Introducing the Whitest White Girl Problem I’ve Ever Had, ft. Headspace

I was in a bad mood before breakfast this morning and that’s not really happened since I was 15, so I’m going to ask what you guys think about it. I’ve thought about it all day and I’m pretty sure my irritation was completely unfounded… but I couldn’t switch it off and in the interests of personal growth, here goes:

You guys know I use the Headspace app, right? Emma Watson recommended it on Twitter in 2013 and since 2013 was almost as bad as 2016, I gave it a go and have used it, on and off, ever since. Last November I hit a run streak, as they call it, and meditated every day for a week… a month… six months… A couple of weeks ago I hit a year. One entire year of making the effort to sit for 10 or 15 minutes a day and pay attention to my mental health. 365 full days! Okay so sometimes I snatched 3 minutes while I was getting ready to go out, or did the sleeping exercise when I was already 95% asleep, because I was at 232 days and dammit I wanted to hit the next milestone and get an email from Headspace congratulating me. But I did it. I CAN COMMIT.

I carried on after 365 days, partly because I could and partly because the app really works. I always feel better for having taken time out for myself, although it’s a really hard sensation to explain without sounding like a hippie (I literally feel like there is more space in my head. What a well-named product). Yesterday I fell asleep before I finished the session or I left the app open or something, and this morning the counter had zipped back to 1. I was unreasonably upset about it. I felt like the previous 380-something days had been for nothing. I was useless. I should have found time in the day to do it instead of falling asleep partway through. Why couldn’t I just have done better.

FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS feat. HEADSPACE

I already hit the highest milestone on there. I already exceeded my own expectations, both by meditating every day for a year and then by carrying on to meditate for a couple of weeks after. Headspace, and the thinking behind it, is firmly ingrained in my day-to-day life. I am way more chill than I was a year ago, and way better at dealing with horrible situations. So why did I feel like I had let myself down?

I’m over it now, I think… so far today I’ve scratched out two thirds of my to-do list, bought some Christmas presents and successfully avoided the temptation to stop at any of the chocolate stockists/coffee shops in Southend mid-shopping trip. And seriously there’s a coffee chain on every corner my bank account should be murmuring its thanks. So I’m having a Good Day. I’ve had a pretty good week, actually. I don’t currently want to hide from my life, which is always a pleasant sensation.

I just spent half an hour this morning wallowing in completely unfounded self loathing. Do you ever feel like that? Have you ever been unreasonably harsh on yourself? Do I have a complex? If I could afford a therapist I wouldn’t be using Headspace, so help me out.

Please Buy Me Hermione’s Beaded Bag for Christmas.

Two blogs in three days is it 2011? No it’s too early for dinner but too late to get stuck into anything big.

In case I hadn’t mentioned it I’m going backpacking soon, and I’ve borrowed a rucksack to do a trial packing session. I’m going to be honest with you, reader… it’s a little small. I mean, I’m small. There’s no point getting a 100 litre bag when I wouldn’t be able to lift it. And how much stuff do you really need? Other than underwear, medication, money and your passport?

Mr Potato Head Overpacking
from Twitter

Well not gonna lie I was hoping to take a tablet so I could reconnect with nature, aka blog for fun. And I’ll need a pair of shoes that aren’t walking boots. Oh, and solid shampoo and eyeliner because I read somewhere that sometimes the only difference between sanity and insanity when you’ve been sitting on a bus for 14 hours in a foreign country is wearing something that makes you feel like you. And ‘me’ is black eyeliner and clean-ish hair. But I also like clean-ish skin and I’m pretty sure my extensive moisturiser collection won’t fit… We’ll be visiting a lot of sacred temples and museums so I’m definitely taking trousers and tops with long sleeves. But we’re going to like have fun so I need shorts right? And a bathing suit. And pyjamas because sleeping is my favourite hobby and a hoodie or cardigan because hostels are full of people and sometimes you need to hide beneath swathes of material even if it’s 40 degrees. Oh and I’m taking a notebook for making art and a notebook that’s my diary. And I definitely need my tablet charger and phone charger. And contact lenses. And my prescription sunglasses and my regular glasses. I need a three month supply of the pill, emergency IBS medicine because who knows what the fuck I might accidentally eat and ear plugs because hostels are full. Of. People.

I need to lay everything I might need out on my bed and whittle it down to what I actually need.

While I’m off having a crisis, let me know: what’s the one thing you won’t travel without? Have  you ever over or under-packed for a trip? Have you ever witnessed a luggage fuck up of epic proportions? Help me out.

Newsflash: Etsy Has Pretty Things I Didn’t Make (and I want all of them)

Children. I am tired today and this week is going to make me tireder so I thought I’d write you while I’m thinking about it and tell you all that I just placed an order on Etsy that wasn’t a gift for somebody else and it was joyful. I almost uploaded the ‘submitting order’ wheel to my Insta stories for posterity. Seriously though I don’t remember the last time I bought something on there for myself, just because I wanted it… and I must say the view from the other side of the checkout is quite a nice one. Or it is when you’ve got a seasonal promo code and a gift card, anyway (general lack thereof is why I don’t do it more often).

I have to go and see if my bank balance will let me buy anything else today (I don’t know why I’m bothering I know the answer will be ‘you’re going to South East Asia soon why do you need a Mindless Self Indulgence pullover?’) so I will leave this here. Happy Cyber Monday if you’re using today to stock up on Christmas gifts you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford! Even if those gifts are for yourself!

Oh and here’s the obligatory reminder that there’s free P&P on marked items for the remainder of today on my Etsy shop, and if you’re in the UK you can get free postage on orders over £8 with SNOWFLAKE16. Get a move on, though, things are actually selling out this year.

Update roughly one hour after posting: I’ve bought a print from Maggie Stiefvater and Ray Toro’s new record. I may yet get that pullover.

In Which I’m Drowning in Striped Paper Bags

In the interests of coming home to an organised life Etsy stockpile, I emptied out one of my storage containers so I could refill the drawers more neatly… except I can’t decide how best to store everything, and I’m having a crisis over whether or not I need to buy more supplies before I leave. My mum’s offered to ship orders while I’m away so I don’t need to deactivate any listings, but I counted out my business cards and envelopes and there isn’t enough to cover every potential order there might be.

I know that realistically I don’t need to panic-buy supplies until a few weeks in December because by then hopefully a lot more orders will have sold and I’ll have a better idea of what’s going to be left in January…  but I don’t like waiting, and in the mean time I’m surrounded by approximately three reels of ribbon, thirty paper bags, a set of return address labels, old postcards I can’t shift, a gift box and some price tags to name but a few and I don’t know how to organise any of them.

And no I’m not going to take a photo because the level of untidiness has passed ‘interesting’ and landed on ‘chaotic’. Not Insta friendly.

Possibly I will go and browse Pinterest for Marie Kondo tips. Possibly I will fall asleep on my keyboard and wake up to find house elves have organised everything for me. Possibly it’s time for a YouTube playlist and some elbow grease.

While I’m off alphabetising labels, you can find my Etsy here (and if you’re in the UK, get free P&P on orders over £8 with SNOWFLAKE16). PLEASE ORDER SOON SO I CAN WORK OUT HOW MANY ENVELOPES TO PANIC-BUY THANK YOU. You’ll also get free worldwide postage from Friday through Monday on all individually-listed postcards, because I have lots of spare postcards of designs I don’t print any more and looking at them all lonely makes me anxious.

Seriously please take them.

Smug Bragging 2k16 (I published a short story!)

I’ve got to run to get some jabs pretty soon, but on the last round I came home and my arms got deader and deader (and I got sleepier and sleepier but I’m already running at about 70% average consciousness so  I could probably also blame everything else in my life) so I thought I’d blog now just in case. I’ve already added to the list – if you have any contributions send them over  – so woohoo it looks like I’m committing to something.

Not sure how I feel about that given that I have only fifty days until I leave the continent, but I guess we all need things to come home to. Speaking of making things, I wrote a short story! And it’s published in something I didn’t run! I’m not sure which I’m more surprised about, now I think about it… but I guess it’s something to add to my ridiculous CV.

I should probably go and meditate in preparation for my next bout of hepatitis, so I will leave this here. If you chance upon this newspaper in or around Southend:

Trawler magazine winter 2016 Southend on Sea Francesca Burke

Turn to page 30 straight away.

 

Here’s a List of LGBTQ+ Art. Help Me Add To It.

I can’t believe I actually did go running from a Trump presidency. Actually yes, I can – but I’m going to write about that another day, because I am weary both of the topic and of knee-jerk reactions to it. I have many things to say, and I want to say them with more maturity than some of the people I’ve experienced recently. In the mean time I want to do something constructive, so I decided to start something I’ve been thinking about for a while. It’s not, in the grand scheme of things, a huge gesture – but it’s something I’ve wanted for a few years… and god knows we’re going to need some escapism.

Here is a list, which I will add to as I go (and I would like you to add to as well), of LGBTQ+ art. A master list. Books, film, music, anything that other people have made. So far everything on the list is something I’ve seen or read, but if you have any suggestions (I expect you do), please let me know in a comment. You can also see the link in the dropdown at Transmissions in the menu (this post will definitely be swallowed up soon). I’m not expecting this to change the world, but queer people need – and have always needed and are definitely going to need – to see things that aren’t hateful. So this is my contribution. It’s tiny. It’s not setting things on fire (tempting), trolling Republicans (tempting) or moving to Australia (tempting). But it’s not adding to any of the hatred and division already out there, so let’s do it.

So this could be my last blog ever before a lady president’s elected! Or it could be my last blog ever before my friends move continents.

I got the first round of at least three vaccinations on Friday and had to spend the afternoon napping. I’m not sure if the sudden intake of hep A/hep B/typhoid into my system knocked me out or if I’m just really fucking tired but I went for a run this morning and I swear the route round my block took about four times as long as normal. Maybe tomorrow I will imagine I’m running from a Trump presidency.

Maybe on Wednesday I will be running from a Trump presidency.

In case I haven’t been clear enough already – just for the record, I mean, for posterity – Donald Trump is a walking shitbag of phenomenal proportions and his presidency would encourage other walking shitbags to partake in shitbag activities, which worries me greatly. I’m aware that a lot of his supporters are not walking shitbags and are in fact regular people exhausted with the political system, and I feel you. My political system is also full of walking shitbags, but the last time a walking shitbag of phenomenal proportions came to power in Europe, we experienced something called the Holocaust. Please, America, vote for the lesser of the walking shitbags. She probably won’t cause a couple of wars, completely restrict your rights or insult everyone in your family who isn’t a straight white dude. And in a world run by shitbags, the ‘probably’ makes all the difference.

Much love.

Seven Years of Self Deprecation Whoop Whoop

So. Big day. Ish. I don’t really remember doing it, but today is this site’s seventh birthday. SEVEN. We’re talking horcrux numbers here. Substantial marriage numbers. A long time.

I was going to celebrate with a Tweet, but I figured that I might as well get my money’s worth over here… also I just noticed that the current header that I don’t hate is wonky, because the photo I took is wonky.

Indifferent Ignorance dodgy header

I am going to leave it there to see how many people notice. Happy Halloween!