Belfast Telegraph

Drink less, go organic and exercise more ... tomorrow

By Nuala McKeever

How do you know if you’re having a nervous breakdown or you’re just a really caring, concerned person? One minute you want to transform the world!

The next, you want to lie down on a warm beach and never wake up. It’s painful, veering wildly between the two. Save! Sleep. Stand up! Give up. Yes We Can!!!!! Oh, leave me alone will y...

There are so many problems crying out for attention that an average day is now filled with endless occasions of guilt (as opposed to “occasions of sin” which was what the Catholic Church called it when you did something “wrong” — not to be confused with “occasions of cover-up” which is what they did when they did something wrong.)

Here’s a typical day:

8am — breakfast. Plan to eat fruit like I said I would last thing last night, but have toast and butter instead. Bad!

10am — have fruit. It’s dry and tasteless. Shouldn’t have bought it from a huge supermarket. Bad! Should’ve paid extra for organic. Bad! But haven’t enough money to pay for organic. Bad!

Should be earning more money by now and driving a better car and wearing expensive clothes not made by babies in India. Bad! Shouldn’t care about status symbols like cars and clothes. Bad! Should lighten up and be more easygoing and not so po-faced about everything. Bad!

1pm — Go out. Shouldn’t drive. Bad! Should take the bus. Shouldn’t take the bus. Bad! Should walk. Shouldn’t think smug thoughts about lazy gits sittin’ in their fat cars, just cos I’m walking for once. Bad! Should earn enough to be able to afford a big car but use the money for something worthy like a shelter for battered cyclists.

Mmmbattered — shouldn’t want any food with fat or sugar in it. Bad! Buy fruit from local green grocers. Good! Charged a bloody fortune for four wee things and then discover they came from bloody South America! BAD!!!

6pm — Watch the news. Should understand Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and domestic fiscal policy but don’t really. Bad! Should make an effort and not switch over to the Simpsons. Bad! Should be able to write something as funny as the Simpsons. Bad! Shouldn’t be so hard on self. Bad! Not going to have any alcohol tonight. Good. Have a tin of beer and some peanuts. Bad! Shouldn’t use alcohol as a prop. Bad! Turning into Tony Blair. BAD!!! Shouldn’t judge Tony Blair cos there’s always two sides to every story. Should watch local news. Try to. Shouldn’t criticise mind-numbingly awful local politics. Bad! Should stand for election myself if I am so smart. Have another tin of beer. Bad! Maybe local politics would be a good idea. Start small! Like Barack Obama! If everyone stood for election then we could save the world one council at a time!!

11.30pm — Put all the beer tins in the recycle bin. Good. Don’t rinse them first. Bad! Go to bed without taking makeup off. Bad! Should’ve done some work, phoned my mother, put a wash on, ironed that pile of cheap clothes in the back bedroom, read the Sunday paper business section, come up with a five year plan for my life and meditated for half an hour to de-stress. Bad!! Fall into bed. Commit to eating fruit for breakfast. Good. Didn’t yesterday or any other day in living memory. Bad! Oh god, what is my life about? Resolve to do better tomorrow.

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