I keep meaning to write something on this blog. Every time September-October comes round (aka ‘deadline time’, I want to write a cheery post: go on! You’re nearly there! You can do it!... I want to write something every time crazy political events happen, and the world feels like it’s been knocked out of kilter. I want to write something every time … well, just every time I think of this blog, and remember all the nice comments from all the nice people on here, which helped me so much. In a corner of the library, somewhere, a bound copy of my PhD slumbers on a shelf, and in it, in the Acknowledgments section, if you ever find your way to it, there is a brief dedication to all of you…
Now and again, the idea for a coherent post comes to me. If I don’t seize hold of it, and write it down, it floats away. Here are some incoherent bits of such posts.
The list of things I am supposed to be doing every day keeps growing longer by the minute. Sometime last year, a kind friend emailed me a nice article: a list of things we should all be doing before 8 a.m., to help us have a great start to the day and be more effective in our everyday lives. It’s meant to help us all be better people.
It included things like:
- have a cold shower
- eat some protein (an egg is best, apparently. YUM. I’m into that)
- meditate (I have the Headspace app on my phone, with ten free meditations, which you can just listen to as much as you like. It’s supposed to help you carry that calm, meditate-y feeling around with you for the rest of the day)
- (and other things, which I’ve obviously not been doing, and which I’ve forgotten)
My own personal morning to-do list, refined over the years through self-help-book reading, and which is meant to help me become more effective in my everyday life, goes something like this:
- Every morning, first thing, write. (This is called ‘morning pages’. You do a sort of brain dump, writing freely for three pages or so, to offload your inhibitions and negative thoughts and stuff, to free you up to be unashamedly creative. Source: Becoming an Artist. Good for: writers, arty types, PhDs…)
(This is also good for when you need to write something extra one day, like an article, and you don’t have time for it; you’ve created a practice of getting up and writing every day, and so you can just naturally slip it into that time…)
- Every day, do some wrist exercises, or wrist yoga, to look after wrist. (Note to self: must see chiropractor. I keep putting this off, because to see the chiropractor costs forty pounds.)
- Every day, do some singing exercises. (These are special singing exercises, for, erm, snorers.)
- Every day, play a bit of guitar or piano?... (My self-professed raison d’être since I was a kid, music is getting lost by the wayside somehow. I never make time for it anymore.)
- Every day, do something for my business. (I am a businesswoman. I’ve started a business. Most of the time I forget I’m actually doing this, and instead get tangled in a mire of looking at job adverts and wondering ‘shouldn’t I get a steady job with a pension’.)
- Every day, go swimming or do some yoga, because it makes me feel better.
- Every week (so, on some days), do some exercises from the current self-help book of choice (because you’re actually meant to do them, not just read them, nod sagely, and think how useful they would be.)
(And then there’s the stuff from the Money self-help book, which I should be doing every day, because it is important: )
- Every day, read something about money (note to self: must get better at understanding my finances, doing things like filling in claims forms immediately, and generally valuing myself more)
- Every day, do some affirmations. (Affirmations, as in positive statements that you’re using to try and re-wire your brain. So you’re trying to go from thinking thoughts like ‘I am useless with money’ to ‘I like money and I appreciate what it does for me’. ‘I am very optimistic about my financial future.’)
- Every day, I’m meant to be writing down what I spend. (I forget to do this, obviously.)
Thing is, if you’ve read more than, like, one self-help book, the lists of things ‘to do every day’ just gets a bit insane. I have this vision of myself spending all morning meditating and writing, exercising and affirming, having cold showers and cooking lovely eggs for breakfast, and of course this is all great, though it assumes you don’t actually need to be anywhere before, like, 11 a.m.). Not to mention that the whole system falls apart on any day when your job requires you to be up at daybreak to travel somewhere (I am doing the Grotty Job again, by the way), or on days when you have a job interview the next day and you’re sitting around in your pyjamas trying to prepare for it (like today).
Well. Today, at least, I am reasonably successful. I am up and about, have cancelled all Grotty Jobs and University-related activities, and I’m sitting here, porridge heating gently in the kitchen, and I’ve written this. Let this blog be today’s ‘morning pages.’
Have a good day, everybody!.....