It’s a blessing-curse sandwich about being productive that’s been stuck in my throat since childhood. Actually, I don’t think I can get it out to share, so best I just swallow it and make the most of it. You’ve probably got your own blessing-curse sandwich to digest anyway. I’ll tell you more about my sandwich later, but I’ll do the polite thing and introduce myself first.
This is a blog post.
I know you know that—I put it in there to remind myself as much as anything. It was supposed to be a blog post about the goings on of my writerly mind but I got distracted with the whole sandwich thing.
I’m a Kiwi. Born here. Raised here. I reckon we’re a pretty conservative bunch, as a whole. Me too. And I don’t mean that I’m afraid of being struck down by the Lord Almighty if I eat meat on a Friday—far from it. When it comes to that sort of stuff I’m a sceptic. And if we’re talking about the political spectrum I’m positioned like my hand-ness, over on the left. It’s just nicer over here.
What I mean is that we’re kind of reserved, generally. Did you know that overseas there are whole groups of adults who dress up as mermaids for entertainment? Like, they make a living from it. I’ve not seen that here in New Zealand.
There are communities of these mermaids, and meet-ups, and tailors, and an industry in waterproof makeup and silicon tails. There are workshops on how to swim in all that get-up—better than drowning—and ones on how to pose underwater for that killer shot. There are also mermen, of course, and merwranglers. They say things that make me suspicious. #mermaidsarereal
At first it was all very confusing for this conservative Kiwi. But I’ve met some of them. They’re friendly people, with Instagram accounts promoting good causes like conservation and chronic disease. (Chronic disease isn’t actually a good cause. I’m quite anti-disease, in general. But talking about it is good.)
Yet when my five and seven-year-old nieces were dressing up as mermaids last summer I thought, That’s about the right ages to start and stop doing this. But who am I to judge? I like imagining that I’m things I’m not, too.
Like a writer. That’s why I’m starting this blog. #writersarereal They actually are.
Mermaids are out there in the world doing good, so maybe I can too. I’m not flamboyant enough to dress up with a tail. In fact I’m not even buoyant enough to be in the water. But I can use what I have to talk about what I care about. And hopefully entertain along the way. Really, I’m just a shy version of my merpeople friends.
Now back to that sammy…
I am in a good mood today. I am often enough — but it’s guaranteed in the morning. Further bonus, if I feel like I am productive for an hour or two early on in a day, it extends that good mood out for longer. So thank you for allowing me to write this post and thus feel like I have achieved something. It feels good. I am set for the day, and I smile and I know that I am worthwhile. And really, that’s all it takes. That’s the blessing bit of the sammy—I can be hugely motivated to produce, and I am self-rewarding.
I don’t know exactly where this particular sammy came from, but undoubtedly some mild form of childhood trauma. I am sure I got off pretty lightly in the childhood-trauma front. But like most, I still have a few sandwiches I’m coming to grips with.
The curse of the sandwich, of course, is the days when I don’t achieve anything. Those days the sandwich burns in my throat and churns my otherwise empty tummy. I am worthless, even though just two days ago I conquered a mountain or wrote a three-thousand-word essay.
This makes weekends and holidays a challenge. Weekends need physical exertion—that counts as a form of productivity, you see—or work. Holidays longer than four days need to have a goal.
But I’m getting better at managing my sandwich. I can now go a few days without suffering the curse. And I can write blogs or do bike rides and cash in on the endorphins that way. If all else fails I can take a nap—I’m an expert at that.
Now that I’ve written all this sammy hoo-ha I’m not so sure about it. That’s the writerly self-doubt kicking in. I liked the bit about the merpeople though. They’re cool, so I’m glad they got a mention. I’m trusting you to just go with the sandwich thing; otherwise I’ll have to start all over.
This is where convention says I’d ask you to like, subscribe, comment, share.
Fortunately my sandwich doesn’t need any of that—I’ve posted this so I am already doing well today—but I’d love to hear about your sandwiches if you do want to comment. Hmmmmm. Must be lunchtime. #writingishungrywork