Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 300: time to relax?

With only 65 days left in which to become a rock star, I'll forgive you if you don't recommend relaxing as my best course of action. I'll forgive you, ignore your recommendation and continue as I am. Why? Because it has occurred to me, not for the first time, that relaxing is just about always a good idea. In fact, relaxing may well be the point to every perplexing problem. Or not. It doesn't matter. At Day 300, I have been through quite a lot. And here's how I feel right now about a few things. Firstly, the road to perfection is hard, long and lonely. So long in fact that you'll be on it forever, because the destination it's meant to lead to doesn't actually exist. You can experience pure beauty, pure magic, pure genius, pure love, but these things aren't about perfection. More often than not these experiences are wonderful precisely because of some unique imperfection they possess; something that makes them beautifully individual. This year (my whole life?) I have been on some kind of perfection pursuit. I have tried to achieve a perfect record of sobriety, a perfect diet, the perfect exercise routine. I have tried to be good at my work, dedicated to my dreams, hardworking and focused, successful in everything that I do. I am here to tell you it's too much for one person to achieve all those things. And it's also perfectly okay not to achieve them. Sometimes you just can't change who you are. A lot of the time you shouldn't try or want to either. For example, I now know about myself that I am almost incapable of focusing on one project for any extended period of time. I get bored. I need to move on. If I view this as a simple fact, rather than a negative, maybe I can evolve the way I work on things so I can spend shorter amounts of time on different projects, rather than force myself through a long stint on one thing. I also know that I love the idea of a strict routine, but tend in reality to operate in a much more random way. If I can just relax and accept that's how I am, maybe I can use my time learning how to work with it rather than against it. Now to some other things. Not drinking: I feel like my sobriety has taken me into territory unsuitably pious. When I began this journey, I sorely needed to dry out, check my behaviour, straighten my head out and give my liver a break. My priorities needed reordering. This far in I've had a good sized space in which to get myself sorted. Not that I've sorted everything out. But my head is clearer (so's my skin), my body cleaner and my life in better shape than back then. However, while I have definitely always had my - how shall I put this - goody two shoes, perfecty, ticking boxes side, stay-at-home nerd has never been part of my brand. For 300 days now my wilder side has been neatly put away in storage. It feels like the time is approaching to bring it back out. And veganism: I started being a vegan, let's be honest, in a bid to get skinnier. Then I read some more about the issues around eating animals and felt like not eating them was a good way to go. Now, however many months out, I am starting to wonder about my decision. Has it really made me skinnier? Maybe a tiny bit. My skin is definitely the best it's probably ever been, so that's something. But might there be other ways to eat responsibly (organic, humanely farmed and slaughtered meat in moderation, the odd organic, free range egg) that might make me less of a freaky dinner guest? It's extremely shallow, but if my bod was looking like Jennifer Anniston's right now thanks to my new vegan diet, I would happily freak my way through every eating situation from now until eternity with a delightful smug little smile dancing across my tight little face. But if I'm going to be alienating any number of dining pals for a few barely detectable differences, maybe it's not really worth the effort. It's like I was saying, right now I just feel like relaxing a bit on a few things. Not being so ridiculously strict with myself. I'm not talking eating cheese and bacon burgers every night, just not freaking out if I want to eat a piece of fish or lamb once in a while. Likewise with all my music and writing and work goals; if it takes me longer than the next 65 days to get a song on the radio or get a book deal or produce an award-winning campaign then fine. I just want to enjoy my life and stop chastising myself all the time when I don't achieve a million things at once. Is that a cop out? You think? Dude, take a chill pill.


  1. Interesting. Rather true too.
    I recon you'll miss the sober you when you go back on the booze. These will seem like golden days.

  2. I know fat vegetarians. Lots of people would feel that meat makes them fuller and they eat less. Plus we have evolved to eat meat and this is proven in our jaw evolution (Apes have to chew all day) and gave us big brains. Chances are there is stuff in it that makes us better off.

    In terms of the search for perfection, generally I agree: over achieving is over rated. You can just end up a stress ball and miss out on, well, life. As for grog, I commented on yesterday's post about that. Who knows, perhaps you can sit in the corner on one or two drinks the whole night and get the benefit without having to give anything up. Or perhaps the benefit isn't worth the pain any more. As the coyote said to Homer, Only you can make this decision..... or something to that effect.