No time to rush

What I am supposed to be doing today is a delightful mixture of admin, emails, tidying my room, proposal writing, applications and maybe if there’s time, some actual ‘work’ (where, when things are going right anyway, ‘work’ = ‘fun’, since as an artist, in general you actually LIKE making your work and look forward to doing it).

Consequently, I have gone into spoilt brat mode. What, I have to do Boring Shit? And it’s not just that it’s boring- I can live with that, especially armed with a masters degree worth of new podcasts courtesy of the Banff Center. It’s predictability that’s the killer; when I know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing and where it’s going, I can’t be arsed to do it, whatever it is, so I end up writing pointless blog posts (like this) for my amusement instead, because at least I have no idea what they’ll end up being about.

Baldessari breaks his promise

Baldessari breaks his promise

 Predictability aversion is also why, when starting a new project/ piece of work, if I can envisage the end result too clearly, I lose all desire to actually make it- even though most of what I make (and like, art-wise) is either highly repetitive, structured, or boring, which doesn’t really make sense. Still, I need there to be some element of surprise, of not-knowing what will happen next to be interested enough to actually make it.

Similarly, if I have a packed diary for the weeks ahead, it puts me off wanting to do any of it, even if its actually fun stuff, ‘cos knowing its going to happen is immediately a turn-off; God knows how I ever held down an 8-year relationship, or a job for that matter. Though I do recall pulling a sickie once when I used to work ticket-monkeying at the Tate because I couldn’t face Tate Britain three days in a row.  Then again…Tate Britain

 Predictable Putin
Anyway, I have realised that amusing/ entertaining myself is one of the main reasons I get out of bed every morning, and amusement and unpredictability are, of course, deeply related; after all, no joke or lolcat video is still funny on the 3rd repeat.
Note that this doesn’t necessarily hold true the other way round, since not everything unpredictable is funny; see recent Russian meteor for proof (though the above image is both quite funny, and quite predicable, and has also quite predictably already become a meme).

The moment I realised I'd screwed up my essay

The moment I realised I’d screwed up my essay

Of course, as I am (apparently) an adult I know that part of this role involves being Responsible, i.e. spending large amounts of time doing boring and annoying things since, unfortunately, it’s quite hard to live off laughter alone.
Though I’m trying my best, according to a general fuzzy principle I subscribe to that, from a certain angle anyway, nothing is really
worth getting stressed out about, and pretty much anything can be laughed at (apart from world poverty, the paucity of rape convictions and other important things like that. Not Funny).

Anyway it’s a principle, which means it usually loses something in its translation to practice- I actually cried in the uni toilets when I realised I was never going to finish my essay by the deadline, talk about losing perspective- but still, the intention is there.

 And the principle does kind of work, since, in the long run, getting all stressy about minor things costs you in both time and money. Trips to osteopaths, medication, alcohol, chocolate and whatever else is required to alleviate bodily and mental stress-pain, for example, could all be classed as money-wasting.

Rushing around in a stress, meanwhile, is technically counterproductive since it doesn’t usually save you any time- it more likely leads to doing dumb things like forgetting your keys/ wallet/ the cooker on, which are all eventually variations on time-wasting (especially if you set the kitchen cupboards on fire, which I did once as a teenager when I left a melting candle on the stove- MASSIVE waste of time).

IMGP3996pswebAlso, and much more significantly, rushing is about as zen as hate-eating a jumbo pack (or jet?) of Haribo on a hangover, and involves a kind of grim, jaw-clenched ‘everything must get done NOW’ determination that is, I’m convinced, a total waste of life.
As this quote I got off a meditation podcast (another favoured form of entertainment-as-self-betterment) puts it, ‘I have no time to rush’; after all, as I remind myself when accidentally locked into demented-robot-on-a-mission mode, the only thing I am definitely rushing towards is death, so I’d rather take my time, thanks. Works a treat!

Really, there isn't

Looks like I’ve successfully convinced myself that instead of mechanically crunching my way through the admin to-do-list, it actually makes perfect sense to jack it all in and spend the day mucking about with ‘hilarious’ keyword generators. Or go for coffee in the park. After all- it’s GOOD for me!

Gone for coffee

Gone for coffee

 And remember, one day, you’ll be dead; no more coffee or keywords then (and no more admin either, unless you end up in hell, in which case a bottomless pit of the stuff probably awaits you) so best enjoy it while you can. Moreover, as its now Saturday, and I’m hungover, any lingering guilty feelings about not doing the admin have gone the way of my packet of Nurofen. It’ll have to be Monday- advance apologies if I owe you money, a proposal, or a DVD. It’s just not that important.

Hell with excel

Hell with excel

In fact it’s now Sunday. Practicing what I preach- no rushing.

Festive food baby

Hurrah! ANOTHER Christmas spent ill with flu! Lying in bed swallowing Comtrex- a slightly speedy green pill that is Greece’s answer to Lemsip, but far more lethal- with Metaxa, Greece’s answer to brandy. Not exactly what I had planned for Saturday night, but I’ll console myself with the knowledge that insta-illness on immediate commencement of Christmas holidays is a fairly widespread affliction. Weeks of demented multi-tasking in between workload, ‘festive drinks’, awkward colleague/friend-snogs and arctic cycles in the London drizzle detonate into a sniveling pile of uselessness as the body realises it can finally stop for more than five minutes. And I don’t even have kids!
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One year- when I was a student, so I’m not sure multi-tasking or work was really to blame- I woke up on Christmas day to a bout of projectile vomiting which saw me installed on the couch in a semi-conscious haze, a routine that has become an annual tradition. Anyway (segue alert!) I’m pretty sure I was secretly relieved, calculating just how many extra kilos of food baby I’d indavertedly dodged as a result.

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Ah, the dreaded festive food baby. Christmas seems to bring out the worst in even the most relaxed women re the impending doom of gaining a couple of kilos in a week, greatly exacerbated by the media-fuelled schizo switch to a January of repentance detox. I truly wish I could say I don’t give  a flying crap about it- and actually in former years, when I was a bit on the plus-size, I didn’t, because, well, what did a few extra inches matter? Now that I am technically average I actually care more about my body than I did before, perhaps fearing that the flab could break loose at any point and crush any of that (hugely debatable, obv) hotness that being slimmer supposedly accrues.
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 And anyway wtf?! It infuriates me cos I see this as incontrovertible proof of being a drone who has internalized the ideology that says a woman’s body communicates something about her, and (of course!) its usually something BAD.

Too thin? Boundaries like too-tight Spanx, pretending not to have any needs (or, perhaps, having needs, but somehow, knowing how to express them and get them responded to…sigh).
Too fat? Boundaries like old knicker elastic, needs bulging out all over the place and threatening to spill into a muffin top at the slightest mention of any stress (and yet handily, inconveniencing only themselves; emotional eating is the drug of choice for considerate types, as Cailtin Moran has said).
Somewhere in the middle? A tipping point waiting to happen, especially at Christmas, which normally supplies plenty of (under the counter, unspoken) nerve-jangling situations and even more opportunities to soothe them via consumption of vast quantities of booze and mince pies. So what’s a girl to do?

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One thing I won’t do is just throw the towel in and scoff my face the whole of the holiday break. Not because there’s anything fundamentally wrong with doing that,  but because it plays into the fallacious notion that there are ‘special occasions’ and times which allow you to ‘indulge’, thereby suggesting that the rest of the time (read: your actual life) is a kind of dreary, colourfree lettuce zone that is only endured in exchange for the permission to have one hedonistic week of guzzling. Like only being able to wear an outrageous sequined top once a year. Or, come to think of it, like the whole ‘wedding- best-day-of-my-life’ princess nonsense. The Zen saying ‘every moment is the best moment’ is a useful one here; each moment, just like each time period, is intrinsically no different from any other, and our need to categorize them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is both pointless and, in some cases, pain-inducing.

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Which holds true for the dieting industry as a whole; the designation of certain foods as ‘naughty’- as if we were little girls who just played an X-rated Barbie and Ken game- or feeling ‘guilty’ for eating a chocolate creates a binary whereby naughty/ forbidden = good/ fun, healthy/ low fat = boring, instead of just ITS ALL BLOODY FOOD! JUST DON’T EAT TOO MUCH OF ANY OF IT! Excuse shouty caps, but it’s this binary mentality that eventually leads people to mainline biccies half-way through a supposed ‘diet’- the mind understandably rebels against being deprived the fun stuff (which I reiterate, is only fun/ bad due to our labeling of it) and says, your diet plan can screw itself. And hence that food baby you get stuck with. My advice (to myself) is give it some love, fun and dancing and it will soon melt away. Otherwise the evil diet industry will be all too happy to cash in on the post-holiday weight paranoia- just don’t do it!