I’ve just changed (look up) the tagline of my blog. So I’m officially allowed to write this sort of shit, instead of feeling subtly guilty and or dirty for cheating on my novel blog as well as my actual novel.
Anyone seen the film Sliding Doors in which Gwyneth Paltrow inhabits two parallel story lines: one with luscious flowing locks, and t’other with sassy Brad-Pitt era slick-fringed crop? (There’s probably a proper hair-dressy word for this style. Do say if you know.)
It all hinges (nice bit of door-related humour for you there) on whether or not she makes her train. I’ll say no more, because spoilers, but suffice to say that, as butterflies’ wing beats can make skyscrapers crash (or something; as you may have gathered, I don’t really understand chaos theory), the missing or catching of a London train has profound effects on more than Paltrow’s flaxen hair.
I think lately I seem like I’m happy and smiley and possibly hothousing metaphorical testicles under my dress (we all know that real ones don’t make you ballsy). And often I am. But you know how people say you’re only ever three pay cheques away from homelessness? For me it’s three shit things away from feeling entirely rubbish about myself. Not even three, actually. Today is one of those days. And I’ve only accrued two reasons. One’s just the usual baloney I tend to get myself involved in, and the other’s the fact that it’s Father’s Day. If you’ve read this post you’ll know that my dad has dementia. Buying him presents is the devil’s own work. In the end I bought baby shampoo, because he hates having his hair washed, and anyway, blah, that’s the end of the sentence because I physically can’t write down the other stuff I’m thinking.
It makes me sad, is all.
So this could be a crappy day.
And then again, it couldn’t.
Like Gwyneth catching/not catching her train, I suppose I have two choices: sit here accumulating gloom, or get up and live.
The ‘getting up and living’ option was just on the brink of including a walk in the woods, but God or Zeus or whoever has put the kibosh on that with a sheet of thrashing rain (which I wouldn’t actually mind walking in, but my neighbours would probably think I’d gone mental again if I set off in that). So I’m back at the drawing board.
I reckon, with a nod to radical acceptance, the crucial don’ts are these:
don’t wish things were different;
don’t feel angry with the world for the fact that things aren’t different;
don’t feel angry with yourself for the fact you’re not different;
don’t feel angry with other people for the fact they‘re not different;
don’t feel differently about yourself because of other people;
don’t let jealousy make you feel differently about other people;
don’t let any old riffraff into your head.
And the crucial dos, I reckon, are these:
have bubbles in your bath;
have chats with the (many, lovely) people who actually give quite a lot of fucks about you;
step away from the school campaign for long enough to remember you were once a (sort of) writer;
play some fortissimo piano, wrong notes and all;
post a link to your speech at the school meet last week where (drum roll) you got a standing ovation;
post a link to the school survey you set up (to counter the ‘official’ piece of taxpayer-funded shit) and remind the nice readers of this here blog than anyone can fill it out (hint hint);
get up, get dressed, get some music on;
have tea, have cake, be kind to yourself;
remember it’s you who decides what to think about;
be smiley and happy, this afternoon, when you visit your dad: no matter what, you can still have a cup of tea and a row about politics together;
and maybe, just maybe, retreat to your novel? It’s where you belong. Possibly. Maybe. Most of the time.
And, just as I write these words, the rain has stopped. The sun is shining. Turned out nice after all.