NOPE, eeeee and ohfine

*zombie noises*

It’s 11:30, one of those days.

Took aeons to get to sleep because of Overprotective Elladog plus had to wake up early because of Cash and Joy client call freeeeezing damn weather PC starts up with a whine that forebodes the imminent demise of my hard-drive have to plug in USB headset on back of computer which requires many short-ass acrobatics oh dammit turns out the client had to reschedule “I got up this early for nothing, waaah” I am still damn sleepy but I don’t go back to bed because I am stupid instead I dick around on iPad games feed Elladog rub hands go out into sun mow a bit of lawn warm up pat Elladog read a bit of Seth Godin book a mosquito? in winter? not cool. slap! head back inside look at clock, realise the morning is nearly gone and I am still so damn sleepy and damn you, Seth Godin, it’s fabulous that you have all these clever insights on how to improve what you do but I don’t see you having much to say about what to do while it’s all still super goddamn amorphous can I start showing up before I know what I’m showing up for? ‘cos I’d like to make something today except I don’t ‘cos I am sleepy and granted less cold but still, like my Facebook is full of people who are MAKING THINGS *self-flagellation goes here* I could just continue to screw around unenjoyably but I know I’ll wish I hadn’t but I am sleepy, dammit, and what on Earth can I make that won’t be terrible? stop overachieving Catherine darling and just make a terrible thing ALLOW IT TO SUCK IF IT WANTS TO but stop overanalysing all your standards are self-imposed and some of them are daft how about you just write a thing and see where it goes?

Okay. Better. Brain is 87% charged up and less obsessed with pointing how how sleepy I am. (Verrrry.) (Shut up.)

Now I can write coherent sentences and of course I am tempted to go back and just edit out that long-ass stream of consciousness. Most beginnings are crap, right? You can delete them wholesale and the writing is usually stronger for it.

But this time I won’t, because it’s kinda useful to have a recording of my don’t-wanna.It’s interesting how it starts as a long justification for why I couldn’t possibly do anything productive today, then a short justification for why I couldn’t possibly make anything worthwhile today, then eventually, the oh-fuck-it-go-ahead-see-if-I-care plateau.


  1. NOPE.
  2. It’ll suck!!!
  3. Oh fine.

How often do I go through those stages?

Pretty often, I think. But not all the time?

*long thoughtful pause*

When sick, depressed, sleeeepy (shuddap), cold, or discouraged I either stall in the NOPE stage or manage to grundle my way through it like a tractor stuck in loam – ugh, tiring. Leaves little energy left to do the thing.

When it Matters to me in some way? Cue the obstacle course of what if it sucks what if it’s meaningless what if it’s the same as someone else did what if they hate it what if they hate meeeeee… This also leaves me pretty wrung out.

Fortunately, I rarely have to do both at the same time. Mostly because I am not stupid and hence rarely try to get stuff that Super Duper Matters To Me done on cold etc (sleepy) (SERIOUSLY SHUT UP BRAIN) sort of days. But even this wee article required a brief trot through the minefields.

Then if I’ve taken a detour in either there’s that long “oh fine” like a mother who’s given her best advice and if you want to ignore her, on your head be it young lady don’t say I didn’t warn youuuuuuuuu… which I can see pulls a lot of the air out of my beginning and adds to the time it takes me to get into gear. (Not sure if that’s a problem or just the aftereffects of the tractor-pull and cargo-net-climbing.)


I don’t have any, really. I think it’ll be worthwhile to pay attention for the next while when I try to make a thing: to see which of these punch-cards gets activated, and by what. There are probably other stages, too.

But I did manage to write a whole article despite the epic pile of NOPE and eeeee, so that’s good news. Maybe I can go and take a nap. (YESSSSS) (Yeah yeah brain, I heard you the first ten times.)

Share your thoughts, lovely, and I’ll reply once I’m awakerer!

Thanks to Jack for the photo.

  • Shanna Mann

    Ha! I love this. One might almost think you are camping out in MY brain. The sleepiness is harder to overcome than any other kind of stuck because you don’t have the energy to fight it.

    • Catherine Caine

      Ezackly! Once the winter is gone I shall go back to less sleep, but it ain’t happening yet.

  • Karen J

    Oh, Catherine!
    I could have written that whole piece (with COOOLLLLD replacing sleeeepy, most of the time.)
    Not sure I ever got to “oh FINE” today, though….

    • Catherine Caine

      Many days I don’t. We survive and move on.

  • Tangerine Meg

    Haha, I love that you typed in your thought stream! I’ve started doing Morning Pages first thing (brain dumping onto paper before I forget everything), similar to what you did here.
    It helps. Most days.
    M x o

    • Catherine Caine

      I did them for awhile, but I got sick of them. May be time to try it again!

  • Erin Kurup

    I’m really good at never getting to “oh, fine.” I appreciate this nice laying out of the progression, because now I can see that they are not disparate points but are, in fact, connected. And that means maybe passing through one will get to the other. That is, if I can just *remember* that on the other side of the obstacle course I will most likely get to “oh, fine,” which means *some* progress at least…

    • Catherine Caine

      There are prob’ly a whole bunch of other detours and speedbumps to be aware of that separate us from “oh, fine” – the less-good but still productive endpoint, or its much better cousin “let’s dooo eeeet”. More research is required!

  • Mere Dreamer

    Me too, only replace sleepy and cold with health related brain-fog. I spend my time calculating all the ways I can miraculously change my whole lifestyle in order to no longer feel this way so I can do something easily … until my brain wakes up and I realize I haven’t done anything yet today, so who cares if I “could” be healthier tomorrow to do it right, because even now I could just stop thinking and do something. Then I hit “Oh, fine!” and move. Sometimes I finish a WHOLE THING and then I tell myself, “Look at that! Who knew?” And even when I don’t finish, progress is made.

    I keep a list of “Oh fine” things to do, not to check them off, but so I remember those things when my mind is blank. “There was SOMETHING I could do, but what?” *laugh* It may be right in front of me, but I still have to check that list to remember what it was. “Ah, a basic 3×5 card sketch. I can do that.” … Washing dishes rarely jumps out at me. Wonder why?

    • Catherine Caine

      Nailed it, lovely. Ah well, we progress.