COVID-19 Journal: Day 103

I thought I'd take a day off today. Tried to not work, and yet, seemed to be attached to at least one screen for most of the day. I played movies for company (Star Trek, Life of the Party, Something Else). I made a good salad of roast potatoes, yoghurt, loads of parsley and mint, and spring onions.

I feel like Nigel Slater, having just potatoes for dinner.

Before long, I was designing something without any kind of brief. Just pretending I had other work to do. I enjoyed that. Information design. Maps. That kind of thing. 

One thing I've learned about myself over the last 12 months or so is that I'm terrible at making good boundaries. It's either boundaries entirely up or none set at all. And that's difficult. But, I'm trying to learn. And that's why I'd ordered a copy of Anxy's The Boundaries Issue, and it arrived today! (My friend, Bobbie, is Editor-in-Chief and he's done a brilliant job.)

I read it for some of the brief bits where I wasn't enscreened. It's always good to read other people's descriptions of what it feels like to be anxious, so you can place yourself alongside them, or perhaps even realise that seeing other accounts help you grade yours. There are definitely extremes to anxiety, when you can no longer really see straight, and your projections on to other people are unrealistic. The boundaries learning classifies about four types:
  1. Soft: A person with soft boundaries merges with other people’s boundaries and is often a victim of psychological manipulation.
  2. Spongy: People with spongy boundaries are unsure of what to let in and what to keep out. They use a combination of soft and rigid boundaries.
  3. Rigid: A person with rigid boundaries is walled off or closed off so no one can get close to them physically or emotionally. This is often the case of someone who has been a victim of physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse. Rigid boundaries can be selective on place, instance, or time, but overall they stem from bad previous experiences.
  4. Flexible: Flexible boundaries are the ideal. They are similar to selective rigid boundaries, but the person has more control in deciding what to let in or what to keep out, is resistant to emotional contagion* and psychological manipulation, and is difficult to exploit.
 I think having your own small company does things to your boundaries too. This may just be because I'm a bit spongy in general, but I was interested to read a little more of A Framework for the Practical Application of the Tenets of The Feminine Economy, the first point of which is:
Create structures that support and nourish your body and all the other bodies you know.
It's a bit confusing to try to reconcile my decision on the company with confidence. I mean, the world is fucking weird, so it doesn't particularly make sense to blame myself for the company going weird. I'm still positive about what we've done, but it's not as if it was running perfectly on a meadow of happy before the world went weird. One thing I'm relieved to have stymied is the way I'd just keep giving. It takes very little to encourage me, you see, and we got to interact with so many people who were so enthusiastic that I was fed by that. I'll consider this move as a boundary setting. It's good for me to not grind.  

OK. Where's the freakin' joy already? Maybe it's on July 4th, aptly timed as UK Independence Day, where some bright sparks -- again, who are the people in these rooms making these choices?! -- decided to open all pubs across the country all at once. What could possibly go wrong? 

Today I learned about Sally Hemmings, who was a slave owned by third US President, Thomas Jefferson, and bore seven of his children, three of whom died young. (That link is great if you'd like to read more about her. Her own words are lost to history, sadly.)