What I’m not doing

This blog post was prompted by lovely Cat Treadwell pointing me towards an article – which you can read here – https://www.mamamia.com.au/i-dont-list  about owning what we don’t do and resisting the pressure to be superhuman.

I don’t do a great deal of cleaning. Mostly what cleaning I do happens in intense, occasional bursts when I’m recovering from something emotionally or intellectually intense.

I don’t invest much time at all in personal grooming. If you see me and I’ve gone so far as to brush my hair, this is about as good as it gets.

I have no beauty routines, no skin care routines. Sometimes I use moisturiser and that’s about it.

I do not count calories, watch my weight or have an organised exercise routine. Amusingly, I am in better shape as a consequence of eating what I want and doing what I feel like!

I am not winning at avoiding plastic packaging, I’m stuck with the things I cannot afford to source differently.

Official paperwork scares me.

I have neither anything resembling a career, nor any plans for one. I expect to just muddle along in a haphazard way for the rest of my life. I also have no pension and only the insurance I am legally obliged to hold.

I have far too low a tolerance for bullshit to handle conventional employment. I have zero capacity to be nice to assholes who could advantage me in work. I won’t do what I’m told for the sake of it, if it makes no sense I will speak out. Make-work makes me furious. See previous comment about career development.

I can’t cope with routine medical tests because these are massive panic triggers for me. I can barely cope with eye tests. I can’t drive and while I get eco-points for that, it is mostly about the anxiety and the fear of having a panic attack and killing someone while panicking.

It continues to seem preposterous to me that I count as a responsible adult, and that I am allowed to be responsible for people who are not adults.


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

15 responses to “What I’m not doing

  • druidcat

    I actually think you Adult very well. You’re honest, thoughtful and mature in approach, but happy to be childish when needed. You don’t make excuses. You’re braver than you think, lovely.

  • Yvonne Aburrow

    Ooh I’m going to make one of these lists. There will be quite a lot of crossover with yours (no makeup; no skincare routine; no ironing; low tolerance for BS, yup — luckily software developers can get away with that…)

  • siegrune

    It’s funny how long it takes to stop thinking it’s your (my) fault for not being able to conform to social expectations or able to follow a career.
    I’m not sure I’m there yet, but i appreciate reading your experiences as they open up good ways of thinking.

  • neptunesdolphins

    we all have things we don’t do. I unfortunately am a high-functioning brain injury person. I have to silence my chore voice so I can do reading and writing. I think that it depends on how it affects your quality of life. I meditate while cleaning, so I do that. But I don’t go shopping – too much stimulation. Oh, and I always carry my emotional support – stuffed – ladybeetle with me, on my arm.

  • Jennifer Colley

    Ah, this is such a relief to read! I have to choose between a clean house and the ability/energy to do some of the things I love which are still possible for me with the M.E and it grates on my conscience and embarrasses me when I have (rare) visitors. I too cannot tolerate BS (and people in general if I’m honest), cannot exercise, have no pension, get exhausted by modern life crap and feel out of step with adulting in general. I don’t bother much with personal grooming either, although I have discovered an interest in making my own skincare as a wellbeing thing for just me and a few friends alongside my herbalism studies. You’re a wise and kind person Nimue and I think one of the very few people I could actually tolerate being around if we met! Thanks for this blog, it’s a spot of brightness in a world that is literally going to shit.

  • Midnight Hare

    I can relate to so much of this! I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  • emberbear

    I enjoyed teaching enormously after leaving university and managed to hold it together until I was in my mid thirties. Then I had a cracking nervous breakdown and had to take two years off. I was thrilled to bits when I was offered a council flat, having lost my beautiful home, and then I was able to return to work quite happily. Then I met the love of my life, then I had a wonderful child and I have never returned to paid employment. I kept thinking I might, but I loved being a parent and I felt more than fully occupied by that and writing until my child was seven, by which point my CV and references were so out of date that returning to the job market felt pointless. I happily volunteered in various capacities and I particularly enjoyed being a befriender for a mental health organisation. Seven more years have passed rapidly. My daughter is a lovely, confident, empathic person and I think having a full time parent who was always there and always available when she needed me or wanted me has played a role in this. Hats off to any parent who works and parents. Personally, I couldn’t have done it. I used to be able to get up, teach full time, go running every day and socialise on Fridays and clean the house at the weekend. These days I meander from a walk to a bout of writing, to a game of Exploding Kittens (brilliant card game) with my daughter to as little housework as possible (after so many years it gets really, really old) to reading. It is all very pleasant. I am so much happier than when I had a career and non stop stress. You haven’t missed out on much, Nimue, by not following a formal career path and instead doing all sorts of interesting stuff with graphic novels, steampunk druids, etc. But if you have any sense that you have not been successful, I strongly recommend ‘Let’s Pretend This Never Happened’ by Jenny Lawson. I laughed for about two hours non stop in the first half of this book (the second half has some sad stuff in it) as I recognised a fellow traveller in haphazardness and mayhem.

  • Nope | Dowsing for Divinity

    […] Brown shared a list of all the stuff she doesn’t do, after reading a list of stuff that Holly Wainwright, an Australian blogger, doesn’t […]

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