melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-05-11 02:11 pm



I know you want to, and you are constantly being told that you must, excel at and be committed to, for example:

1. earning a living wage
2. healing from and/or dealing with injury, illness, emotional trauma, disability
3. basic self-care and adulting (laundry, financial management, etc.)
4. family relationships (finding/maintaining romance, caring for kids and/or elders, dealing with family drama)
5. a social life beyond that
6. a fulfilling and fulfilled creative life
7. service to the community
8. social and political activism
9. self-improvement and continuing education
10. physical fitness (maintaining and building)
11. fun hobbies
12. spiritual growth enough downtime to keep you functional.

But excelling at each of those is equivalent to a full-time job and you cannot physically do them all. In fact, our society considers basic competence at two of them to be a passing grade. ONLY TWO.

Okay, it's only two if you're a straight white dude and you pick your two from [wage-earning, disability/illness, creative life]+[self-care, romantic relationship]. If you're a white lady your minimum to pass is three and your only choices are (wage-earning+family+self-care) or (family+self-care+doing all of partner's adulting), and it scales up from there as your difficulty settings increase. But fuck that, if two is good enough for a straight dude to pass it'd better be good enough for me.

More people than you realize settle for two + downtime. It's just that those two mostly have to be picked from things that aren't in the public sphere, so those people aren't as visible, and we're all conditioned to exaggerate how many of them people who are in the public sphere actually do. But there are a lot of people who stay at two. Two is passing.

Most people can do well at three at a time with no problem. You, personally, can do four on an ongoing basis, as long as none of them are on extra-hard mode. You can do five for awhile, especially if you can sort of combine some or a couple are on easy/part-time settings. At six you start dropping balls and noping away into a corner. Seven is right out.

k_a_webb: (Default)

[personal profile] k_a_webb 2017-05-11 07:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I definitely needed this reminder... I'm trying to do all the things and failing. Right now my energy is going to wage-earning+self-care+doing all of partner's adulting. It's not going well. :(
cypher: (Default)

[personal profile] cypher 2017-05-11 07:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I also needed this reminder. I often feel like I'm only managing to stay on top of about 2/3 of my life at any given time, and...well, obviously. Look at all those spheres to worry about.

(Straight dudes getting a pass for either self-care OR a relationship tho, man, that's blistering. And all too familiar.)
petra: Barbara Gordon smiling knowingly (Default)

[personal profile] petra 2017-05-11 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
"Beat self up for not doing ALL THE THINGS" is incredibly familiar as a way to spend time. I vote we both try to avoid it.
rushthatspeaks: (dirk: be uncertain about this)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks 2017-05-11 09:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I recently had to sit myself down and say, SELF, you are doing the equivalent of THREE FULL-TIME JOBS and AT LEAST TWO PART-TIME JOBS so stop insisting that you never get any work done or accomplish anything or have interesting enough hobbies.

Sadly, I do not seem to really buy it.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

[personal profile] synecdochic 2017-05-11 10:35 pm (UTC)(link)
this is an excellent reminder that is very timely for me, thank you <3
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)

[personal profile] stultiloquentia 2017-05-12 12:13 am (UTC)(link)
This is a good post. Bless.
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[personal profile] jjhunter 2017-05-12 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
I've been orbiting through dropping balls and noping away into a corner lately, and I do not recommend it. This is an excellent framing and a very timing reminder - thank you!

*bookmarks to keep reminding self*
tassosss: (Default)

[personal profile] tassosss 2017-05-12 03:28 am (UTC)(link)
What a great way to put it! I'm doing four right now? And I kind of cycle what number 4 is on a three month basis, when I'm otherwise not stressed. Pre-wedding I was definitely down to two, and it took therapy for me to acknowledge that two was perfectly okay and counted as a passing grade.
makamu: (Default)

[personal profile] makamu 2017-05-12 07:34 am (UTC)(link)
And yet another person for whom this was a very timely reminder! Thank you
applewoman: (Default)

[personal profile] applewoman 2017-05-12 03:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for this! I needed to hear it.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)

[personal profile] sophia_sol 2017-05-12 10:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Hah, this is an issue I struggle with as well, feeling like I ought to be on top of entirely too many of these things. Thanks for the helpful framing of the thought.
zlabya: color art of a dark-haired young woman holding a scrawny Russian Blue cat (Default)

[personal profile] zlabya 2017-05-17 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for this much-needed PSA. I really needed to read this note to yourself. I can manage about four also.
lassarina: (Ashe)

[personal profile] lassarina 2017-05-20 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
I was pointed here by [personal profile] cypher and just--really, thank you so much for this, it's so timely. (Would it be OK if I linked to this from a post in my journal? I mean, public posts are public, I know, but I don't want to inadvertently cause a deluge if you aren't up for it.)
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[personal profile] darjeeling 2017-05-20 09:30 pm (UTC)(link)
This is really nice and a good reminder, thank you :)
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[personal profile] alatefeline 2017-05-21 08:05 am (UTC)(link)
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[personal profile] hollymath 2017-05-23 10:01 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks, I really needed this.
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[personal profile] swingandswirl 2017-05-23 10:41 am (UTC)(link)
This is an excellent post. Thank you.
siderea: (Default)

[personal profile] siderea 2017-05-27 07:33 am (UTC)(link)
Oh my goodness, this is wonderful. Here from [personal profile] conuly's. Planning on linking.
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)

[personal profile] snippy 2017-05-29 03:15 am (UTC)(link)
Ugh, I am doing numbers 1 through 4 on at least hard mode but prioritizing #1 (just started a new job so it's extra-hard mode), which means 2 through 4 alternately suffer major failures. Great perception filter, thanks for writing it up so well!

[personal profile] serakit 2017-05-29 05:10 am (UTC)(link)
I think the only ones I'm doing completely are 3 and 4, and even then I'm not great at 3, but I'm also sort of struggling with/half-doing 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Somehow, even laid out like that, I *still* feel guilty about not doing enough activism and not getting enough writing out there. But I appreciate having it all laid out like that.

[personal profile] ewt 2017-05-29 08:15 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for this! (Here from [personal profile] siderea.)
gracegrey: (Default)

[personal profile] gracegrey 2017-06-02 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
Linked here by [personal profile] clevermanka. This is profound, and yet so clear. Thank you for sharing.

Mind if I friend?
the_future_modernes: (Default)

[personal profile] the_future_modernes 2017-07-16 01:06 am (UTC)(link)
This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing!
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[personal profile] jesse_the_k 2017-08-11 01:48 am (UTC)(link)
Here from ... somewhere and may I just say that this post accomplished 2, 6, 7 & 8 all at once.

Thank you!
Edited 2017-08-11 01:48 (UTC)