I know that the recommendation to visualize a better you is a commonplace of self-improvement advice. It works well when tempered with self-knowledge and realism, but how common is this? I’m wondering, is this imaginary you really helping? Or is it making you hate yourself just a little?
Many of us have the sense that we could love ourselves a little better, be a little better, if we just … Lost weight? Got fitter? We imagine this other us, sailing effortlessly past on our jogging route, or (insert your imaginary visualisation of awesomeness).
But what do we actually want to do? We might want to look like a movie-star, but do we want Gwyneth Paltrow’s diet and exercise regime? Every day? (One writer who tried: “I put the ingredients in the blender and blend them together. It tastes much like regular kale juice except has large pieces of kale still in it. This is breakfast. After breakfast I decided to do the first DVD of the Tracy Anderson method. It’s difficult, actually. Essentially you hold tiny weights in your hand and then flap your arms wildly like a person in a Victorian insane asylum having an epileptic fit. You do this for an hour. At the end, I was so tired I lay on the floor.”) How much weight training did Hugh Jackman do for Wolverine? I’m going to guess rather a lot, no matter what he might self-effacingly say.
I respect that Gwyneth’s (Angelina’s, Brad’s) chosen field of work requires huge commitment to the maintenance of a certain physical appearance. I admire Gwyneth’s startling svelteness. But do I want it? No. Because I don’t want to do it. Not one little bit. I like to do exercise, set goals, and eat healthy food, but I have a limit to how much effort I’m prepared to make to look good.
If you don’t want to do it either, you might consider not wanting to be it. Easier said than done, I know, but the alternative may be to be permanently disappointed in yourself and that shouldn’t be an option.
R. Harrington tries to be Gwyneth: http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/05/i-tried-gwyneths-diet-and-got-a-rash-on-my-face.html
How many hobbies do you have that are actually post-apocalyptic life skills? So I think this originated in a knitting meme, but it’s still a question that makes you feel good about how many hours you’ve spent horse-riding, running, fishing, pottering around the veggie patch etc. Because you’re training.
Starting to post some photos of my home town which is also the setting of my little novel, Indigo:
Thousands of soldiers came for me,
A dark net of ships on a hot blue sea.
Greaved and hardened and hungry and spare,
Fighting for me though I never was theirs.
In the pale distance, back over the blue,
Thousands of wives unravel the loom,
While I stand high-towered, shamed to decree,
The depth of their grief coming home from the sea.
I dream I’m walking into my bedroom in the twilight and I see a tall, thin transparent figure, like a shiver in the air. Who are you? I demand (afraid, angry). ‘John,’ it answers (naming a close family member). ‘You are not John,’ I say, firmly, but I’m terrified. ‘How do you know I’m not you?’ it asks. ‘You are not me!’ I shout. I wake up, my whole right side freezing cold and covered in gooseflesh.
A series of truly amazing bejewelled skeletons photographed by Paul Koudounaris:
Should I compare you to a summer’s day?
You’re nicer and milder too
Strong winds shake around the little flower buds in May
And summer’s too short. (Just like this line.)
Sometimes the sun’s too hot
And it’s regularly hidden behind the clouds
And everything pretty gets uglier
Through accidents or just, like, old age.
But you’ll never stop being young and gorgeous,
And death won’t have bragging rights over you
Because this awesome poem I’ve written will make you famous
So long as people are still hanging around
They’ll read this, and you’ll be hanging around too.
Has anyone else been reading about the Northampton Clown. Not phobic, but ready to become so.
And this: “A study conducted by the University of Sheffield found that the children did not like clown decor in the hospital or physicians’ office settings. The survey was about children’s opinions on decor for an upcoming hospital redesign. Dr Penny Curtis, a researcher, stated “We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found the clown images to be quite frightening.”