Tuesday, May 03, 2016

TW: meta-blogging

I woke up on Friday morning - the beginning of my non-working week - wondering what to do with myself. There are some chunky items on the not-so-rolling Big Ticket to-do list. These include
  • Work out what to do with the rest of my life 
  • Turn vague pension-related anxiety into concrete (and therefore potentially actionable) pension-related anxiety. Something to do with SERPS. I have no idea 
  • Finish Marie Kondo'ing. Have got only as far as the fiction plus putting all the non-fiction in a heap, have had a heap of non-fiction for over a month now
  • Paint the entire house apart from that one wall we've managed to paint and buy some blinds for the bedrooms
  • Make a new will 
  • Change the filter in the cooker hood and find some bulbs for it that don't buzz. Doesn't sound chunky but somehow is 
I do know that if I threw myself at any item on the lower end of this list I could make a dent in it. I can be effective. I have skills. But I lack momentum, and am easily daunted at the moment. Well, usually. I need to wait for a gap in the mental traffic and then dart into it. 
And I wasn't feeling very darty so I moved on to the Granular to-do list. This is largely made up of smaller but still life-enhancing items, such as 
  • Make that third string lampshade
  • Make that third and fourth rag rug seat pad for the outdoor chairs
  • Design the Hanging Gardens of Babylon* and go buy the guttering (watch this space)
  • Download bank statements before they disappear forever (am pleasingly ahead of the game here but you only get so many months stored online and it never seems to be quite enough for the tax return)
  • Hassle the plumber about the toilet and the pressure reducing valve on the hot water cylinder (we are binning one of the eco-toilets. It leaks, it doesn't shift solid matter, it means we get through toilet brushes like there's no tomorrow, and it is generally shit. If it wasn't one with a STUPID concealed cistern I could do it myself, but it is. I have the plumbing skills but not the carpentry and tiling skills, and I don't want a bathroom that looks like I would leave it looking. And the cylinder is an ongoing saga. But the plumber is good, which means he's busy, and this is small beans) 
  • Find a home for that extraordinary goth-meets-fuchsia ball dress I wore in 1989 that my mum kept all those years that I can't quite bear just to give to Oxfam
But even this list felt a bit ambitious. I sensed myself gravitating towards the Maintenance of Status Quo to-do list, which includes such lofty ambitions as 
  • Make a plan for that parsley in the fridge
  • Go to the allotment 
  • Laundry
  • Ring my dad
  • Deal with Ecoville email backlog
  • Read books
  • In fact do anything that isn't Candy Crush alternating with Twitter and existential despair
In my defence, all this thinking happened before I even got out of bed. Perhaps less impressively, I didn't get out of bed for quite a while. But just before I did, I settled on a manageable-yet-slightly-stretchy item: write a blog post. 
I love this blog. I am its biggest fan. For its first 10 years it documented many of my best thoughts, and many of my stupidest actions. It's been faltering for its last few years though. This is partly because first Facebook and then smartphones came along, and something that might have developed into a blog post became easier and more immediately rewarding to post as a status update - and when you can post something NOW why would you let it settle and ferment, and who would even read my thoughts on Ken Livingstone fully two days later? But also because the internet has become a nasty place for women who express opinions - I've had only the mildest of these experiences (despite being a holder of some pretty strong opinions) and I know that's because, recently, I've done most of my opinion expressing in a less public space than this. If I've expressed them at all. 
Which is all a bit sad, and I want to do better. But also one picks one's battles, and I've had some others on closer to home. And some of that is why I decided to write a blog post on Friday morning, and it's taken me to nearly midnight on Monday to squeeze one out. I have the words, but I'm a little constipated. 
In between, for the record, I've taken pure pleasure in the appearance of my first asparagus spears and in the progress of the baby blackbirds currently living on our balcony. I've had thoughts about privilege and aggression. I've engaged in, and quickly been exhausted by engaging in, FB conversation about Ken and Israel and antisemitism and yada yada. I've made (partly in response) some proper Israeli-style houmous which I enjoyed with my two favourite cis straight white able bodied middle class men (one of them Jewish, which shouldn't matter, but then none of this shit should matter). I have mopped up the urine of a small dog on steroids who had an accident. I've administered pain relief to a terminally ill gerbil. I've drunk too much red wine. I've danced to Prince and sung Springsteen into the wind. I've spent yet more silly money on deodorant that isn't all chemically but probably won't actually work. I've momentarily overcome my fear of Ecoville communal eating and enjoyed a delicious, spicy dinner and a lot of laughing squidged around the All Foods Table. I've learned more than I thought I'd ever need or want to know about the Peninsular War. I've delighted in Lindy West's latest. I've read the first third of Wool
And I've written this. It may be a new start, it may not even be that. But I'd like to keep it up. 

* I do still intend to write a post about the many good things about living in Ecoville. But not today. 

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Anonymous Neil Lawrence said...

As a non-Facebook user, I've really missed your long form, well-considered blog posts, Jo.

6:28 am  
Blogger Jo said...

Ah, thanks Neil, that's very kind! And encouraging... :-) Hope all's well with you!

10:51 am  
Blogger Spine said...

Non-FB male seconding Neil.

"All Foods Table" sounds good.

3:43 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

All the fun happens on the All Foods Table. It is a new development.

8:35 pm  
Blogger mike reid said...

Ring your Dad.

Mike R.

(Hanah B.'s stepdad) xx

12:48 am  
Blogger bazza said...

Hi Joella. I really enjoyed reading this post. It made me laugh! Shalom!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

6:48 pm  

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