After tying myself up in knots about failing to make a writing deadline and informing an interested party about said non-development I realised something. (Preemptive note: most of my sudden realisations are painfully obvious.)

So here it is. Nobody can really care what you do or intend to do except you. Therefore if you have something that needs done, you’d better start caring about it quick-smart. We all need to learn how to deeply care for ourselves and this must fan marvellously out to all areas of our lives, bestowing its benevolence on stuff that must get done. Growth is when you have learned how to take care of all your needs first, so then your cup floweth over.

Now how the fuck do we do this? I’m clambering up my learning curve at the minute but I expect it to take years. Yes, I’m a pessimist. (You don’t say?)

You are the boss of your brain


I’ve been having an interesting ongoing conversation with my boys recently about who is the boss of their brains.

My middle son is always telling me ‘my brain told me to do it,’ often in relation to things like nicking chocolate from the cupboard, scribbling on the walls, filling up the toilet bowl with mountains of toilet paper and, post-tantrum analysis, brain gets the blame. His brain told him to do it.

You are the boss of your brain, I say to him, and not the other way around. As if I haven’t been entirely at the mercy of my brain for the last 40 odd years. Only recent information into my consciousness has led me to understand experientially that if I do a bit of mental weight-lifting, I can claw back some control and try to take charge of this brain situation.

Something useful


In passing somebody told me about a mental trick he uses when he feels angry. I tried it this week and basically have not been losing my sss hhh iiii tttt at all when confronted with the mind-blowingly irritating but perennially adorable minutiae of life with small children.

It is simply this: When you feel the anger rising, you say to yourself ‘I feel angry.’ This puts you a step away from your anger and it simmers down almost immediately. I’ve been doing it all week. ‘I feel angry’ that you are having another senseless tantrum, ‘I feel angry’ that you took your shoes off when I just put them on (Sheesh, always with the shoes, I should invest in Velcro sandals), ‘I feel angry’ that you are so angry there is no yoghurt left.

It’s billowed out everywhere and I’ve been using it with my husband too. The upshot of it is I’ve been feeling angry a lot recently and startlingly, labelling it takes the sting out of it almost totally. It’s not going to work for big massive traumas but for the everyday stuff, it works.

Try it.