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Mimsy and Outgrabe

a record of panic, parenting, teaching, and art making

  • Writer's pictureSarah Gutowski

Feeling Stabby and Full of Foul Language (This Too Shall Pass)

Except I'm actually spiraling: no trust, no process.

As I hike into the autumn years of my life (ahahahahaha ... *sob*) I'm feeling less and less capable of weathering the sudden storms and intermittent disasters that inevitably occur in life, although I was under the distinct impression that the opposite was supposed to be true — so many wiser older women talking about their increased confidence in life, fewer f*cks given, more focus on what truly matters.

I have none of this.

But as someone who figured out pretty early that the second and third wave feminists were either entirely delusional and/or rabid liars, I should be used to disillusionment, right?

Anyway, this morning I read the following thread on The Twitter about building a practice vs. waiting for inspiration:

I think it's a good anecdote. It's a good idea. It's valuable to just do the work and build practical habits instead of waiting for a muse.

But my perpetual exhaustion in the face of small crises, one after the other, can't handle routine and habit-building. I mean, I'm *trying*, but I feel derailed quite frequently. I'm so discouraged by the slightest bad news, and it feels like there's a lot of "little" bad news, even when faced with evidence of all that is good and right in my life (maybe not the world).

Trying not to make this a crybaby post. Now that the apocalypse fires in Canada are blowing smoke in another direction(!!!), the weather on the island is beautiful and skies are clear and I should be feeling naturally optimistic with so much Vitamin D and fresh air coursing through my system. Right?

Here's what I want to do with my summer:

  • Go for a lot of walks outside

  • Sleep

  • Hydrate

  • Grow some vegetables, cook with them

Here's what I *should* do with my summer:

  • Shed the extra animal weight steroids and stress have bestowed on me (READ: Stop eating all the bad things and f*cking begin running again already)

  • Clean my f*cking house from top to bottom because it's honestly looking closer and closer like some well-meaning person will suggest us for an episode of Hoarders

  • Finish my f*cking play

  • Create the podcast/audio project episodes for It's All Too Much

  • Create all the social media things in advance and que them for the launch of The Familiar

  • Finish my web site redesign

  • Read and review all of the books that I *said* I would read and review

  • Read all of the books of my writer friends that I *want* to read

  • Read all of the books that I find nourishing for my own actual development as a writer/artist/curious person

  • Actually prep all five of my classes for the fall semester so that I'm not prepping while I'm also trying to teach

  • Figure out a budget and stick to it so that my family doesn't end up losing our home and resorting to couch surfing with relatives. (Who would take in five people and three dogs and one bunny, anyway?)

So, I mean, obviously my problem is that I want to do *all the things* and that I *can't* do *all the things* and that I should be happy with accomplishing just *some* of those things.

But that has never been my way.

Also, as I grow older, I really really wonder if I have some kind of undiagnosed (or newly developed) form of attention deficit, because the way I can become distracted lately is seriously awful and detrimental to any kind of progress in any area of my life.

Also, also: I'm really f*cking stubborn. And full of foul language. And damnit, everything on that long list feels really important — not in a, "is this going to save the world or someone's life?" way but in a "this is how you prove your worth" way. Because I HAVE ISSUES, obviously.

I said this wasn't going to be a crybaby post, and maybe it isn't. Maybe it's a surly anger-ridden self-hating post. Not sure. No time to figure that out now -- I have to return to the 6-week summer course I'm teaching currently and grade the millions of things I assigned. (Because, again, ISSUES.)


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