The Productivity Conundrum or Ah! I don’t know what to do!

Last week I was on holiday with a friend in Lanzarote. A beautiful Canary Island full of tourists. We found ourselves in a resort with four different pools, a main one, a Kids one, but the one I care about the most, a ‘Quiet Zone’ Pool, with a ¬†little cushion and benches area for ‘Adults only’. A large buffet with a special vegan corner for us. Bliss.

I loved going on these type of holidays as a child. All the activities, the tours around the island, playing GameBoy and reading books combined with copious amounts of food. This was very similar, except that I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. How can I relax when I haven’t even finished reading my book yet? Is there nothing better to do than enjoy the sun and a swim? Basically my mind was going crazy with this relaxing idea.

Luckily enough, my friend loves walking so we walked our 10.000 steps along the beach everyday. She told me that there is nothing to do here but relax. It was the purpose of our trip. So I kept myself from spending too much money and only purchased a couple of small gifts for close ones. We went on exploring trips around the Island. I finished reading my book and started a new one without the pressure of finishing it. I swam in the sea without it feeling like exercise but pure pleasure. And I got a tan.

Now I am at home with a few spare days left before my full-time course starts. I have chores etc that need to be done but all in all I have quite some time to, well relax. This morning started off well, I got up and did a few things like checking money, clearing up, getting started on an editing project. Then I was sitting there overwhelmed by the other things that I still have planned. I might have been sitting still but my mind was pacing up and down the room trying to figure out how to get myself to do these things on my list.

I remembered I wanted to go to the cinema and see a film before it stopped showing. Checked times. Decided on one. Decided on when to leave the house and how to combine the trip with grocery shopping, getting materials for my course (I am a sucker for a pretty notepad). Now I have a plan, and all is good. I feel I can stick to that plan and until then do other things that make me panic less, such as play a video game and write my next blog entry, well this one.

So here it is, a brief view on how I, a usually very organised person, deal with relaxation, productivity and planning.

Love and Be Loved

ThePolyOrange

You have more than I do!

‘But you have more partners than me!’

Ever encountered that? Or this one ‘You have multiple partners, you have nothing to complain about!’ ?

Since actively being poly, I have been confronted with all sorts of reactions to this lifestyle. Often when someone finds out it goes like this: ‘Do they know about each other?’ or ‘Well I could never share my partner.’ These are the kinds of replies that come from non poly people. Being called out on having multiple partners ‘and I have less’ kind of way, has mostly come from other poly people. A once dear friends didn’t want to talk to me about my unmet needs because I had two relationships and he had none. I couldn’t need more than two loving boyfriends when he didn’t even have so much as casual partners. How dare I complain?

That hurt. I was confused, because to me everyone’s problems always mattered. Yes, I might have two relationships that fill me with love and care but that doesn’t necessarily fix other needs I have unmet by both partners. So is this a less relevant problem than my friend being frustrated about being single? Didn’t we both want someone to fulfil a need? And does it even matter if our problems were both exactly the same? He was unhappy and so was I. I couldn’t experience how he felt, after all I am not in his mind but I could see his pain. This pain my friend was in that I wanted to help fix.

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I have now come to despise those kind of phrases. I do have multiple partners, but it takes a lot of effort to gain and maintain these relationships. I also have certain privileges that others don’t. I often find myself very grateful for these privileges but I feel crap about them when somebody tells me ‘You live with your partner and I don’t.’ It is even worse when somebody uses it not only as a comparison but in a way that could apply pressure: ‘You have more partners than me, share!’

It can be difficult to be around people who seem to have more. On a particularly low day, I see something I wanted, and my friend has it, so now I want it too, really bad. I get reminded of how much I need this thing. It hurts that I don’t have it and compersion become the most difficult thing. Being happy for your friends for what they have.

We can not always be happy for others. We can be aware of their happiness and know that even if we say something silly or hurtful they will forgive us. If it gets that bad that your friends happiness turns you bitter and angry, then your friendship is in trouble. That is when the lashing out, the seeming lack of support becomes a destructive force, rather than a small easily mended mistake. The strong friendships weather storms. In my case, as always with open and honest communication. This case here though, of these sentences about having more, I understand where they come from so I don’t always need to discuss them. Unfortunately that does not mean the hurt cause by the sentence is erased.

Love and Be Loved

ThePolyOrange