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.


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