On Figuring Out Your Shit (and Figuring Out You're Shit)

Okay so this one is not so much a blog post, as a record of one of those brief moments of lucidity where I noticed my own shitty thinking patterns. Maybe someone else can learn from it too? Otherwise I'm hoping that writing it down may lead me to remember this more easily next time. I think I've said that each time so far though.

Anyway. So far during isolation, or quarantine, or whatever we're calling it.. I've been very much either:

- WORK. Doing work. Thinking about work. Posting for work. Talking about work. Helping work people. Work. Work work workwork. work.


Which, you know, it's been fine, for a while. I've been in my comfort zone, either working or doing nothing. My down time has included things like: - looking at clouds - drinking things

- eating things - embroidery - listening to music - watching movies, TV or YouTube - scrolling instagram - painting my toenails

- playing Animal Crossing New Leaf on DSi because I have FOMO but am also poor

And it sounds GREAT.

My comfort zone looks like me wearing my leggings, ugg boots, and oversized Katya jumper. I have been living in these things as the days have blurred into weeks and the weeks into apparently a MONTH?! Oof.

I have been quite happy so far, soaking up the sun outside, doing my embroidery in my favourite jumper. But I've also been somehow unable to get myself up early to go for a walk before my work day sets in. I haven't done any of the yoga that I was, just four weeks ago, raving about. I haven't lifted the weights I was so proud to pick up off Buy Nothing weeks ago, which I'd used religiously every second day. I haven't gone around the house spraying everything with the Koh cleaner I was excited to receive over a month ago. I haven't recorded the touch-base videos for my classes that I'd hoped, or created more worksheets and tasks for them to do over the holidays.

Remember when that viral image went out saying essentially: "If you don't come out of this isolation without having X new skills, you're a waste of space", and at first it was shared with vigour, before some people realised how problematic it was and started sharing the "fixed" version?

I think perhaps I was a little too far on the side of the fixed version. I am a motivated, "busy" person, I can't help it. I let myself do nothing and patted myself on the back for all that self care. Good on ya, Sylv. Another day well-spent loving life.

One Saturday, I had 2 hours of work left to do, and one private lesson to teach online. So off came the jumper, and on went my work shirt. I sat up in my home office and got through everything I needed to. I bid my student goodbye, and then thought - oh, well.. I'm up here, so it's not so difficult to keep going. I'll film a video for one class and do the rest later.

After I'd filmed one video, then filming a second, a third, a fourth, didn't seem so bad. I smashed out multiple videos, I created new resources for my classes, and went downstairs an hour later than planned, but feeling really good about getting something extra done.

When I finally put my precious Katya jumper back on, I realised - Jesus! It stank.

It came straight off and went into the wash, and a big'ol penny dropped when I realised how I'd worn that thing all week without realising how smelly and shitty it/my thinking pattern had become.

Anyway, I'd like to leave you on a big inspirational note, separate from my smelly jumper realisation.. but really, I woke up on Sunday and did it all again (the lazy thing that is). But this time I didn't write it off as self care, I wrote it off as Sunday. We're all allowed a Sunday.

I got up late, I sat in the sun and did embroidery in my (washed) Katya jumper, we played video games, went with our housemate to go get cake from a local cafe, watched Eraserhead (fml) and at the end of the day we all agreed - it was a lovely Sunday!

So.. is there a moral? Did I learn anything?

Yes, I think I did. It can't be Sunday everyday. You enjoy Sunday because it's your last chance - after Sunday comes Monday. That's what makes Sundays great.

What am I doing moving forward?

I'm going to write a list (ugh how common) of all the extra projects I really do want to complete during isolation - not just because some #fempowerment inspirational quote told me to do them.

And I'm going to be smart about my spare time. I'm going try and do the projects immediately before or after a work shift, when I'm already focused and in productive mode.

I'm going to pay more attention to my emotions - feelings of restlessness, frustration, being cooped-up. Those aren't necessarily just due to being housebound, maybe they're due to my own habits and attitudes too.

I'm going to go back to getting up earlier each day to fit more in. That sounds lame, but it makes sense.. Rather than struggle to fit everything in and end up just doing nothing instead, I may as well create some extra hours in the day, and I can do with them what I wish - loaf about, or not!

I'm going to remember my own freaking motto: Just because you can't do everything, doesn't mean you should do nothing.

Stay conscious about the delicate balance between productivity and self-care in isolation. Accept that I'm not an expert at this yet, because this is my first pandemic experience. I'm sure that now I'll be better prepared next time (I'M JOKING).

For those who are curious - yes, I wrote this down after a work shift!