an important reminder: it’s okay to take a break sometimes
I have a tendency to beat myself up a lot when I stop a thing I started. There’s always some kind of punch-up going on inside this chaotic brain of mine, whether it’s over the unfinished cross-stitch on my desk, or the bookmark that’s been stuck halfway through A Clash of Kings for about two years, or the inevitable stagnation of my writing. Having just written that little list there’s a bloody riot going on in there. WHY DO I NEVER FINISH ANYTHING EVER?!?!?!? You can probably tell it’s a flaw that’s easily in the top three things I hate about myself. I DID, however, finish alll seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, so that’s something. (I dunno what it really says about my life when I’m proud to have finished binge watching a TV show…)
Seriously though, I think it’s really important to acknowledge our shortcomings and the things that make us who we are. The very things that make our lives the way they are. They dictate the things we’re happy about and the things we’re sad about. Everyone has good days and bad days of varying degrees, and the most productive way to use the good days is to make the bad days easier. This is not a post about “mind over matter” or “success is a state of mind” because it’s not something that can be broken down to one simplistic “motivational life quote”. Externalities count for a lot, too.
I have decided, during this little moment of clarity, to cut myself some slack. Yes, I have a hundred and one unfinished projects, but I have also completed a lot in my life too. It doesn’t matter that the bloody cross-stitch isn’t finished yet. I’ve got the whole rest of my life to do it. And yes, I could die at any time, but then I’ll be dead and I won’t give a damn about the cross stitch, or Game of Thrones, or this blog. I have decided that it is okay to take a break. As long as the intention remains to get back to it, then you’ve not failed. You’re just taking your time.
“I really should get around to doing that”
This is the past where it’s 9pm and I realise that I’m probably not going to get a blog post out today. I would have been sat at work thinking to myself “yes, I WILL blog tonight”. Then I get home, lie down on my bed for a while, maybe have a nap, take ages cooking dinner, and suddenly it’s too late again. Like it was every single day prior. At this point, I still believe that one day could be the day I start writing again, and I’m not too bothered yet.
“Actually I don’t want to do that anymore anyway”
One thing I’m annoyingly good at is justifying things to myself. After weeks of not actually getting around to blogging, I decided that it wasn’t actually me being lazy, but that deep down it was a conscious decision. I’ll place the blame on something else. I decided that after months of having a great time in the blogging community, I now found it annoying. I have nothing in common with these people. Their drama is childish. The cliques piss me off. I will never succeed here because I’m not COOL. I’m not SKINNY. I’m not EIGHTEEN. That’s all bollocks, of course. I like the blogging community, I’m not involved in any of the drama, and there are friendship groups wherever you go, as there should be. It was more to do with my self esteem than anything. It was something to blame that wasn’t me.
“I give up on everything I do”
Here comes the self-blame. The pit of despair. The shame. This where the brain battle reaches its peak and I cry about all the times in my life I gave up. Right back to the story I never finished when I was ten, or the weaving project that’s probably in my parents’ attic somewhere from when I was eight. Why do I even remember these things?! It’s weird. In these moments, I’m unhappy with everything and feel like I’m failing at life. Ironically, not conducive to getting back on the horse (incidentally, horse riding is a thing I have never started, therefore not in a position to have given up on).
“I’ve just taken a break, and that’s okay”
Stage four. The stage in I’m in now. The rationalisation of life and all its trials. Everything is actually okay, no one really minded that I stopped for a bit, it’s all quite inconsequential really. And I can start again whenever I like (for instance, right now). I know what I’m like; the peaks and troughs are a part of life. Things can’t be good all the time or you lose perspective of what “good” is. Everything you feel is relative, and the best thing is to understand how your mind works and work with it, rather than against it. During these times of productivity I will be scheduling posts so I don’t need to worry when the inevitable winter of the mind shrouds my productivity again.