Just lie there..

… and tell me about your mother. Freud* was an odd bugger, of that there is no doubt, but less well known is the awesome nuttiness of his contemporary Carl Jung who – after a somewhat public falling out with his fellow couch-man – embarked on a project to categorise each and every one of us into a personality bucket. All of which he apparently achieved without assuming a default position of an Oedipus complex.

At which point, everyone who was anyone** ignored his dry and dusty research, instead flocking to the Freudmesiter and blaming their parents for everything. Frankly, that man has much to answer for based on the feedback I get from my own kids. Anyway, post war and with a bunch of people needing jobs that didn’t involve killing people, the US government funded a Mother/Daughter combination to resurrect Jung’s theories to be applied to the modern workplace.

Myers and Briggs have stalked vocational spaces ever since with their carefully cloistered sixteen boxes of people types explaining why some of us – when presented with an audience – feel the irrepressible urge to moon while others are found hiding in cupboards. As part of a “group grope” management bonding thing, one of the many delights included completing a questionnaire which, carefully analysed, would inform exactly what kind of nutter you are.

Not being terrible self aware, but having been repeatedly – and tediously – harranged for being too impulsive/too noisy/too direct/too just bloody annoying, it wasn’t exactly a cosmic shock to find what passes as my personality is essentially keen to party, especially if it’s a party where the centre of attention is forever me. What did somewhat prick my balloon of carefully crafted amusement and cynicism was the probable reason for my obsession with lists.

I don’t do lists; I love lists, love them in the way of the incurably OCD. Mere collections of tasks are nowhere near enough; firstly we weave in sub-lists, create lists of lists, assign priority stars, stab linkages, arrows and – I am quite proud of this -mark the first item in BLOCK CAPITALS “Complete To-Do List”. When you’ve written “Find Dog” on a notepad, while said dog is probably playing with the traffic, it is absolutely clear that organisation and structure are mainstays of your life.

Except they’re not. My aspiration goals may be neatly documented but they are never completed. Frustration lies between those two points, especially if you have the ability to understand what needs to be done, but are far too lazy to actually do it. Yet I cannot sit down with a beer and a book in the garden, if the supporting chair has a weed in my slumped eye-line. The reluctant conclusion from all this is that my basic slackness is infected with a work ethic itself inkly verbalised in lists.

Because if I every finish this list, and that list, and the list I wrote at 2am while wide awake trying to order chaos, then I will be free to finally sit down, do fuck all and not feel guilty about it. Waste time without obsessing that it IS a waste of time, stop making changes because they represent a new start, give up on it trying for perfect and accept that good enough generally is. What I may have learned is that list is never going to be done, so I may as well try being a normal person to see how that feels.

Carol’s pretty normal – with the exception she had a rather large blind spot in terms of suitable husbands – and I was pretty damn sure her personality was pegged by my five minute skim of some fifty years of research. And I was mostly right, except for the tiny assumption that she loved planning, lists – natch – being organised and helping organise, sorting stuff out and getting things done right now. It appears I was 100{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} wrong there, which may explain some issues of domestic disharmony in the last fifteen years.

Slow learner, that’s me. There is no point profiling the kids as they are perfectly attuned to any personality trait most effective in annoying their parents. And don’t think by changing the rules that this will in any way wrong foot them, because they adapt way quicker than us old fuckers. And the dog is essentially mad so he’s not getting done unless there’s some hidden category involving a mental type entirely predicated on stealing food, chasing the cat, and – in a perfect world – combining the two.

You cannot read too much into this shit, because we’re all different, yes? We don’t fit into virtual boxes dreamt up by people who apply statistical rigour to something so organically random it cannot be so simply categorised. But for all of that, it doesn’t stop it being mildly interesting if only to make you question just why mainlining the arsehole motherlode comes so naturally. So this weekend I shall organise nothing, my listing notebook shall remain unopened, I’ll let the spontaneous genie back out of the bottle and refuse to accept life will end if that door isn’t painted.

Beer for breakfast then.
* Sigmund. Not Clement although of the two, I felt old Clemmie was slightly more bonkers at the end

** Although by this time they’d been convinced they were somebody else. Probably a Pharaoh, unlikely to be a turn-of-the-domini street sweeper. I wonder what that is?

2 thoughts on “Just lie there..

  1. Alex

    That’s good to know. Although looking around me, I think it may be just me and everyone else is an alien 🙂

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