It’s not enough!

“Your rest is not rest. You are resting so that you can work. You are working so that you can rest. You are caught up in a circle.”
― Shunya

For five days a week we slave over a boring spreadsheet staring at screens until our retinas burn; painfully dragging ourselves through the week, completely tired and defeated, thirsty for a little bit of relief. Friday finally comes and we breathe a little; it’s the weekend, time to rest. We rest for a minute to catch our breath and wham! Monday slams us in the face like a wrecking ball. How is this acceptable? Five days on, two days off? It’s not enough!

To be completely honest, Saturday is the only true weekend-even though I spent it doing all my chores and worrying about not getting enough rest. Sunday for me is spent dreading Monday, my anxiety level rising to uncomfortable levels in anticipation of the chaos. The result of this is that I am barely able to relax and when Monday comes around I am exhausted rather than refreshed. I dislike it strongly. Who do I have to talk to about this?

At the very least I require a three day weekend-Saturday to recover from the stress of the week, Sunday to run errands, Monday to rest and mentally prepare for the new week. Hell, let’s have a four day weekend if we really care about our wellbeing. What is the point of all the technological advances if we cannot rest? There’s even talk in the sciencey circles that a two day weekend is literally ruining our health and consequently our lives, our future, and our destiny. Something to do with our circadian rhythm blah blah.

My days do not belong to me, and so I try to make up for it in the evenings and the weekends. Unfortunately for me, after work I have no motivation to do anything productive, so I just stay in bed and stare at my phone until my head hurts. Nighttime bedtime procrastination plays heavy into this. My day is not mine, so I’m going to stay up as long as I want,, doing nothing, even though it is ruining me.

The only silver lining with the weekend going by so quickly is that I know the week will go by as fast; though it does not seem that way at 9am Monday morning, the distance between Moody Monday and Fun Friday is just a twinkling. Of course this then taps into my existential fear of the passage of time and how it seems time is speeding by, leaving me in its wake. It’s Monday then it’s Friday and it’s Monday again, and I’m just here, sitting still in the midst of it all like a passenger in a bullet train. But I digress.

The world has seen quite a few movements in recent times, the next one has to be for work-life balance. #FreetheWeekend #IStandWiththeWeekend #Handsoffmyweekend

I desire nothing more than a deep restful sleep. I fear I’ll never get it.

I have no idea.

“All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
And I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
But who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

We have a huge barrel of wine, but no cups.
That’s fine with us. Every morning
We glow and in the evening we glow again.”

― Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

Third time’s the charm?

Last year when I was still in the throes of baking, before I was attacked by cystic acne and vicious tummy fat, I attempted to make orange pound cake. I tried this twice, and failed twice before giving up on this, and then giving up on baking altogether.

Still my fondness for baking has been ignited, and will not be completely extinguished so easily. Plus it was bank holiday Monday, and everyone was out enjoying the great outdoors so I figured I ought to commemorate the day as well, and what better way than to revisit an old nemesis? That kids, is how I ended up baking orange pound cake for the third time.

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Outside is open and I am lonely again.

Much has been said about how the lockdown must be a dream for introverts, and I have written about my sheer happiness about not having to leave my house, and not needing an excuse for not having any plans. That has all come to a bittersweet end.

While the world rejoices at the reopening of the great outdoors, I feel the familiar stirring of loneliness and it saddens me. I feel as though I have been enjoying a deep restful sleep and now the alarm has gone off. Already I have been asked by a thousand people what my plans for the bank holiday weekend was, and then asked by a million people what I did over the bank holiday weekend. I have forced to listen to my flatmates as they regaled me with tales of camping, hiking and general merriment. I have had to turn down an invitation to eat out with some of them-my small talk is reserved for the kitchen-and in a panic struggle to come up with a suitable excuse. I have seen my friends post about the fun things they got up to outside. Everyone is banging on about how lovely the weather is, and wanting to know how I will be enjoying it. I have had to revert to my lonely girl phase-smile and say oh I didn’t get up to much, I just chilled. It is depressing.

The one thing about having a national lockdown imposed upon us is that it took away the pressure of socialising and the fear of missing out, Everyone was at home, so I was not abnormal in that sense. It was no longer weird that I didn’t leave my house the whole weekend, and I no longer had to be ashamed at how empty my life was.

Still, in spite of myself I am pleased that outside is open. I know some people must have suffered greatly with having to be cooped indoors all the time, and oh how happy they must be. I wish I shared the sentiment, personally.

I foresee a resurgence of all the loneliness posts, now that outside is open again. I already bought myself a copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and I plan on rereading that. Watch out for the sad girl posts.

You might roll your eyes and ask: why don’t you just go out and make friends? For this I have to refer to one of my favourite quotes from Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City:

“The lonelier a person gets, the less adept they become at navigating social currents. Loneliness grows around them, like mould or fur, a prophylactic that inhibits contact, no matter how badly contact is desired.”

C’est la vie, unfortunately.