Scrolling through Instagram is lazy. Procrastinating is unproductive. Binging an entire Netflix series in a day is downright shameful (yet weirdly satisfying).
These are the thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis.
I’ve written before, for Counter Journal, about my struggle with overcoming busyness and learning when to switch off.
Sometimes, I consult my list of things that aren’t work related but will still propel me forward in this chaotic journey that we call human existence.
Other times, I retreat inwards. I turn off the lights, close the curtains and recklessly dive into a TV show with a minimum of six seasons.
During these retreats, I often won’t get off the couch except to eat, pee or make another cup of tea.
I avoid my phone, my to-do list, and the towering pile of unfolded clothes.
I pretend that I am sixteen again, waking up at midday with a mild hangover, and hibernating in my bedroom with greasy food and comforting stories.
Except I am not sixteen, and I no longer support eating in bed.
Instead, I use the coffee table as my workspace, with said work including devouring twelve episodes of Gossip Girl and only being asked twice if I’m still watching.
If you were to stumble upon my house during one of these retreats (which would be highly unlikely, as I never invite anyone over) then you’d think I was suffering.
But I’m not, not really. I’m just tuning out. Letting another narrative take over from my own.
In the last month or so, this sedative state has become second nature. As soon as I finish work, I transition from my home office to my home couch, switch the aircon on, make a cuppa, and get stuck into my latest obsession.
Often, these shows are ones I’ve already watched three, four, seven times. Those are the best ones to rewatch. They’re comforting, familiar, and you know what to expect. No surprise deaths or unfair break ups here (unless you dare to dance with Fleabag).
Shows like Skins, Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, Stranger Things, You, they’ve all taken on a nostalgic quality that makes me long for simpler times.
Because right now I am navigating uncharted territory. I am in the midst of a pending breakup, an interstate move, and a general life overhaul.
So naturally, I resort to TV to numb the pain of my broken heart and ten thousand errands.
It sounds worse than it is, really. I’m doing okay. But I do have to give credit to my streaming accounts for that one.
Without them, I would spend my free time staring into space or sobbing endlessly over trivial things, like having to shower alone and not having anyone to buy me lemonade when I feel sick.
Over the past five weeks, I have taken a step back from my business, my goals, my trello boards, and surrendered to the sedative of unlimited internet data and several watch lists.
The ‘normal’ me would be appalled with this behaviour, deem it a waste of time, but she’s taking a break.
She’s put her OOO on until February and intends to lay low until then.
I know she’s still in there, because I’m still reading a book a week and separating whites from colours, but she’s licking her wounds and trying to figure out what 25 looks like.
Alone. In a new city. With nothing but a car full of art prints and books.