Here is a dilemma: you have a small amount of money in your pocket, enough for either a bag of potatoes or a bag of carrots, but not enough for both. You have to choose. It’s been a few years, my kids were quite young and I probably chose potatoes. Those were the days. £20 would get a week’s worth of groceries (for a family of four) if you stuck to Safeway’s Savers. The baked beans, if anyone is interested, were rubbish. The sauce was anaemic and the beans shrunken. The egg yolks were grey. Someone must have tried very hard to make the Savers products nasty so as to teach people a lesson for being hard up. I learned how to make a hundred different things with a packet of red lentils. It’s ok now. I can get potatoes and carrots whenever I want, and Heinz organic beans.
My problem now is how to spend the small amount of energy I have. The Safeways Savers equivalent would perhaps be to couch potato in front of the TV most of the day. Crap on nourishment and taste but passes the time. I haven’t yet done this as my attitude to TV is the same as some people’s to drink; that it’s ok to have after 6 o’clock. Of course this may change. But at this point, after twenty odd years of M.E. and being nothing if not realistic, I still wake with that crazy bit of expectation still intact and shiny as a new pin – that today I will achieve something. It’s like a puppy straining at the leash for the chance to get out and run. Who has the heart to shut it away? Not me. It’s the nature of the beast, this preposterous vitality of unquenchable desire and expectation. Life, bloody hell.
So back to potatoes or carrots. It seems I can, even in a relatively good space, only do one “thing” a day. Creating a poem, workshopping, teaching a class, are all “things.” It’s why I’m having a gap year. Putting a post on this blog also can be, if I spend time thinking about it. Reading a book (for a sustained period) is. Shopping in a supermarket is. Having lunch with a friend. Of course I have become an essentialist. Unnecessary shopping I have already talked about elsewhere; I don’t do it and it pleases me to make a virtue of a necessity.
This is nothing new, so no sympathy please, I howled at the moon a long time ago – and still do when the fancy takes me or when I feel my neck and ears grow hairy. But I am open to some Good Advice, if anyone would like to share. I’m not an efficient organiser which is good because that means there is room for improvement. I like lists (see below) but never do ones that are particularly useful. I did do a timetable experiment once that involved scheduling in absolutely everything (including when and for how long to eat lunchtime sandwich) the night before.
I know what you’re going to say: why not rotate? Carrots one day, potatoes the next. Why didn’t I think of that?
P.S. Thought I’d bowed out, but I seem anyway to have made it through to the Battle of the Blogs final – here, if anyone is still interested, not sure that I am though it was fun for a bit and I appreciated the votes, especially as they weren't all from my mates (ok some were but not that many!) - and I’m rather enjoying Leesa’s blog.