Some Things I Regret From 2020
Some heavy stuff, some trivial stuff, some damn fucking ridiculous stuff that will hopefully make you smile.
I was in a horrible place when I found myself setting up accounts on several dating sites. And I was in an even worse place when I decided that enough was enough, and stopped logging in to check who had come by my page. I can remember trying to think of something to write on my profile and having fuck all to say. I eventually cobbled something together using bits from the ‘About Me’ page on my blog. It was all I could manage.
It was a miserable, desperate time. I’d constantly be scrutinizing the photos I’d shared of myself, worried I looked horrendous. When I’d get a message from someone, I’d be slightly elated, though mostly petrified because, thanks to depression, putting a sentence together could take the best part of an hour. One bloke said I sucked at conversation, though he didn’t have to tell me really. I was already painfully aware.
It fills me with horror to think of the hours I wasted trawling through profiles, obsessing about how I came across on my own profile and panicking over how I was going to reply to a message when words were practically impossible to find. In 2021 I’ll stay well away.
As I stood in line, waiting to pick up my fitness tracker, I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I was making a mistake. I knew it was a pointless investment and that, after using it for a while, it would end up dead in a drawer. But I still went ahead and bought it. 2019 had been a horrible year, probably the worst year of my life, and I was frantically trying to find things to make 2020 a better one. I needed to get in shape and I’d somehow convinced myself that getting a fitness tracker would help me achieve that. (I say a fitness tracker, really all it did was count the steps I’d taken and how many hours I’d slept. It wasn’t anything high tech.) I thought it was great for the first few days, but I soon started to forget to put it on. I quickly accepted what I’d known all along – that I didn’t need the damn thing. As I predicted, it ended up dead in a drawer. And I lost weight anyway, without knowing how many fucking steps I’d taken.
In theory, I should probably be telling you to hurry on over to Amazon and sign away £7.99 a month for Kindle Unlimited as I have books of my own on the scheme. (I’d take them off, but it’s too much of a hassle and I have better things to do.) I’ve signed up for Kindle Unlimited several times in the past couple of years, but in 2019 I canceled my subscription because there just wasn’t enough quality reading material available to justify having it. But in 2020, when all the libraries closed (the worst of times) I foolishly decided I’d give it another chance.
Off the top of my head, I can remember one book I read that was somewhat decent – Hardcore Self Help: Fuck Depression. I thought I’d give some of the magazines available a read. They offered the sort you find in WHSmith. But they were fluffed out with generic, boring bullshit. I remember thinking to myself ‘and this is the reason you stopped buying magazines in the first place, Katie, you moron.’
The time wasted searching, searching, searching for well written books…I get pissed off just thinking about. Needless to say, I cancelled my subscription, again, and Kindle Unlimited won’t be getting another chance.
For me, having a cup of tea is a little moment of sacredness. I take time to make a cup of tea that I can thoroughly enjoy. (For the record, I use Yorkshire Tea which I leave to brew for four minutes. I never squeeze the tea bag. I always have a splash of milk and one sugar. I drink it straight away. If it’s left to go lukewarm, it’s ruined. If it sometimes happens where I’m not able to drink my tea immediately and it cools off, I’ll always make another one.)
At the later end of 2020 I’d lost quite a bit of weight, and I was scared about gaining any of it back. So I decided I’d start to replace the sugar in my tea with sweetener. I knew the dangers of aspartame (I spent many years addicted to artificial sweetener) so opted for Natvia, an apparently more healthy version with no bitter aftertaste.
The first cup of tea I had where I replaced sugar with sweetener was so awful – it DID have a bitter aftertaste – I tipped it down the sink. I can be stubborn sometimes, so I tried it again, thinking of the calories I’d be cutting out. It was just as bad as before. But I stuck with it. For a while at least. When it dawned on me that I wasn’t looking forward to having a cup of tea anymore, I knew I had to cut that shit out. There was so little joy in my life anyway that I wanted to ensure I kept the things that did make me happy, and one of those things is a cup of tea made the way I enjoy it.
A Paddling Pool
So, I wanted to do a photo shoot where I was submerged in water, and, because there’s not really enough space in the bathroom for me to shoot photos of myself in the bath, I thought it would be a good idea to buy a small paddling pool. (You can laugh, it’s ok, I am.) This was in November, so I thought ‘ah, I’ll just do it in my bedroom.’ So I bought a paddling pool and set it up in my bedroom.
It was, as you can imagine, a fucking disaster and I lost an entire day to this farcical idea of mine. I spent half the morning filling the bloody thing up – going with a jug to and from the bathroom – most of the afternoon trying to get a shot of me in the water (trying to take a self portrait in water when you’re on a ten second timer is extremely difficult), then the rest of the afternoon and a lot of the evening emptying it out. (Astonishingly, no water was spilled, as you would have expected.) And I didn’t get one, NOT ONE good photo. I abandoned the paddling pool in the shed in disgust and haven’t looked at it since. It’s an ongoing joke in my family now, and who can blame them.
One day when I was washing my face, I noticed how unruly my eyebrows had become, especially on top. I desperately needed to prune them down but the sheer volume of hair put me in a panic, and I thought ‘there’s no fucking way I’m going to be able to tackle all of it with a pair of tweezers.’
I recalled an advert I’d seen for an eyebrow trimmer and thought how much easier my life would be if I had it. How little time I’d need to spend tending my brows. So I hopped onto Amazon and purchased an eyebrow trimmer that had reviewers raving about how it had changed their lives. So it arrived, and, predictably, annihilated my eyebrows.
At first I thought they weren’t too bad, but then, because they hadn’t been ripped out from the root, the hairs started to grow back with alarming speed and I found myself too afraid to go back in with the trimmer else I was too heavy handed, as I’d been before, and ended up with eyebrows that were a hair thick. I’ve come to the conclusion that tweezers are the way forward, even if it means plucking away for a day and a half.
If this post hasn’t been too irrelevant, please do consider coming back tomorrow to read about some of the things I was grateful for in 2020!
What I Was Listening To When I Was Writing This
Harbustazblot by Leidungr. (PERFECT music to write to.)
5 thoughts on “2020 Regrets”
The image does a strong, compelling job of conveying regret, even mortification. I guess it’s good to try things, and I am impressed that no pool water was spilled. And your eyebrows should grow back. I rather like the trend of heavier brows (on women) being fashionable again. As far as sweetener goes, I’m back to sugar, too, after having tried Splenda for a while. So I guess we’re all going to grow up more in the new year.
After reading this, I find myself wondering – in what ways might supernatural beings be able to utilise a paddling pool for dark ends? Or maybe they’d just have fun in it. Everybody needs to unwind sometimes.
This comment made me smile! You have me thinking now… 🙂 xxx
Katie, my fitness tracker too, is also dead in a drawer. I was finding myself getting into ridiculous competitions to be a “workweek warrior.” WHAT? Seriously, who gives a shit. Fuck off, fitbit! I have full confidence that we can continue putting one foot in front of the other without it, friend 🙂
We absolutely can!! ❤ I was thinking about passing it on to someone, but I don't want anyone else's life to be hindered by it. So it can stay exactly where it is! By the way, I was reading your Needful Things post and was fucking delighted to see you writing about glasses wipes! I bought my first pack of them in 2020 and after I'd used one it was like 'wow, so THIS is what the world looks like!' p.s. Your book is on my 'to read' list for January. I'm so bloody excited! xx