A couple of weeks ago I had a free Saturday. For the first time in a really long time, I had a totally blank Saturday where I had almost nothing to do. Unfortunately, my totally blank Saturday started very early (6:30am) after a very bad night’s sleep – during which I had dedicated many hours to worrying about every unresolved issue in my life so far. I gave up trying to get any sleep during the bright Saturday morning, and instead decided I to get up and be ridiculously productive.
But in deciding I was going to productive, the exact opposite occurred. Nothing seemed to be going right. I’d spend a couple of hours on a task, and realise I wasn’t getting anywhere. Then I’d do something else and the same would happen. By lunchtime I realised that I had lost hours trying to do lots of things and had been totally unsuccessful with all of them.
Having achieved nothing, and lost my entire morning, I was met with inevitable feelings of ‘meh’ and crapness. And I started to mope.
I hate moping. Moping leads to more moping and thus, more feelings of crapness. It’s like this:
And once I had descended into this cycle of moping and crapulance, I felt like there was no way out. I wondered if maybe I was feeling crappy because I hadn’t slept. Maybe if I tried to sleep, I’d wake up and feel eleventy-million times better. And maybe then I could actually get on with the day and do something vaguely productive. It made perfectly logical sense.
So I went back to bed.
But I couldn’t sleep.
And after half an hour of not being able to sleep I started to punish myself. Because not being able to sleep when you’re really tired just doesn’t make sense. And so I told myself I was a failure because clearly I can’t even sleep like a proper person.
And so I returned to moping. Moping and talking to an empty house.
“Why can’t I do anything today?” I asked the staircase.
“Why do I feel so rubbish?” I quizzed the bedroom walls.
“Why am I so useless?” and when the kettle refused to answer, I realised that wandering around the house asking inanimate objects questions about my feelings of uselessness was definitely more tragic than the initial cycle of moping I had resigned myself to. Perhaps I was actually going crazy.
“Come on, Jo.” I said to myself – deciding that talking to myself was less mental than addressing various household appliances. “Pull yourself together.”
And with this Tyler Durden-esque conversation with myself, I decided to take action. I wasn’t going to let inactivity pull me into an unnecessary depression. I was going to do… something… Something that was guaranteed to stop me from feeling shitty.
I played Singstar. BY MYSELF.
Indeed, drastic times call for drastic measures. And nothing beats feelings of lethargy and crapness like belting out a tone deaf rendition of Africa by Toto to an audience of no one. It’s worth noting that ‘Africa’ on Singstar is stupidly difficult – even on ‘easy’ level – and involves shrieking your way through the chorus to win maximum points.
My sympathy was with my neighbours who were probably hesitant to wonder what the hell was going on next door. Incidentally, I’ve already had a bit of run-in with them over noise disturbance. Apparently my cackle-like laughter sounds a lot like a distress call. Our at least that was what was suggested during out brief conversation on the doorstep last summer, when they knocked on the door to ask if everything was okay because they ‘heard a woman screaming.’
Naturally, I was hugely embarrassed and have since made several attempts to modify my shrill laughter into a whimsical giggle-whisper to prevent from similar events from occurring.
That said, I do worry that should I ever be attacked in my house, and my neighbours hear me screaming, they will assume that I’m just watching something funny on TV, and not attacked by wild dogs who broke in through the window and are chewing my face off.
Anyway, back to Africa’s impossibly difficult chorus. My competitive nature spurred me on to make several attempts to win the top-spot on the leader-board, but I couldn’t put my neighbours through repeat renditions. If they had to listen to my terrible singing, the least i could do was offer a bit of variety. So I whaled my way through ‘Brass in Pocket’ by The Pretenders, ‘It Must Have Been Love’ by Roxette, ‘Time After Time’ by Cyndi Lauper and amongst a great many other 80s hits.
I had hoped my grand finale would be Foreigner’s ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ another classic 80s song with an impossibly high chorus. After an hour of singing, I couldn’t face shouting my way through the song and risk having another neighbourly call – this time demanding to know why I was torturing them with my hopeless renditions of 80s hits. So I ended on a much safer option of ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries – which involves less shrieking, but I can’t help but sing it with a pseudo-Irish twang (to win maximum bonus points).
When my solo-concert to my empty-sofa and coffee table audience came to an end, I felt a lot better. So much better, in fact, that I even tackled the mountain of laundry that had been piling up. And afterwards I made an enormous chilli. Then I ate almost all of it.
By the time Saturday evening came around, I was curled up on the sofa watching films with lots of car chases and feeling eleventy-million times better.
Sometimes, the only way to shake off a bout of depression is to do something completely ridiculous, like singing your way through beloved 80s hits or inventing new dance moves or… I dunno, trampolining. Either that, or this time I really have gone completely bonkers.