I cried the other day. And it was a strange thing. I didn’t cry because I was sad, I didn’t cry because anyone has betrayed me, or left me when I so wanted them to stay. I cried because I read something that made the tears well up in my eyes and a lump grow in my throat like so many things do these days.

Every day those same feelings I push away and ignore because I haven’t got time. I haven’t got time to explain, I haven’t got time to linger over the suspicions that accompany that explanation – that the receptacle of my self-aware petty hurts might be internally rolling his eyes and wondering where his sassy girl went. I haven’t got time to feel. But that day, like happens every so often, I couldn’t hold back the tide and I cried and cried and cried.

The things I haven’t done, the things I want to do, the people I want to see, the people I am letting down, the time I don’t have, and the fact that the fucking battery of my fucking laptop had gone dead so then I had to find the fucking charger. These things all made me cry.

Pathetic, right? I mean, in this time when the world is being torn apart both politically and physically, no one in my life has died, no one I care deeply about is seriously ill, no one has abandoned me or blown our house to smithereens. Come on, this is ridiculous, the voice in my ear said caustically, with an eye-roll accompanied by the self-conscious hashtag #firstworldproblems .

But I’m tired. Not just from lack of sleep – although the sleep deprivation is reaching levels the EU Convention of Human Rights might have something to say about, it’s amazing what the human body gets used to – but from the grinding-grinding-hustling-committing-committing-over-committing.

Even the time I get to myself is accompanied by a long list of things that I could and should do:

have a shower

get my hair cut

get my nails done


write a blog post

plan the novel I have sat in my head

write the novel I have sat in my head

find an outfit for a family wedding

drink some hot tea

go for a walk

do some yoga

do some gardening

read a newspaper

read a book

make some proper lunch

prepare dinner





be grateful because all of these option are open to me.

What I really want to do is sit in a quiet place and just be. But then that’s another thing to add to my list.

Feel free to roll your eyes, shake your head and think bad thoughts about the navel-gazing numpty who actually bothered to put fingerprint to keypad to write these words. I’m sure you can’t say anything that I haven’t heard already from the shouty, frowning, contemptuous voices in my head.

But now at least I feel better. Because sometimes all those things we feel we should be doing with our “free” time are part of the problem – their weight of expectation burdens us further.

On some days, all we actually need to do is own our emotions, KNOW that there is nothing really wrong, but that time spent doing The Ugly Cry has the power to cut through the bullshit, sweep aside the clutter and give us that wonderful clarity of what we really need to do NOW.

Try it, I dare you.

And please don’t shout at me for being a self-indulgent fool – I know already…