Blog-nill Busyness

This has probably been one of the longest blackouts in my the history of my blog. Fairly certain of it. I would say that it’s not because I’ve been insanely busy, but because I have FELT extremely busy. You know how some days you feel like there couldn’t possibly be enough time for all the things you have to do, then you manage to do them all and feel so exhausted from the achievement that you plop into bed early? It hasn’t been like that either.

 

But I have felt really busy, because I am writing my BA in English Literature, and baby-sitting two wonderful children, writing poetry again, playing Skyrim and trying to use any left-over seconds and minutes on spending time with my husband, because it is what holds me together.

 

I realised yesterday that certain things just go once you’re too busy. Amazing super-hero couples who get children start slacking off in areas of their lives where they were always on top off the things before. Organised young women become less organised. OCD young men start realising that maybe their disorder wasn’t so serious, because the mess doesn’t bother them anymore.

 

Here’s a list of things I realised go when you’re “too busy”:

 

1. Blog.

Don’t think I need to say much here. Unless you are a very popular blogger, whose life it is to blog, who spends a minimum of two hours a day on their blog and commenting and networking… you’ll probably stop blogging for a while. Strangely enough, it’s when life gives you more to blog about that you don’t have the time to blog about it. (Though I very much doubt that anyone would WANT me to blog about my 25 page essay on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the various forms of critique it has been subject to. Though it’s actually really interesting. It is!)

 

2. Social life

“I would love to come, but…” becomes your new catch-phrase. Often you would love to come, but there is also a certain relief in being able to hide yourself under heaps of busyness and let the rest of the world socialise with itself for a while. They’ll be fine. They may accuse you of being a hermit and boring and that you don’t love them anymore, but they’ll come around once you’re out of the bubble again. I hope.

 

3. Cleaning

Now that you don’t have people over anymore, and you are either out of the house doing busy things, or in front of your computer doing busy things, or in your bed reading about busy things… You stop noticing what your floor and your bathroom looks like. I remember very well indeed, days and weeks when I had absolutely nothing to do, which would tend to end in someone or other coming home and me trying to subtly get them to notice how shiny the kitchen had become while they were out, or how the lamps are a bit brighter, and the toothbrushes whiter… When I am restless and bored, I clean. But when I’m busy, I clearly don’t.

 

4. Personal hygiene

Or grooming, maybe I should say. Though showering becomes one of those “did we shower yesterday or the day before? Can’t remember. Can’t be bothered. I’m probably clean” things. But plucking your eyebrows turns into this ludicrous waste of time, attempting to make your hair look a little less like a sad dog before you leave the house is a no go, and whether your clothes are matchy or just serve the purpose that is currently required of them (right now warm, waterproof and covering all my rude bits) is not really a question anymore: the matchy goes.

 

5. Sleep

This should be further up the list, probably. The busier we get, the less we see those few hours of empty brain-ness as time-wasting crap. The problem is of course that the busier you are, the more tired you are, and the less sleep you allow yourself, till you just want to cry because you’re so tired but you just have to finish writing this assignment first…

 

6. Food

First, you stop cooking anything complicated that will take too long. Then, you stop cooking all the meals you used to. Finally, you live on snacks and toast. Or snack. Singular.

 

7. Health and fitness

Let’s stop thinking of this list in chronological order, because this should really go at the top. If we have any excuse in our lives to stop working out, we usually do. But with the busy comes this feeling that we can’t allow ourselves to be ill, to have colds, headaches, muscle-aches… So out of the house you go, face imploding, because you are too busy to take a break and let your body get back to normal.

 

8. More stuff

What goes for you when you’re busy? What are the first things you give up/neglect when life comes around and starts getting you terribly involved in living it? Besides your blog, of course… say your blog… it’s not just me, say it… please…

Feathers to feathers, air to air

I’ve had a very strange morning. It didn’t start out very strange. Well, that’s not entirely true. For one, I slept less than my boyfriend, and got up BEFORE my room-mate! Both of these things are very uncommon for me. To explain why I got up so early, I need to back up a little.

Of late, I’ve started getting aches and pains and a bunch of disturbingly crackling and popping noises in my knees, hip, back, shoulders and neck. It got worse with time so I went to the doctor. The doctor sadly didn’t say that all I need is good love, instead she claimed that if I simply started exercising more all of these problems would go away. Apparently if you experience joint-problems, running, biking and swimming is going to help, because the more stress you put on them, the better. Oh the logic. Anyway, even though I’m not entirely convinced the exercise will solve all these problems, I figured it also wouldn’t really hurt. (I wasn’t entirely correct there either, since my knees feel a little worse for the wear now, but according to the good doctor I should be getting better so I’m going to keep doing this for a while.)

So I got a membership card that covers all of the public swimming-pools in the Stockholm area, a swimsuit that doesn’t look completely indecent and went on my merry way to become healthier. I signed up three days ago and I’ve swum every day since. I love swimming, the water is calming, the motion is tiring but also relaxing and there is just something so tranquil and euphoric about floating, half weightless, in those blue waters. All I really need now is to find a time when the pool isn’t teeming with people. I’d prefer a bit more privacy and a bit more space to swim around in.

That’s why I went this morning. Saturdays they have an hour and a half, women only. So I figured that a) there would be less people there (I was wrong) and b) at least someone wouldn’t be gawking at me as I was trying to fix my joint-problem. 7:30 sharp I dragged myself hastily out of bed, had a quick shower, a bowl of yoghurt with honey and a glass of orange-juice. I checked my mail, glanced over the facebook updates and headed out the door. I was a little behind schedule, and in my hurry I almost missed it.

One step ahead of me up the sets of stairs between our apartment buildings and the little pathway leading down to the subway there was a bird. A tiny bird, lying perfectly still on the step, almost invisible in its grey and brown against the stone of the steps. I froze. The bird didn’t move, but its eyes appeared to narrow just a little. I thought for a moment. What to do? The bird might already be dead, but if it wasn’t, could I save it? I was running late for my swim. I stuck the cigarette in my mouth and walked past the bird. I stopped five steps later, cursing under my breath. I have this problem where if there is someone in need, human or animal of other kind, or even a half-dying plant, I need to help them to the best of my abilities. I couldn’t just let the bird lie there if it could still be saved.

So back to the apartment I ran, found a plastic bottle-cap and filled it with liquid honey and lukewarm water, got some breadcrumbs from the cupboard above the fridge and then headed back out, carefully and slowly so as not to spill any of the honey-water. In my head the little bird first stared at the cap to determine whether I was trying to poison it or not, then drank from it, slowly regaining health and strength until it’d fly away. I reached the steps. My little feathered protegé was lying in an awkward position, head against the ground, and I just knew. In the three or so minutes it had taken me to get the water and bread from my place and return, the little fellow had died. I was devastated, and a little grossed out. In one last, futile attempt, I put the cap down next to its head and spread the crumbs around it. I knew the bird was dead but if there was any hope, I wasn’t going to take my chances.

I went swimming and on my return the little one was still lying there. Confused as to what to do I tried calling the sup, but it being a Saturday he was of course not in his office. I then called my boyfriend, despairing over what to do. I knew I should really put it in a plastic bag and just dispose of it in the trash but I really didn’t want the little guy to go that way. No-one should ever have to be put in the trash. So after some mental dialogue, I threaded some bags over my hand and dug out a big bird-feather that Selon had dragged home one day on one of his little adventures. Back at the steps for the fourth time today, I looked, and the bird wasn’t lying next to the cap anymore. For a second, I thought someone had moved it, maybe buried it as I intended to, but then I saw him lying to the side of the steps. Like someone had just kicked him out of the way.

I gingerly picked him up with my makeshift lab-gloves and carried him off to some secluded location. I was amazed at how very light he was. I grew up on a farm so on occasion I’ve had to move dead mice from the traps, and they are heavy buggers, but this little bird weighed next to nothing, and it made me even more sad somehow. After a few minutes of walking, I saw a rocky elevation in the forest next to the road. What better place to bury a bird than high up? I climbed it, drenching my flats in the process, and put the little one down on a tuft of grass in the middle of the rise. Then I placed the big bird-feather over him. “I hope you had a good life” I told him, looking at the tiny eye, still wondering if it was going to come back to life at any minute, and then walked off.

It’s strange how something so very random, something that should be of no concern to us, can move us so very deeply, and make such a strong impression. I felt horrible over that second where I almost walked away without even trying to save this little bird, and then I went out of my way to make sure it would have the best bird-funeral in history. If it wasn’t for my joints I’d never have gone to the doctor, and then in turn I would probably not have picked up swimming, and if I hadn’t I would not have stepped outside today, or if I had, maybe at a later time, when I would not have seen the little brown and grey feather-ball against the brown leaves and slush next to the steps where someone kicked it out of the way. So the little bird is gone, but his presence did not go unnoticed, for in his memory lie some breadcrumbs on the stone-steps, next to a bubble-gum pink bottle-cap filled with honey-water.

A word of caution.

It seems to be somewhat of a trend here on WordPress to write about the past year, the way one of my favourite fellow bloggers did, regarding the lessons you learned and the things you experienced. Though in most cases when I attempt to keep myself up to date with trends, I fail miserably, I figured I’d give this one a shot. 

Tips for future me to remember

  • Yes, kittens are just as cute as you remember them to be. They are also vicious, selfish, loud, destructive and never asleep when you want them to be. And though they might be warm, fuzzy, soft, with adorable eyes and purrs and smell like summer-rain and honey a lot of the time, they can also be a tornado of claws smelling like litter-box and bad fish-breath
    Friend or foe?

    .

  • Attempting to recall, in detail, the worst nightmare you ever had, especially when alone in your home at 4 in the morning, is an absolutely horrible idea. Yes, you may be on the phone with a person who makes you feel reasonably safe and there may or may not be a katana standing next to your bed, but it doesn’t mean the panicky mess that is your brain and racing heart will listen to the voice of reason. So just don’t do that again.
  • Remember how you dyed your hair red, then dark brown, then something that was almost blonde, then dark-brown, then more red, then black and then how you tried for ages to get back to normal again? Look away from the Hazel Gold 601 missus. You are not dyeing your hair again!
  • Apparently, you can get more muscles and stamina from working out in your own home than you did when you went to the gym all the time. But without the high expense and the public humiliation. So just keep at that, it’s not so bad.
  • If you get the chance, invent a time-machine, go back to August of 2009 and stop the idiot on the back-porch from lighting that first cigarette. She doesn’t realise the gravity of her actions. Please inform her of how that puff will lead to many nights of freezing in the snow just so she can kill herself a bit more, and even more moments and guiltily moving as far away as possible from her non-smoking friends so she won’t blow second hand smoke in their faces. It’s not going to be worth it. Also, slap her for me.
  • The more you worry about your grades and doing well in them, the better you’ll do. It’s when you relax and get over-confident that you’re screwed. Also, keep double-checking with teachers when it comes to assignments and what they require of you. They’re bad at telling you that.
  • It is possible to miss people every single day. Now go get really rich so you can fly all over the world and see the people you love on a regular basis instead of sitting here missing them.
  • The end of the world will come and go many times, but the only thing that constitutes the end of the world is your own, personal end of the world. (Even if we all die, the world is pretty damn likely to go on. I don’t think it’s a big fan of us and won’t mourn our loss a whole lot, anyway.) My end of the world is the same day that books are no longer read or used. If you find me with one of those internet-book-pads in my hand, that is probably a sign of our upcoming demise.
  • Allie Brosh probably won’t write another blog-post in a long while. Don’t cry yourself to sleep over it, but rather treasure the rare times that she does.
  • Your friends are still the best part of your life and they will probably always be. So just take good care of them, and get better at keeping in touch. It’s not that f-ing hard.
  • Watching countless episodes of “House”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “The Office”, “Glee”, “Sex and the City” and “Black Books” does not count as being productive. Not even if you’re knitting while you’re watching them.
  • The blogging world is ridiculously exciting. Once you click a new post or check out a new writer, there’s no telling where you’ll end up. Be careful, be safe, but keep exploring.
  • Remember that dream you had where you had a bunch of cavities in your teeth? Go get a dental check-up.
  • You’ll turn out ok. At least if you keep thinking that you don’t have to worry so much about it.

Oh the madness!

This past week or so has been absolute madness. Between studying for my finals (which are all done, since yesterday, thank goodness!), crafting (there may or may not be hand-made Christmas-cards coming the way of certain readers of mine *wink wink*), Christmas-shopping, cooking, baking, cleaning, putting the finishing touches on my bedroom and trying to follow a new work-out regime… there has been little time for  more basic things, like eating, sleeping, breathing and blogging. “Come now, you don’t blog nearly as much as you do those other things!” you might say. But don’t be too sure.

Christmas is a time of great excitement for me. As you might have noticed, I changed a few things on my blog to make it more Christmassy. Though there isn’t a single decoration up in the flat yet, I have great visions of lights, tinsel, garlands and flowers. (The flowers will undoubtedly have to be cancelled, because the kittens really enjoy eating plants, and lilies and suchlike that are the ultimate Christmas-flower tend to be a wee bit poisonous. Though maybe if they die they’d learn not to eat plants. Just kidding.)

It is also a time of watching the Christmas-specials of several shows I enjoy following; How I Met Your Mother, The Office and (please forgive me) Glee. The latter has managed to make the worst Christmas-special I think I’ve seen so far. I’m not sure how black and white, Star Wars references, old and mostly bad Christmas-hits performed poorly and some sort of cheesy moral message of goodness and giving is supposed to come out nicely, but they didn’t manage to do it here.

Mostly it’s a time for over-eating clementines. I am addicted to these small, orange fruits. I have been for as long as I can remember. I have very vivid memories of going to my grandmother’s for Christmas, dashing to see who’d get first to the giant leather swivel-armchair – which we’d then proceed to spin around and around in till we got sick – eating all of the forbidden candy – our parents were not believers in letting your children eat conventional, regular candy – and above all, the giant bowl of clementines on the coffee-table, which I got to have as many of as I liked.¨

I see this happening, very soon.

I usually never get hit by the Christmas-stress. Yet this year for some reason, I feel like there’s not enough time left in the world for all the things I want to get done. It’s the 16th already. It’s madness. 2012 is just around the corner, with all its doomsday prophecies and – for me – bright outlook, seeing as how it’s the year of the Dragon, my sign in the Chinese horoscope. The chances of me getting into university this spring are pretty slim and hanging by a thread, depending on the authorities carrying their weight and getting stuff done for me in time (and when have they ever been known to do that???). Yet I do not feel disheartened. When there’s something in your life that you can’t do, thousands of opportunities for other things that you can do open up, things you might not even have thought of before.

How are you planning on spending your Christmas? Are you as stressed out as I am? As excited? Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

 

Contemporary me.

Hello my darlings! Have been a tad inactive here again I see, so since my brain is slightly fried with exhaustion and school-work and I have to get up in less than six hours, I won’t write anything profound at all. Just a list. (You know how I love my lists). So here are a few things that are relevant to my life as of right now;

E-cigarettes. These handy little thingumabobs enable you to smoke indoors without actually smoking, to smoke around other people without blowing harmful second-hand smoke into their pretty little faces, and even though there has not been extensive tests and research made yet regarding their harmful effects on those who use them, they are sure to be less harmful than cigarettes. Plus they almost like look real cigarettes, so you don’t have to feel like an idiot using them.

Dark Angel. A tv-series from 2000 starring Jessica Alba. I never thought much of Alba as an actress before, and though I do still feel like she isn’t the most outstanding of actresses, she is certainly good enough to do what she does. She is also very very attractive. Like very. The series is fun, it’s about a post-crisis – of the global financial kind – and Alba is one of several genetically modified children which have escaped from a lab-facility where they were being trained into super-soldiers. If nothing else, this series is a fun glimpse into how much of the 90ies that were still left in 2000 – and how much of the 80ies which had seeped its way into the 90ies.

Christmas. Don’t think anyone will need a summary of what that is. Or I hope not. I’m usually not a big fan of doing anything Christmassy pre-December but seeing as how the 1st of Advent was on the 27th, I went to my little-sisters and we baked ginger-snaps and lusse-katter all day… or at least 4 hours of it. We forgot to put on Christmas-songs, we made roughly 80 lusse-katt buns (that’s a LOT) and we went and got pizza afterwards, real thin-crust ones with ruccola and prosciutto on top. It was a lovely day. Next stop; toffee and chocolates at my place.

Tests. I have three major ones coming up soon – two of them tomorrow – and I’m getting rather nervous about it. I know I’ll do well, at least with the English ones, most likely with the Swedish, yet I always get nervous before tests. And maybe that is the secret to why I do well, I don’t get so overconfident in my own abilities that I neglect studying or preparing myself. But I’m going to be holding my thumbs and crossing my fingers, as always. If you want to say some kind of little prayer for me, to God, pasta, Eddie or whomever you believe in, that’d be welcome.

Dreaming. Ever since I moved to this flat a few months back, I’ve had lots and lots of dreams, mostly weird ones, only one or two actual night-mares, and not that many that I’ve woken from in a happy or blissful state. Just strange dreams, where tons of things happen, I wake up several times during the night and only remember scattered details for the most part. It makes it harder for me to go to sleep, it makes me more tired, more out of it during the day. But I’m hoping it will stop soon. Maybe when I finally get down to repainting the bedroom.

Working out. See, the flat gets rather cold at times, and my solution to this (because our radiators are pretty much cranked to the max, so it’s not like we can turn it up any more) is doing a few sit-ups, squats, shaky and pathetic push-ups, etc. If it looks extra cold outside, I’ll work out a bit before I step outside, to make sure my pulse gets up and my system is on the go already. If my toes are too cold and it’s bedtime, I just bounce around a bit so I’m nice and toasty instead of curling up and shivering under the blankets. So my solution to heating problems, which will cost you nothing and get you fit, is just to work out a bit.

Cheese. To counter-act my work out (because for every healthy thing you do you should also do something unhealthy, yin-yang balance kind of thing *coughs*) I’ve started over-indulging in cheese. I just wish someone would help me by eating the cheese before I can get to it. I’ve had the kittens help me out a bit but too much dairy isn’t good for their tummies. Well it’s not good for mine either of course. But you get me. So, the general obtaining of cheese has to be stopped for my own good!

Books. I’m currently trying to finish the last of the Harry Potter series (Don’t hurt me! I can’t explain how I haven’t read it yet! It was an accident!) but I’m only a third into it because for Swedish we had to pick one out of five classic novels and I chose “Pride and Prejudice” (translated into Swedish of course) because I’ve read that before, I own the English version, I’ve seen the movie and so on, basically it felt like a good choice because I already know what I need to know about it in order to discuss the book. Yet my honesty forces me to re-read it for this assignment. And then there’s “Rant” by Chuck Palahnuik (< = dude who wrote Fight Club) which I haven’t even touched yet, because I haven’t had the time.

What has there been a lot of/ too much of in your life of late?