Yesterday my friend Babs dropped by on a whim. I was right in the middle of a very taxing game of Spider Solitaire (when I should have been working) and the house was a tip, so I was a little off my guard.
As we sat at my grubby table, surrounded by my books, nursing hastily-prepared cups of coffee, Babs told me that her family had all suffered from a flu bug that apparently " makes you think everyone hates you" (that's a virus??). I've been really grumpy ( I mean really grumpy) lately, but I'm not sure I can put it down to a virus.
Last Friday, I came away from my second supervision session with the biggest dark cloud over my head. My supervisor had been quite enthusiastic. He could see how I could rework my thesis and had even written out the bones of a structure. On the face of it, that's exactly what I had hoped he would do and I should have been excited. The problem is, my brain is simply not agile enough to cope with new things - like people dropping by unexpectedly or different perspectives being thrown into the mix. I couldn't for the life of me see where he was coming from and it threw me into a panicky state of confusion.
Then, I made the mistake of looking at some of the comments he'd made on the prehistoric draft I'd given him. Simple comments like "what do you mean by this?" or "what is the process of adoption?" sent me into a negative whirl of self-chastisement (why on earth didn't I find that out?) and unnecessary catastrophising ('It's hopeless! The fieldwork is useless, it'll never be good enough').
I've calmed down a little and am coming round to his point of view, but I'm still very crotchety.
The other thing which might account for my churlish gloom is the time of year. I really dislike the run-up to Christmas. For some reason I have a pathological resentment of not only the excessive consumerism, materialism and plain greed that surrounds the 'festive season', but the fact that everyone starts talking about it really really early.
Three weeks ago the checkout girl in Tescos asked me if I'd done all my Christmas shopping. I almost bit her head-off: 'Don't!' I spat 'I refuse to start even thinking about it until at least December and preferably the second week'.
I have a problem with efficiency, booking things early, getting organised in good time and I don't know why. It's something about planning in advance (my mum would always plan far too far in advance and make me commit to things I really didn't want to do) but also something about my particular brain getting easily overloaded.
Despite being a reasonable multi-tasker, my poor noggin cannot take too many things on at once. I do actually physically find it hard to turn my mind to Christmas when it is so far ahead. I like to focus on one immediate and relevant thing at a time. I find the task of picking out good presents and taking the time to trawl the shops really really difficult, so I prefer to dedicate a certain time to do it. - and I'm nearing it now, with dread.
Last night I wrote a scrappy list of possible presents for the ever- burgeoning family of mine including two new nephews and neices and two more birthdays before Christmas. Instead of feeling mildly in control I just sagged in a depressive heap - too little money and too much organising to do. Bah HUMBUG!