Feels like I’m re-stabilising after a busy weekend. I did wake up horribly early though, jolted out of sleep by some dissonant racket. I rewarded myself – after tossing and turning, internally grumping and receiving a big ginger cat who wanted to cuddle and purr more deeply than whatever woke me – by reading a few more chapters of Lords of Uncreation by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I don’t know what it is about vast space opera that soothes me, especially those dealing with existential threats to my entire species. I suppose I’m somewhat in favour of such threats to our species. I can see it being allied to my darker moments, when I want everything to just stop, to never have existed, for nothing I’ve ever done both good and bad to have mattered, to have affected no one and nothing. It’s a rather selfish desire, to eradicate all of existence just to remove mine, but since going back in time and erasing myself is challenging, surely the only reasonable way to achieve such a goal is to eliminate all of it… I’m glad I am not blessed with universe ending powers, it wouldn’t end well for us.
I’m a tad glum this morning because I’ve realised I’m not going to get to go swimming till next week. It is a trifling thing, but it looms large in my head, having missed several days due to bank holidays and such, and missing the rest of this week for heading out to Brighton. The gorgeous blue sky outside is some recompense however, as is the smell of the lilac tree through the happily open window. And watching one or other of the cats dabbling in a neighbour’s pond. Focusing on the now, on the good and normal things in it. Remembering that the things I’ve done instead of swimming have been and are going to be good things that I enjoy, that this is not a loss but an alternative gain. I find it so easy to see only one side of such things, and it’s always the downside, never the upside. That’s in contrast to anyone else describing their woes and laments, in which I tend to see the positive, not their instinctive negative. It’s the same impulse that makes us say “no” reflexively to new ideas or even simply those ideas of others. It’s the bane of learning to improvise, fighting back the horror that someone else might take the lead or impose their idea on us. What if it’s terrible? Well, we should ask ourselves what we’re so afraid of that we so swiftly stifle another’s thoughts. There’s simply being wrong, obviously, which is a terrible thing which we’re taught to dread through school and work, since failure is invariably final and disappointing others often has no road back to their hearts. There’s the fear of someone else being right, which is a bit like discovering that we’re in the wrong, but has the added terror of being swept up in it, and that changing everything for us. Change is alarming, and learning that we could always have been happier another way is possibly even worse because that might really change everything – and what value does the mistrodden path of all those years have for us then? You could say it’s all part of the weft and weave of that rich tapestry and smother yourself in its cloying metaphor. Or you can just start again I guess. Given that I already feel like only the present is real, I’d have imagined I’d be more likely to embrace that. Inertia and forgetfulness kick in then though.
I worry that in my current quest to get off the sleeping tablets I’m indulging in some fallacy, like if I fix this one thing then everything will be sorted. That’s unlikely to be the case, but sleep is one thing that has bedevilled me my whole life, and so maybe addressing that is actually an end in itself. It doesn’t have to be the start of anything in particular, but in exercising that discipline, perhaps I’ll be better placed to be present in my own life and give me some space to indulge in the things that make me happy. And better, to remember to enjoy them.