Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 88: doing what I wanna.

Saturdays are great days, whether you drink or not. It’s okay to have a hangover on a Saturday because you have time to sleep it off. If you don’t have a hangover, you simply have time to do whatever the hell you want. Time these days is a delicious luxury. People are always trying to nick it off you with events, or errands or very important tasks, but on Saturdays I like to try and hold on to mine. I have always been of the pottering bent. I can easily and extremely happily while away hours on end with bits of activities; things like picking off my nail polish, flicking through magazines, tidying the piles of books beside my bed, trying on different combinations of rings/bangles/belts, fiddling around on my bass, drinking green tea. I adore having the space of say four or five hours to fill with this kind of stuff. I love the complete absence of demand on my time. Today was a day when the only demands made were my own, and man it was awesome. The most pressing thing I had to do all day was get to a 3.45 yoga class (it was radical! My concentration and backbendability was out of sight!), and make a dinner date at my favourite diner/burger joint with some of my favourite people. Coolness. All of this doing what I want though, got me thinking about a quite contradictory aspect to my personality. I really do not respond well to people telling me what to do. I have an instant buck reaction when others try to control me, and I have a hard time tolerating rules. Unless of course, it’s me who has set them down. Weirdly enough, while I generally disregard the rules enforced by others, I gravitate towards rule-based structures of my own choosing. For example, I don’t allow myself to drink. I am always enforcing special diets on myself. I do yoga, which involves very strict technique and very exact instruction. And some of my greatest satisfaction comes from successfully abiding by the rules I have laid down. (It’s nerdy, I know.) But now consider my former approach to drinking. For me a significant part of the appeal of alcohol has been the complete abandon it represents. It was always about letting loose and wiping yourself out to the extent that you physically couldn’t possibly live up to all those responsibilities weighing on you. It was like a conscious flouting of grown up “musts”. It could be construed as immaturity, or maybe as some futile attempt at claiming power and control in the face of the enormous and undefeatable force that is the chaos in which we exist. A pissy “you’re not the boss of me” yell, drowned out by claps of thunder and lightning and the promise of some unexpected doom. But what’s funny, is that while my current choice of lifestyle seems very well behaved, in fact it is quite rebellious. It’s another case of taking what is “done”, and not doing it. So it seems my approach to life is still quite teenage. Only this little round of petulant walking to my own beat is dressed up as an exercise in adult self-control.

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