Ever since I took physics in high school, I’ve joked that my intertia is at rest. I’ve never been a “doer.” I’m more of a … sitter. And, I suppose, a thinker. Nevertheless, I’m quite prone to do-nothingism.
(A surprising amount of people Google do-nothingism, I’ve discovered. One of my most popular posts is Battle Do-Nothingism With a Stew and Feel Better, in which I was feeling pretty depressed, forced myself to cook, and felt better in the end.)
The idea is that when you are not in a mood to enjoy or do anything, if you do something, anything, you will feel somewhat better.
But what do you do when your stike against do-nothingism fails?
Last week, I had finally motivated myself to cook something again, something more exciting than whole wheat mac and cheese, and I made a very fancy quinoa salad. Though I wasn’t feeling particularly good that day, I took the little one shopping, almost gave up when the first store didn’t even have zucchini, forged ahead, even when Sebastian tried to thwart my efforts, and produced a finished quinoa salad, with currants, dill, zucchini, and lemon …
… that sucked.
I felt bad, I pushed myself to do something, and I still felt bad.
Almost worse. There was an angry moment of failure where I wanted to cry. Just for a moment. So I lashed out at my husband (sorry, Tim). Then I went to bed.
During my many night-time awakenings, I kept envisioning drying the soggy quinoa in the oven somehow. And maybe it would have been enough to spread it on a cookie sheet and dry it that way, I don’t know. But I still needed to “do” something.
So, as I’ve already chronicled, I got up the next day and turned my soggy quinoa into muffins (which honestly, were, meh – still a little soggy in the middle, and not my favorite flavors).
And, that day, I was flying high with my “doing!” I thought,
“This is it! This really is the solution to all my mood problems! I need to “do!” And the more I do the better I’ll feel. I’ll cook all the time. I’ll spend all day in the kitchen! And because I’m in here all the time, I’ll keep it clean. I’ll have more energy, I’ll exercise more, I’ll throw in a load of laundry here and there, clean the bathrooms, and every day I’ll just get better and better at this thing called life!”
I was all excited about posting about my new epiphany and my raised energy levels.
And then yesterday – I felt like CRAP again.
I’m not giving up on this “do something, anything” idea, though. I do think it’s essential in fighting depression. So, yesterday, I strapped Sebastian into the mei tai baby carrier and I cleaned as much as I could of this messy house, even though I was feeling terribly overwhelmed. I put some clutter away, I washed a few pots and pans, I did a load of laundry, I broke down several boxes, and put most of the tower of recyling in the garage. And I felt alright come bedtime.
And I feel somewhat better today.
I guess I’m proud of myself for not letting my cooking failure get the best of me. I kicked do-nothingism in the butt, and it did make me feel better for awhile.
It’s just that there isn’t a an accomplishment in the world that will make me feel good all the time.
My days are a series of exaggerated highs and lows in a sea of lethargy.
I mean, I know that’s pretty normal. Most “mommy bloggers” admit to being quite a moody bunch. But, then, there are also a lot of people who have a ton of energy, and aren’t overwhelmed by every little thing that must be done to keep a house clean and food on the table.
I dunno. Maybe I just need to cut out caffeine, or sugar, or gluten.
If you know the answer, please let me know!