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Turn Your Lousy Days Into Lousy Days with Cookies
(Hint: It involves cookies.)
The Thing I Do When I Have Things To Do
I love a long, uninterrupted stretch of time and a single pleasurable task that I can get lost in. What I do not love is having a million small and slightly unpleasant tasks glaring at me and demanding my attention.
I’m not talking here about big unpleasant tasks, like doing the taxes or cleaning the garage. Those take whole days, or weeks, even. I’m talking about all the tasks that probably only take ten minutes each, but somehow I can’t bring myself to deal with any of them.
So, many years ago, I instituted a thing called Shit Day. This is the day when I do all my shit. You know the kind of shit I mean…
Calling out an appliance repair person
Paying those odd and unexpected bills that for some stupid reason are not on autopay
Packing up that thing and shipping it off
Updating my website
Deciding what to do about various requests that come in…requests for blurbs, interviews, small professional favors of some kind.
Sometimes it’s possible to keep on top of this stuff by just handling it as it comes in. But when it accumulates beyond the “I can knock this out in half an hour at the end of the day when I’m too brain-dead to do anything interesting anyway” level—that’s when I declare a Shit Day.
Now this part is important: Shit Day should be a day that is already ruined. If the sun is shining, the birds are singing, you’ve had a great night’s sleep, and you’re filled with boundless enthusiasm to do whatever bring you joy…definitely do not ruin that feeling with a Shit Day.
Shit Day is for the day when you wake up feeling like you already have hornets in your head. When it’s raining, you’re sluggish, possibly on the verge of a cold, and you have that annoying appointment in the middle of the day that’s already ruining everything, and you’re generally in a foul mood. THAT’s a perfect Shit Day.
The trick to Shit Day is that once you’ve decided to have one, you’ve got to go whole hog. Really dig in. Tear into that call to the insurance agent! Zip right on to the weird email that requires you to log in but you can’t figure out how! Download the stupid driver so you can use the stupid software to make one stupid change to the stupid thing that you have to send back to the stupid people by Friday.
Stay off social media. Do not procrastinate. It’s only one day. Just deal with it!
By the end of Shit Day, you will hopefully have a pretty clean slate. However, you will not necessarily feel better. Why would you? You just spent a whole day doing unpleasant and annoying tasks. And now the realization will creep in that more unpleasant tasks will be arriving soon, some of them in fact triggered by the tasks you just completed, and that this cycle will continue until you’re dead.
That is why—this is key, don’t skip this part—you get yourself a treat at the end of Shit Day. In my case, it’s usually a chocolate chip cookie from the bakery down the street. Your treat could be wildly different. For instance, it could be a peanut butter cookie or a black-and-white or the highly underrated molasses cookie. Regardless, you deserve i!
And hopefully you’ll have a series of sunny, joyful, or at least not-as-soul-crushing days ahead, until you look around and realize that it’s time to declare another Shit Day and you’re feeling just lousy enough to do it.
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The Bit at the End
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