Sunday, 20 September 2009

Week 2 Day 13: lightbulb moments, poppadoms and banana mochaccinos

I'm actually posting this on Day 14. I didn't post yesterday because, by the time there was anything to say I was tetchy with myself for allowing Saturday to turn into a "Nothing Day", and I ended up lurching away from the computer and throwing myself on the sofa to wait out the long hours till bedtime in a vague, mostly subconscious sulk.

NB: By "Nothing Day" I do not mean the sort of day where you lie, glued to the sofa (Derren Brown notwithstanding) watching crap, eating crap, lightly dozing and blissfully ignoring the phone and the household chores. I consider this a wholly venerable activity - everyone needs downtime - and I'm 100% behind it. In theory. The truth is I allow myself one or two days of this a year, and generally only when I have a hangover.

A "Nothing Day", for me, is a day spent dithering. Not achieving and not resting. Neither fish nor fowl. I woke early, dithered about getting up (Boyfriend was still asleep), got up, mooched about disconsolately, then dithered about still feeling tired, so went back to bed, then mentally dithered, couldn't fall asleep and got up again.

Mostly, I worried. I worried about this new getting-up-early-on-a-Saturday malarkey. All my life I've woken early - still tired - and then felt crotchety and vaguely tired and "off" for the rest of the day. In the last few years I have Achieved the Weekend Lie-In. Sometimes till stupid o'clock (11am), and not always when I've been out until the early hours the night before. Boyfriend considers this lazy, but to me it's been a massive coup - actually getting the sleep I need, and bugger the rest of 'em. On Saturday I wondered if it might be weight gain related, and worried that the new, thinner me was going to be a early rising, knackered mimsy again.

Boyfriend had the right idea - he spent most of the day on the sofa with big mugs of tea, the paper and reruns of the US version of The Office. Meanwhile I danced around the house, trying and failing to Achieve Things - admin, various little projects, a little correspondence. Nada. Just kept being distracted by things and thinking about how nice it would be to join the Boyfriend on the sofa.

I did, for a bit, then got bored and felt guilty about not Achieving things and went back to dancing unhappily round the house until evening, when I felt I could legitimately give up the ghost and rejoined him on the sofa.

It occurs to me now that I should have just HAD A NAP. It's basic science: not enough sleep; can't sleep - so sleep later. But I see dithering/tiredness as a sort of personal flaw, so feel the need to beat myself over the head with my failure for a whole day. Pah.

And I've just realised what prompted my feelings of apathy/self loathing.

You know how some people always need something familiar around when they start a new thing? A picture of their family, favourite cardigan, lucky pants, etc.?

When I start a new thing I don't feel at home until I've identified the girl who's like me, but better, and felt bad about myself as a result.

I did it at my first LL meeting ("There you are," I thought when I met her. "We're about the same age, but you seem totally on top of things, and that makes me feel like a caveman in comparison. Nice to meet you").

I've done it at my job. I do it whenever I indulge an interest or try anything new. I look on this person, possibly befriend them, and think about everything they've done and how I come up lamentably short next to this person. To myself I call it making a new friend, or admiring someone, but really it's a ruler to measure myself against, always come up lacking, and feel really shit about, and ultimately hate myself.

Undoubtedly it's rooted in my past somewhere.

But I did it on Saturday morning. I did it on Saturday morning, and that's what spun my day out into a bunch of crap during which I subconsciously berated myself about whatever I happened to be doing (or not doing).

It's horrible. It's self-destructive. It's self-betrayal and so, so negative. But it's familiar. And so I do it again and again.

Hmm. Interesting.

Anyway, I did manage to do 2 things on Day 13:

I sort of perfected my latte idea (to my tastes anyway)
  • 1 espresso
  • 1/2 banana pack
  • 1/2 chocolate pack
  • 2 sweeteners
  • 500ml boiling water
  • Blend! Blend like there's no tomorrow! Then blend some more.
I also attempted...

I know, it even sounds rank:
  • Mix a soup pack with 4 tablespoons hot water
  • Stir until you get a smooth paste
  • Add salt, pepper and tabasco
  • Spread it evenly on a dinner plate
  • Microwave for 1.5 - 2minutes
  • Open the microwave every 20 seconds to let it bubble and settle
  • When it's golden, remove it, let it cool, peel off and enjoy.
Only a half success I'm afraid - I added too much water so it went all soggy in the middle, so I did it for a further 3 minutes(!) until it was virtually burnt and dried to the plate. And, though Boyfriend mocked me, I did manage to lever it off using a knife when it was cool and it was QUITE PLEASANT.

I might try again tonight.


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