the rocks after trying to climb the cliff instead of using the path
I was lucky, it was one of the first times I really felt lucky
it could have been so much further
the grass at the top felt incredible
there’s an edible plant that grows on the cliffs and tastes sour, dewy and pink
and mustard, and fennel
owls, sometimes; gulls, always
still dream about walking down the storm drain, through the rocks and down to the bay
not sure it’s possible
we were always told to keep well back from the cliff edge, it could be soft even when it’s been dry
it was usually dry
the road leading to a friend’s house near the school fell in to the sea not long before we moved away
the rollercoaster road near the best tidepools was always changing
we didn’t go there often
countless tadpoles in the storm drain
one day we weren’t allowed to play in the storm drain
it didn’t seem like anything had changed in the little tadpole pools
never once saw the green flash
running my fingers through the sand just after the wave recedes, feeling millions of sandcrabs
mile swims around the buoys
mile runs in blistering, soft sand
Neil, a first crush
his real name is Donald
he was the only faster swimmer
a ray in the shallow water, briefly, before I can show anyone
a vivid purple jellyfish
dolphins in the bay, rarely
don’t dive in head first, always wade out and check the levels first
how to brace someone’s neck if you’re waiting for first aid
don’t touch a seal, it’s probably sick
don’t step on kelp bulbs barefoot, there might be something sharp inside
don’t step on the black “rocks”, they’re chunks of hot tar
cold water didn’t hurt my ears