We all die so sometimes it's OK to do nothing

Mon 30 Dec 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020

Do Nothing as a Positive Philosophy

What is the point in giving a fuck?

skulls in wall

I am inevitably heading towards the point where I die / cease to exist. And as that comes I increasingly feel what is the point in worrying about anything? Indeed, what is the point in caring? Not in a negative ‘destroy everything’ way but in a positive ‘just take whatever is thrown at you and shrug if off’ way.

TBH, the world feels hell bent on being bat shit crazy at the moment with anti-social behaviour at macro and micro level now totally acceptable. Meanwhile, we continue to rape and burn the planet with no end in sight to anything changing. Sometimes life can only be seen as a never-ending struggle. Indeed, mum’s illness and pain continues and looking after her remains part of my responsibilities.

Nothing really matters and humour is discouraged

Lost something important this week, not a person but a thing. Something that went missing and caused a lot of disruption. Soon sorted but I felt really angry with myself. But then I wondered, what is the point? The important thing is just to get on with life. Because ultimately nothing is important. Particularly when it doesn’t seem that we are allowed to take the piss and be funny any more. I don’t think I’ve ever known a time when humour and fun is so frowned upon with people getting upset about everything.

New Year’s Eve

Suppose 31st Dec was a bit of a do nothing night. And that weren’t no bad thing, I enjoyed myself. 🙂 I don’t get excited by NYE. It’s an arbitrary creation that is as much about encouraging people to spend money as anything else. Stayed over at Dave’s and watched TV (Billy Elliot again and Jools Holland) whilst he snoozed on the sofa. Finally gave up the ghost and went to bed at 11.50 listening to the fireworks going off outside sounding like a war zone.

Getting abused in Pret; what has happened to civil space?

My need not to worry was reinforced on Sat when a guy in Pret sized up to me because I asked him to quieten down speaking on his mobile which was on loudspeaker. Obviously I gave as good as I got from him. When did it become OK for people to have loudspeaker conversations in public places like coffee shops and public transport?

As someone who has strived all his life for the underdog, it really pissed me off that this guy was posing as someone ‘homeless’ or ‘worse off’. Indeed, I felt sorry for him before all this happened as he was saying (he claimed not to speak English) at the counter that he didn’t have enough money to pay for his coffee. But once he sat down I could see he was actually wearing an expensive fuck-off expensive watch as well as using a nice smartphone to phone up all his mates. Perhaps do nothing as in why bother to help people? 🙁

Sustainability

The value of a do nothing day

Do nothing cat

I fill my time. But this isn’t always a good thing. I decided to change my routine and gave myself a do nothing day off. Saturday, I left off the alarm and awoke when I did. No gym or jog-run. Spent the day chilling which is why it was so annoying to get abused in Pret. Life is precious but filling it isn’t always the right thing to do.

Stop buying and consuming

Indeed, do nothing also means not doing something stupid like going shopping. The fires in Australia and floods in Jakarta show what we already know, that the climate emergency is real. And yet we carry on living as though nothing has changed – our lifestyles don’t alter. Do nothing is equally about not shopping and adding to the crap. Be radical – stop buying and consuming crap. Growth is not always a good thing.

Books and Reading

Velvet Page Book Club

Velvet page book club

Off on Thurs night to this monthly event at Waterstones Piccadilly. A great informal group of LGBTQ people to discuss our latest book. I thought no-one would turn up but we had about 13 people attend including several new ones. Great that we had wine – always makes an evening more fun. 🙂

‘Dancer from the Dance’ by Andrew Holleran

poster of folsom

This is the book we were reading for the meeting. It very much is classic gay literature having been written in 1978 and about the time before AIDS. Set in New York and legendary Fire Island, it charts the largely sexual and drug-related events of a man called Malone and his mentor Sutherland.

Generally popular at the Velvet Page with lots of people getting nostalgic about their partying youth. Ah, the deadly allure of useless nostalgia. And it is good about being trapped in a crazy but attractive party world as I remember well from my year and a half phase in Brighton when I was off my head.

But several people in the group gave up reading the book. And I had to point out that it is actually badly written IMHO. There’s no real plot and minimal development of the characters. And let’s be honest, the book can be read now with AIDS ‘defeated’ and unsafe sex back in vogue but it was a dead document from the mid-80s for the next 30 years as safe sex was the only game in town.

‘The subtle art of not giving a fuck’ by Mark Manson

I don’t normally read self-help books, they always feel a bit self-indulgent and say the same thing. But the title attracted me to this one, it’s short, and I read it on my kindle as I moved about. There’s some California type new age crap in it as well as personal reminiscences (who cares?) but there’s also some good stuff. Some of the important stuff I took from it:

  • You can’t be happy all the time
  • Life is about continually solving problems
  • There is an element of suffering in everything but it’s all about how much you want something and are willing to suffer
  • No one is special and we all die in the end
  • Deal with your hand whatever you are dealt
  • Stop being a martyr
  • Failure, rejection, and pain are inevitable

It’s actually surprisingly Buddhist and not the usual self-help stuff of ‘you are special and can achieve anything’ which is obviously bullshit. 🙂

Health and Efficiency

Gym

Dumbells

Delighted that I got to the gym 4 times last week. Didn’t do the weekend so every week day bar Wed which was New Year’s Day. Didn’t always feel like it but pushed myself especially on Fri.

Special reduced New Year membership rates are out for my gym. Need to decide whether to renew or shift to a bigger gym that may be cheaper. Must weigh against stopping using a gay men’s space, supporting a gay business, and losing access to very nice sauna / spa as well.

Jog-run

Accidentally moved the previous week from the normal Sat to Sun to allow me to recover from my cold-flu thing (see last week’s blog here). Realised I quite like doing Sundays as it’s quieter even if I start my jog-run a wee bit later in the morning. So out on Sun and taking advantage of my very restful do nothing day on Sat.

animation of a fat man running

Unfortunately not one of my best times, coming in over an hour and 3 minutes (are my glands still a bit swollen?). Another jog-run slower than the previous one – about 6 in a row now. 🙁 But I will not panic and I’m pretty sure that the time will come down again at some point. Perhaps the do nothing rest day didn’t achieve what I wanted but I still enjoyed the day itself.

Weight and INR

blood clot in a blood vessel

Couple of positive news bits. First, weight seems stable around 13 stone 4 pounds despite holiday period excess. 🙂 Second, got my blood clotting level checked after being chased by the medics. Hey I’m still alive so can’t be clotting or internally bleeding. Excellent result at 2.8 and don’t have to go back for 10 weeks. 🙂

Work-life balance

In work every day bar New Year’s Day itself. Despite being a charity, we’ve been open everyday and there was no extra time off bar the national holidays themselves. Indeed, I think many in private companies and the public sector had a lot more time off.

Working over Christmas-New Year is not a problem for me as I get on with my work and save up for my other times off. And I’ve got my big annual Gran Can break with Dave in late Jan. We give ourselves 2 big gay treats each year: Gran Can in Jan/Feb and Folsom Berlin. So got my head down last week and did the stuff that needed doing knowing that I’ve got a lovely break coming up in the very near future. 🙂

Art and Culture

Dracula

Christopher Lee

No galleries, museums or films last week. The problem of doing gym in the morning and work in the afternoon – no time for other stuff. 🙁 However, I enjoy a good bit of horror so it was exciting to hear about the new BBC adaptation of this horror classic.

3 consecutive 90 minute parts. The first was fantastic with wise-cracking nuns and real horror. The second was also good and didn’t feel like a TV programme plus it had a totally twisted ending. The third fell off a cliff. Dracula converted into a new age edition of something off CBeebies with slapstick chucked in for good measure. 🙁

The Week Ahead:

  • Countdown to Gran Can = 11 days 🙂
  • Normal week days at work though unfortunately including a 3 hour meeting on one day 🙁
  • Yoga returns on Fri morning (hooray). So 4 gym sessions unless I take a do nothing day. And jog-run at the weekend.
  • Finish my latest books – a collection of ghost stories and a sci-fi novel. Then move onto something else.
  • Try not to get into any rows but if I do so what ?
  • Carry on working out how I can consume less and sustain more
  • Gotta gotta get back to language learning. I hate people who go to other countries and can’t be bothered to learn the language.

And Finally….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.