Good evening, Internet, and a Happy New Year to you all.

I seem to have taken a break from blogging over the festive period. I didn’t mean to but it just worked out that way. I was brought up not to speak with my mouth full and as I have spent two weeks fattening myself up for Christmas (and New Year as it turns out), I simply haven’t had enough time between mouthfuls of roast potatoes and gin in which to put fingers to keyboard.

I did attempt a Christmas blog post, and I have included this after the jump. I could have posted it today instead of this missive but it’s the 2nd January and I couldn’t bring myself to do that for the sake of chronological integrity (I am nothing if not particular about chronology. Ask anyone).

Today is the 2nd of January (as previously stated (Clearly I am not particular about repetition (or parentheses))), and so as far as I am concerned it is the first day of 2012. I realise that this sounds contradictory given that I have just made a point of my own fastidious approach to the prevention of anachronism, but internally, this makes perfect sense. The 31st December/New Year’s Eve/Hogmanay (delete as applicable) is like walking to the end of a cliff and being tipped abruptly into the 1st January/New Year’s Day/Hangover Day (delete as applicable). This seems very bad planning. I like the idea of waking up at the bottom of that cliff bright, alert, ready to take stock of the new landscape with enthusiasm, planning my ascent up the next cliff face full of optimism. But to do this, you need a little time to brush yourself down, recuperate from the fall and blink the dust out of your eyes (or, to speak plainly, to down a few paracetamol and hide under the duvet until the vomiting abates – meh tomato tomato). My point is that you need a buffer day. So I suggest that the 2nd of January be considered the first day of the New Year from now on and we just write off January 1st for the wash out that it generally is.

So, time for a few resolutions:

  1. Start new year with a hacking cough – DONE (it’s always good for morale to tick off one resolution early.
  2. Finish PhD –pending
  3. Drink less (I am aiming to be a moderate drinker by this time next year).
  4. Go back to the psychiatrist and explain that the reason I never answered their letters was because of the ADHD they diagnosed and that this is proof of the pudding that is my need for my prescription to be resumed.
  5. Be less neurotic (take it from me, by the end of this year I’ll be updating my blog daily with, like, affirmations of my own positivity and going with the flow and just being generally so relaxed that I’ll maybe fall asleep on the keyboard thusly: nnnnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkllllllllll but hey, who cares, right? Zen.

Right I’m bored of making resolutions now. I will just resolve to try to have a nice day as many times as possible in the coming 365 (one day down but this year is a leap year so I think my sums are accurate). And not to die. I would quite like not to die too.

So continue reading after the jump if you want to see a back-up of my brain from  27th December, otherwise –

 

Many happy returns of the New Year!

Read the rest of this entry »

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An attempt at brevity…

December 9, 2011

Morning,

So. Without further ado, I’m going to finish telling you what I started to tell you yesterday about SuperCoach Bev (SCB) and my day of productivity on Wednesday.

It all began at 11am on Wednesday morning when SCB called and we spoke a bit about my difficulties with procrastination etc and why I didn’t have much faith in my ability to implement organisational strategies after years of obsessing over to-do-lists and timetables that I’ve never managed to stick to. Indeed, I think this is an experience to which many ADHDers can relate and so needs no further explanation. Because my posts tend to be quite text-heavy (and recent feedback suggests I might want to think about y’know, brevity), I am going to use a visual aid from the good people at xkcd.com (sorry about this, you have probably lost several hours since clicking on this link) to explain this phenomenon to the non-ADHers among you:

So yes, you see my problem. Anyway, SCB has come up with some crafty ideas to prevent this from happening and I’m going to be open-minded and give them a go. On Wednesday though, the conversation went like this:

SCB: What do you need to do today?

Me: Take my duvet to the dry cleaners because my cat pissed on it again, write a report on my student whose dissertation I am (laughably enough) supervising, and finish my PhD.

SCB: That might not be a realistic to-do-list. Let’s focus on the first two. It’s better to achieve those two things than not achieve anything because you’ve set an unrealistic goal.

Me: Good point. How do I achieve the first two things?

SCB: You half half an hr to get dressed and get out of the house, one hour to get back from the dry cleaners, and then you need to split up the work into 15-30 minute sessions with breaks in between. I will be phoning and texting at regular intervals to make sure you’re on track.

And she did! And I did it! It was an amazing brilliant feeling. I’m not sure whether it was the encouragement, the close supervision, or my need to please that made this work for me but I’m not questioning it. With the exception of two small kitchen fires, it was a really good day and I feel better.

My next step is to go back on the meds (I’ve actually been meaning to write a post about this since October). This is going to be a long step (more a lighthouse-like flight of stairs really)  consisting of many hundred gabillion steps which are as of yet unknowable but I am feeling hopeful, determined, motivated… It’s very unusual.

Anyway, yesterday I forgot it was Thursday (clearly not cured yet) so here’s my belated weekly Haiku for ADHD:

 

 

I love your blue coat—

Sorry, what were we saying?

I don’t remember.

 

You Got Fail…

November 3, 2011

Good morning afternoon evening, Internet.

It’s 9.13 am. Today I am going to achieve the follwing:

1. Blog post – about things I’m going to achieve today.

2. Exercise – 30 mintues of entertaining mid-morning passengers on bus routes 36, 136, 171, and 177.

3. Shower – no explanation needed.

4. Go to Post Office to collect parcels that postman should have delivered but didn’t because he couldn’t be arsed to ring the doorbell so left “while you were out” cards instead. (I feel like crossing out the “while you were out” bit in angry red pen and changing it to “while you were in your flat patiently listening to door bell, not having a bath, or playing music, and generally postpoing all activities that could pose an obstacle to successful receipt of parcel.” And then posting said cards back to Royal Mail.)

5. Write 800 words of PhD thus attaining 8 points towards weekend reward.

12.19 pm: Haven’t yet achieved any of the above. Could’ve achieved step number 1 had it not been for reading new blog posts by other people and getting distracted. However since then, I’ve drunk some coffee, brushed the cats, and had a think. Thinking resulted in realisation that I might have got my priorites muddled and should maybe reorder list before embarking on it. Have now decided that list should read as follows:

1. Write 800 words of PhD

2. Go to Post Office

3. Exercise

4. Have shower (whichever way you look at it, this one needs to come after step 3)

5. Write blog post so can include paragraph on sense of achievement to be had from successful completion of five-point plan.

12.48 pm: Have just looked at Royal Mail cards and realised Post Office shuts at 1pm. Bollocks. Will have to go tomorrow. Have also realised that M is coming over tonight and therefore I will need to do the washing up and collect up the contents of my study from the living room and return them to the study. Revised list:

1. Write 800 words of PhD

2. Tidy Up

3. Exercise

4. Have shower

5. Write blog post.

14.43: Realised I had no coffee, cat food, or lightbulbs, and was quite hungry so went to Tescos. Forgot to buy coffee, cat food or lightbulbs so had to go back. Still achieved none of the above aims for the day. Am going to skip steps  2 and 3 due to lack of time. New list:

1. Have shower

2. Write 800 words of Phd

3. Write blog post (so far this is the only thing on the list that I have made a start on. And this has definitely not been the post I was planning to write).

 

15.15: Have successfully changed lightbulbs in all lamps. Haven’t managed to change ceiling lights due to possibility of injury/death etc. M can do this when he comes over later. This wasn’t on the original list, which is a shame as represents an achievement (have been carrying around old lightbulbs in handbag for a gabillion years).

 

16.15: Internet! You’ll be glad to know I have had a shower!  1 goal down, 2 to go.

 

16: 24: Went to make cup of tea. Couldn’t decide whether strange flashing I saw out of corner of eye was lightening or something wrong with one of new lightbulbs. Further investigation proved distracting but inconclusive.

 

16.30: M just text to say he’s got to work till 18.30 so I have an extra hour to write these 800 words. Have decided therefore to publish this blog post thereby achieving 2 goals from the updated list and getting rid of the temptation to blog rather than PhD.

 

16.37: Just counted number of words in this post – 611. That’s 189 words off my daily PhD writing goal. OUTPUT FAIL.

Good morning, Internet.

It’s a chilly autumnal morning here in Wonderland. I have had an uncharacteristic (and entirely involuntary) early start to the day, having been woken up by the postman who delivered my Halloween costume. I forgot to take off my make-up last night and had been in a very deep sleep so the poor guy could be forgiven for his barely concealed surprise when his knock was answered by a creature for whom the donning of a scary Halloween costume could only represent an improvement. A creature who resembled this chap:

Anyway, I digress. After a shaky start, I am determined to remain on-topic today without hesitation, repetition or deviation. I need to talk to you about my decision to go back on the Ritalin before the rapidly loosening ball of wool that is my life unravels completely. I’m feeling completely incapable of getting things done and it’s always the PhD and my blood pressure that suffers most.

For example: I have so much to do today, and I am desperately trying not to panic. I am having people over to the flat tonight for a halloween gathering. Ideally, my itinary for the day would go something like this:

1) Blog about my ADHD meds (or lack thereof).
2) Despite lack of said meds, nevertheless, produce 3 or 4 hours of quality writing towards my PhD, thus sedating the little monster of PhD anxiety so that he has a good long nap.

3) Clean flat from top to bottom without breaking off at any point to explore the Internet or check that the dietary needs of chinchillas have not changed since the last time I conducted this research. Pay particular attention to the removal of cat fur from surfaces that guests are likely to want to sit on.

3.i) Decorate flat with cheap Halloween tat purchased from poundshop.

3.ii) Do so without sustaining injury from climbing on furniture.

3.iii) Dispose of all packaging and rubbish associated with cheap tat. Do not
leave on living room floor.

4) Go to Sainsburys and purchase food, alcohol and suitably proportioned pumpkin.

5) Carve pumpkin (may require sudden and spontaneous increase of artistic ability)

5.i) Do so without sustaining injury from big sharp knife.

5.ii) Should injury occur, at least have presence of mind to collect blood into
suitable container for incorpration into Halloween costume.

6) Shower, apply scary make-up to face, put on scary costume and wig.

7) Admit guests to flat without any indication of preparation hell. Probs attempt smile if poss but if not, pass lack of smile off as costume-appropriate expression.

8)  Drink Halloween punch until I pass out and care not that my flat enjoyed approx 1 hr of tidiness before being littered with the debris of celebration and intoxication, debris that I will inevitably be too hungover to dispose of.

Oh crap. How is that the time?? Despite the carefully delineated 8 point plan above, I am going to have to jettison Step 1 and postpone my post on ADHD meds. Again. FFS.

Systems, systems…

October 24, 2011

Ok, recently I noticed that everybody has a system. My mum, for example, has systems that enable her to not lose her car keys and find them several days later in the toe of one of my dad’s boots.**

My ex, J, had lots of systems.  These were incredibly intricately devised, compulsively maintained and … electronic. Therefore, I have not EVER seen any proof of the existence of these systems. I just believe in them because he said they existed (in fairness, the evidence speaks for itself. Before we split up and he moved out last October, their was a force of order and calm within the flat. Since then, there has been a rapid entropic slide towards the chaos which reigns currently.).

I don’t know where people get their systems from. I don’t know how they identify where a particular system might be adopted, and then proceed with adoption of said system, and then suddenly become organised and tidy and stop losing things. I just don’t get it.  It’s not so much that people manage to devise these systems themselves (although that is indeed a thing of wonder), but it’s a) that they STICK to the systems and 2)  (and this one is just mindblowingly incomprehensible to your average ADHD-er) They seem to do it without any fuss: nobody has to suggest it, there isn’t some big plan drawn up, the implementation of which somehow never seems to happen. Amazing.

So.  I have decided to get me some systems. Obviously I’m going to be realistic about this and start small.  If I manage to both implement and maintain the following small changes to my routines then I reckon in about a months time I can add some more.

1) Aim: Keep the keys to my flat hanging up on back of the door.

Objective: No more lost keys.

2) Aim: Post-it on the front door to remind me to unplug hair straighteners.

Objective: To get through a whole day at work without the  ‘Oh Shitting Fuck, have I left the straighteners on?’ panic.

3) Aim: Ditto Oven

Objective: Ditto Oven.

4) Aim: Before going to bed, check phone for unanswered texts or facebook messages from friends and family.

Objective: Not to be a shit friend/daughter/sibling any more. Or at least a little less shit.

Anyway, these may seem like tiny things but if successful in my mission to implements these checks, it will make my life a little less stressful. I figure there are some things that are unavoidably stressful. Keys, straighteners, ovens and text messages just shouldn’t be.

I’ll let you know how I get on.  In the meantime, I found this piece of paper folded into my bra one morning fairly recently (yes, I’d slept in my clothes). i have no idea how it got there. I think I may eventually need a system to prevent this kind of thing from happening but so far, the only idea i can come up with is to give up the drink and I fear that neither myself, or the local pub are ready for this momentous change anytime soon.

**Unless this system is foiled by my dad in which case, yep you got it, keys in the boot. Hi, Mum!

Aaaagh!

February 1, 2010

Number of days since chapter deadline: 3
Number of words unwritten: approx 5000
Number of items lost today: 2
Number of items found: 1
Number of hours spent looking for lost stuff: 3
Number of miracles needed: 1 would do.
Number of miracles anticipated: 0
Number of expletives uttered during course of day: Approx 5000

Fuck.

5001.

[…] to write a work of genius is almost always a feat of prodigious difficulty. Everything is against the likelihood that it will come from the writer’s mind whole and entire. Generally material circumstances are against it. Dogs will bark; people will interrupt; money must be made; health will break down. […] But for women, I thought, looking at the empty shelves, these difficulties were infinitely more formidable […][1]

And for a woman with ADHD….? Well, I don’t know about a work of genius. I’d just settle for getting this chapter of the PhD written and handed to my supervisor but here’s some things I’m going to add to the great VW’s list of distractions…

Facebook – Love it or hate it (personally, I bloody hate it) those email notifications make producing any completed work (even of distinctly dubious quality) fairly unlikely. Do you think that spending hours untagging yourself from dodgy photographic likenesses counts as extenuating circumstances?

Emails – Again, probably not something old ViWo had to contend with. Letters don’t count for her because they ended up being pored over by scholars and therefore contribute towards her already formidable corpus. Alright for some, eh?

Cats – Miaow when they want in, miaow when they want out. The warmest place to sit is the laptop keyboard except when you’re looking for that quote you can’t find, because then they’d much prefer to snooze on page 324-5.

Sharpening pencils – Or its modern day equivalent, devising a new electronic filing system for one’s pdfs.

Blackberry – Is the plural of Blackberry, still Blackberries? Even when we’re referring to the brand name? In any case, you wouldn’t catch Virginia in the drawing room IM-ing Leonard in his study  because she couldn’t be arsed to walk downstairs. No, she’d just send one of the staff. Unfortunately, my staff aren’t as compliant – they’re too busy miaowing outside the living room door and vomiting hairballs onto freshly laundered clothes.

Wikipedia – If my supervisor, advisor, or examiner is reading this then let me add the disclaimer that I do not ever resort to, will not ever resort to, and do not ever condone, usage of the people’s encyclopaedia of  everthingness. Nuh-uh. Not me. Still…all that restraint is bloody distracting, no?

Having A Room of One’s Own – A Room + Sole Possession (and therefore sole responsibility for domestic maintenance of said room) + ADHD + Impending Essay Deadline = Inevitable Temptation to Clean Vs Inevitable Conversion of Remaining Order to Total Chaos. This is known in ADHD circles as The Law of Terminal Procrastination. Guess Woolf never saw the potential irony of this one in her original thesis.

I will be adding to this list from time to time in the name of procrastination therapeutic discussion. What have I missed? Add your own entries in the comments…


[1] Woolf, V. (1929) 1998. A Room Of One’s Own and Three Guineas, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 66-7.

2010: I Resolve…

January 10, 2010

Right, I’m sidling up a little late here on the New Year resolutions. But hey, I have ADHD so that’ s ok. Just as my day seems to start  2 hours later than most people’s, and my bills are paid several days later than most people’s, so too will my 2010 start on January 10th. So without further ado, HAPPY NEW YEAR, Internet!

Here are my resolutions for the next 355 days:

1) Finish first draft of PhD

2) Be happy

Ok, so these are sort of vague, but this is a blog about ADHD and many of my posts here end up kinda long, so for my fellow ADHD-ers out there, I thought I’d cut to the chase and keep it simple. However, in the spirit of January hyper-organisation (which inevitably gives way to February lethargy), I have made a list of a series of sub-resolutions which I hope will enable me to achieve those two main goals for 2010.

So, if you’re casting about for some resolutions of your own, or you’re naturally curious, or if you have finished the rest of the internet and are running out of distractions to fuel your compulsive procrastination, then read on. Those sub-resolutions can be summarised as follows:

1. Sleep Well, Eat Well.

At the risk of sounding like a January issue of a trashy women’s mag, I reckon this one is pretty important. I am currently half-way through a two-week detox. Very modern and trendy of me. I’m not doing one of these totally hardcore all-juice diets with skin brushing etc. I just want to be able to get up in the morning without a struggle. Even when I go to bed at 10pm (very rarely) it’s a completely traumatic experience to get up before 10am. And since nobody needs 12 hours sleep and lots and lots of other people manage to get up at 6am on a regular basis and still have a life, I think I need to address this asap. I definitely need to make some improvements to my health and fitness and since I’m an all or nothing kinda gal I decided to go the whole hog and cut out the booze, the coffee (by far the hardest), salt (suprisingly easy since I used up our salt de-icing the steps), processed food, bad carbohydrates, and most other fun things. The result was a horrible headache for the first two days but now I am fully embracing the fennel salads and the chamomile tea. I am even going to bed at about 10pm (instead of 3am) and yesterday I woke up feeling a million roubles. V good start to the year – am patting myself on the back with smug smile (cannot wait to sit down to a lovely Sunday Roast made with marmite roast potatoes though- mmmmmmm). Is J’s birthday on Saturday so am finishing this healthy eating lark on Friday so that we can go out for a nice bit of dinner and a beer. However I am definitely going to allow myself NO MORE than two cups of coffee a day for the rest of the year, and will keep taking multi-vits, eating brown rice, going to the gym (yak) and getting into other healthy little habits, particularly as all these things are supposed to help with the ADHD.

2. Get Organised

Ok, this is another one that crops up on everybody’s list every year but I reckon that it’s worth giving it another go. And let’s face it, when other people say they need to be more organised they’re talking about a whole different kettle of fish to the chaotic life, house and finances of the average ADHDer. In previous years I have spent three days obsessively writing hundreds of lists and crafting elaborate filing systems that even I didn’t understand by the end of the week and had no hope of maintaining. So this year I have devised a simple yet foolproof filofax/google calendar double whammy that cannot fail to help me achieve all my lifetime dreams. No, honest it’s great. Actually I’ll do another post on this. Other things in this category include working through this book and implementing the advice therein.

3. Make Life Simpler

Sometimes I don’t know how much of my problem is ADHD alone and how much is that my life is genuinely cluttered with stuff that I have to do but that I don’t really want to do and that I only have to do because it is something that: a) I didn’t say no to when asked; b) was incredibly enthusiastic about to begin with but predictably got bored with; c) agreed to do out of a sense of guilt; or d) feel that I ought to do in order to be the kind of person who is involved in hundred of different exciting projects while still living in a whirl of social events when in actual fact I just want to stay at home with my cats and my slippers and my J and meet up with some mates to do the occasional pub quiz every so often. Well, maybe I need to find a healthy balance of the two somehow. Nevertheless, I am absolutely not going to say yes to another thing or invite stressful events/people into my life this year. Not unless it would be an unmissable professional/social opportunity, and only then if another commitment can be ditched to make room. Also, I probably need to address the fact that there are a few people in my life who take more than I’m willing/able to give for whatever reason. I need to do a post on that too. Remind me.

4. Trash Clutter

Every single day I hereby resolve to delete junk emails, and emails that do not interest me or apply to me (seminars on Medieval literature etc) and to unsubscribe from email lists that I never bother to read anyway. Ditto snail mail. I will also clear out my wardrobe and excavate my desk. Oh, and I will FINALLY put up the mail organiser/mirror type thing that I bought in 2007 to go behind the front door.

5. Time It

I will use a timer to set myself tasks for 15 minutes. Even I should be able to find the motivation to tidy up for 15 minutes, and if I set a timer when I decide to have five minutes to play on the Internet then I stand a chance of not accidentally losing 2 hours. This might work for studying too. Set the timer for 45 minutes at a time and see how much I can get done in that time. After each of the 45 min slots, I can have 15mins to fuck about. Brill.

I am feeling very positive about all this de-cluttering and have high hopes, which is nice. Maybe it’s all those herbal teas and salads but I feel sort of….happy! Tomorrow I’m going to visit my granny who is currently snowed on. She can’t get out to get any food or speak to people. I’ll be a bit like red riding hood taking her a basket of goodies – hope I don’t meet any nasty wolves on the train to Suffolk. Gotta get up early to get to Liverpool St station so am off to have a bath and read a book till bedtime. Lovely.

Bonsoir, Internet x

Now you mention it, yes, there is something missing...

Warning! Readers of a sensitive disposition may find some passages depressing.

So, according to every major retailer (and also some of those less traditional staple Christmas gift go-to’s  – I’m looking at you, AbraViagra.com), each of whom emailed me this morning to remind me, there are now six days until Christmas. SIX DAYS!

And yet, despite several end-of-term social affairs, numerous glasses of mulled wine, and three (yes, count ’em, three) Christmas cards, I am still not feeling festive. Not in the slightest, not a tiny little bit. In fact, I feel something else entirely, a dull dragging ache. Not exactly dread, although it’s not far off. Just a sort of flatness, an emptyness, like I’m out of sync with the rest of the world, a sort of robot, mechanically wishing people a Merry Christmas whilst wondering with three fifths of my brain whether that grinding irritation in my upper abdomen possibly signals the need for a nuts and bolts check-up and using the other two fifths to try and remember where I put the WD40.

I just don’t get it. I mean, I’m not usually one of those relentlessly excited festive folk. You know, the type who deal with the banality of modern living by exclaiming, ‘Only two-hundred and thirty-eight sleeps ’till Christmas !!!!’ (yes, really. Indeed, the four instances of hyperbolic punctuation I have included here are, if anything, turning down the volume of this kind of exclamation). So I’ve never indulged in the ‘start-writing-xmas-cards-the-day-after-Easter’ kind of festive cheer but I’ve always had that modest little bubble of good-will and cosyness that often accompanies chilly noses, 3:30pm dusks, and the thought of my loved ones opening carefully chosen gifts with one hand while they sip pre-pre-pre dinner sherry out of little glasses that haven’t seen the light of day for a whole year and whose faint smell of dust only serves to highlight the significance of the big day.

Granted, it’s not the same as it used to be. I don’t think it’s possible to retrieve that magical, glowing excitement that the eight-year-old version of one’s self used to feel. And that’s probably the way it should be. I’m willing to admit that the psychiatrist would probably have more than ADHD and a touch of anxiety on his hands if I was still reciting ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ from the 15th onwards, ascribing the voice on the other end of the phone to Santa on Christmas Eve despite all evidence to the contrary (it was actually my uncle impersonating St Nick  – the Welsh accent should have been an immediate giveaway), planning a nutritious carrot-based meal for Rudolph and a somewhat more alcoholic refreshment for Santa (Rudolph totally draws the short straw there, no? But he has to do all the work really. Santa just navigates with a sweep of one brandy-leaden arm that is not dissimilar to the ‘fuck off’ gesture you get at last orders when you dare to suggest that if somebody is making no effort to put any distance between their shirt front and their own vomit, then they’ve probably had enough). *Sigh* Those were the days. Filled with wonder, love, and genuine excitement. I remember being so excited one Christmas Eve that I had to get up at 2am and do star-jumps in order to make myself sleepy (I know the logic there is a bit flawed, but I was only about six so I’ll let that one pass without a full analysis).

I accept that I’m never going to feel like that again and that, framed by nostalgia, there is no point me holding up the childhood Christmasses of twenty years ago as being  the model of Christmas cheer. I do know this. But I would settle for that gently simmering feeling of well-being, humming ‘Silent Night’ to myself as I contemplate whether I have enough Christmas paper left over for each of the presents in my Top Secret Stash of Christmas Gifts or whether I’ll have to resort to Birthday Wishes paper for the last few, or how pretty the tree will look blinking away like a proud hen atop its nest of clumsy yet lovingly wrapped parcels. Most years, once the shopping is done, the cat-sitter booked, and the logistics confirmed, I look forward to Christmas – to the over-eating, the family time, and (most of all perhaps) the legitimate time off from studying.

But this year? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Partly, I think, I am truly exhausted from the end of term. By the last day of term I felt as though I had no energy left for anything else, like I just wanted to press pause on the whole world and sleep until the will to live came back. But I couldn’t because I was already a month past the deadline I had agreed with my supervisor in a fit of optimism and had got to the point that I was no longer replying to her emails because I couldn’t bring myself to respond without attaching something that justified the wait. So I had to produce something but when I finally sent her 9000 words (desperation, apparently, makes me quite prolific), I felt even worse because that 9000 words was 90% utter crap. I waffled for 8000 words in that meandering, ‘if I keep writing I might work out what it is that I want to say’ kind of way, and then I ran out of time, energy, and patience all at the same time so I sent the bloody thing just to get it out of my sight. So now, far from experiencing the satisfaction of a job well done, I cringe every time I think of  her reading it and am dreading ever having to reopen the document. Bleugh.

So perhaps it’s just a case of it being difficult to change gears and go from ‘fucky fucky fuck, fuck – it –  y –  fuck’  to ‘fa la la la laa, la la la laa’ in three days with only some panic-fuelled Christmas shopping in between during which Slade’s hyper-festive wail of ‘It’s Chriiiistmaaaaas’ served as a soundtrack to the strangled silent scream of my hyper-anxious heart. What I need, I think, is a few good nights sleep. In the meantime, here are some things I am going to do in a last-ditch attempt to feel Christmassy:

1. Have a bath.

A long, long bath. With imaginary candles. Imaginary, because this time last year I forgot to switch the bath off and flooded the flat downstairs. Adding real candles into the equation is pushing the ADHD risk assessment too far into the danger zone. Nevertheless, a long, hot bath is in order. Not least because it has been several days (I seem to forget to bathe when I am writing), and I imagine I have some of those comic-book squiggles decorating my person like an unpleasant aura.

2. Decorate the flat.

I don’t have a Christmas tree. But remember that avocado plant I started growing last spring?

3. Make some mince pies.

If that doesn’t work, nothing will.

4. Have a girls’ night in on the mulled wine and the ‘festive spirits’.

Fortunately, I have just such an appointment arranged for tonight. Love those girls, love ’em.

I’ll let you know how I get on. Hopefully you’re all feeling exceedingly Christmassy and need no such encouragement from me.

And if all else fails? Get yourself down to Homebase. I hear they have seasonal offers on crockery, portable heating, and Christmas cheer…

Season’s greetings (of a sort) xx

To do….

August 2, 2009

To do list

1) Sort my desk out

Mess

Mess

2) Sort my in-tray out (note that the cat has taken it upon herself to shred important documents. Securi-cat):

More mess

More mess

3) Sort out the debris of past obsessions:

Old mess

Old mess

4) Re-pot new obsession hobbies:

New mess

New mess

5) Sort life out

Me, messy

Me, messy

Er, yeah. I’ll let you know how I get on…