Deconstructing Goblin Mode: It Can Happen To The Best Of Us

Image via The Gottman Institute on IG

I’m just throwing it out here, but I may have gone goblin.  Yep, I might be in Goblin Mode.

As you must realize it’s been a long 2 years of living with Covid-19 realities and precautions.  Plus considering I’m an introvert at heart, I may have been on the precipice of going goblin to begin with.

What is Goblin Mode, you may be asking?

According to Google Trends this term, Goblin Mode, has been around for a while, peaking in popularity in February 2022.  The Guardian recently published an article about this term.  The article is cleverly entitled: “Slobbing out and giving up: why are so many people going ‘goblin mode’?”

Here is what I learned from reading the article.  Someone named Juniper, a primary source I guess, described Goblin Mode as: “… kind of the opposite of trying to better yourself…. everyone’s just kind of wild and insane right now.”  

The article also says that Goblin Mode is: “… an almost spiritual-level embrace of our most debased tendencies.”

This was clarified further by Cat Marnell, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir How To Murder Your Lifewho said that: “It’s when you act crazy, and you enter a very mythological space– you want to jump on the back of a salamander and make trouble.” 

Examples of being in Goblin Mode include, but are not limited to, the ideas of not committing to a daily exercise regime, not bothering to wear clothes that match, and pretty much giving up on the bread-baking homemaker ideal + healthy diet that was popular at the beginning of the pandemic.

I have to be truthful here, the foregoing paragraph does ring true with me– and perhaps with you, too.  [Don’t worry, you’re among friends so you can admit it.]

While I don’t think I’m a total slob nor am I certifiably insane after two years of being on constant alert for an invisible virus that can kill me & everyone I love, I do think I’ve shifted my priorities, allowed myself to be less uptight in general.

In fact I’d go so far as to say I’m a person who’d love to cause some harmless trouble– if I could only find the right salamander.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

How did you… first come to realize that Goblin Mode was a thing?

In what ways… do you feel you are currently in Goblin Mode?

Tell me about… what you like or dislike about the concept of Goblin Mode.

What’s it like… to know that you, or someone you love, may have gone goblin?

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In Which I Explain How I Created My Own Unique 2021 Reading Challenge

I’ve been meaning to write about how I arrived at my personalized 2021 reading challenge, but somehow got off track. I was probably reading a book…

For those of you who enjoy numbers: this is a 12″ high stack of 12 books with a total of 4,248 pages that I plan on reading in 2021. 🤓

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I barely read any books in 2020. My focus was too scattered, my anxiety was high, and I couldn’t stick with it.

I forgive myself for slip sliding away from reading for pleasure last year because I am still here in one piece, healthy, relatively sane– and with a renewed sense of purpose when it comes to reading.

Allow me to explain.

As some of you know I’m a fan of Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog and get her newsletter. When I saw that she had created a questionnaire that I could use to make my own CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE-STYLE reading challenge I downloaded the worksheets.

By answering her simple questions, I set my 2021 intention, evaluated my reading needs, and then made a list of twelve prompts that resonated with me based on the concepts of variety and escapism. As Modern Mrs. Darcy says: “Remember, your goal isn’t just to get through this challenge. This challenge is a tool to develop the reading life you want.”

Hallelujah!

But then after further contemplating the reading life I wanted, I had a brainstorm, one in which I devised a way to make this reading challenge more personal– and a bit less costly. Please keep in mind that just because I didn’t read much in 2020 doesn’t mean that I didn’t buy books in 2020.

Thus I found myself thinking back to a decade ago when I read a wonderful memoir, Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill.

In this book Hill writes about her decision that for one year she would only re-read books already in the house. That is, she read what she had on hand, then mused upon what her life was like the first time she read the book. This practical approach to deciding what to read next made an impression on me.

Obviously, I guess.

Anyhow, to be clear, I won’t be re-reading anything this coming year, but I will be reading what is here in the house, pre-purchased in good faith you might say– and meant to be read by me, dammit.

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MY 2021 CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE-STYLE READ-WHAT-YOU-HAVE-IN-THE-HOUSE-ALREADY READING CHALLENGE

a thriller

a memoir

a fantasy novel

a cozy mystery

a book of short stories

a recent NYT bestseller

a novel previously abandoned

a NYT bestseller from a while ago

a novel based on something literary

a non-fiction book set where I live now

a non-fiction book set somewhere I’ve never visited

a book I’d never heard of yet is on many required reading lists

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Do you do any reading challenges? Have you ever made your own? Inquiring minds wanna know.

Daisies: Examples Of Tenacity OR Flowers With Loose Morals?

Daisies are sluts.

Zen-Den said this.  We were outside in our yard, working on the planting beds, trying to make our shrubs and flowers look presentable.  In the process of our gardening we noticed that the daisies were thriving.

Earlier this summer we transplanted them from the front of the house to the back of the house by the deck steps.  In the front yard the daisies were being overshadowed by tall birch trees, not getting enough sunshine to bloom.

In truth we were ready to chuck them into the wooded ravine behind the house but we had a change of heart so we gave them one. last. chance. by the deck stairs.

The daisies have graciously accepted their reprieve, growing by the deck stairs in the backyard where they’re getting 6+ hours of sunshine a day, looking healthy.

Enjoying their place in the sun, so to speak.

~ ~ ~ ~

I’m happy that we gave these daisies a new home in the garden because I find them charming, an inspiring example of the old axiom: “bloom where you’re planted.”  

Exhibiting style and tenacity, you know?

However to Mr. Man with his judge-y attitude, they’re hussies, flowers of ill repute giving off a morally dubious come-hither vibe.  Flowers who’ll do whatever it takes to stay in the garden.

Uh huh.

Clearly we differ on this point about the true character of daisies, thus demonstrating a basic principle of human nature: no matter what happens, if two people see it there will be two different interpretations of the same one event.

Is this not so?

Now I ask you, do these daisies look like sluts? Hmmm? Give me a break.

What The Sheriff Saw: A Story About Yours Truly Doing Her Gardening Chores

I want to tell you what happened. I didn’t quite understand what really happened as it happened and it was only after Zen-Den gently walked me to an epiphany that I got what happened.

• • •

• • •

THE OTHER MORNING AROUND 9:00 a.m. I decided to water the planters that are on the stoop in front of the house by the front door. I do this using an old Rubbermaid aqua-colored 2 1/4 quarts plastic pitcher whose white lid I lost decades ago.

As I was watering these planters I looked over in the bushes to where we have a medium-sized concrete urn that holds a spike plant. Because it’s been more dry around here than usual the poor spike looked droopy, so I got more water in my repurposed pitcher, now watering can, and stepped into our bushes in front of the windows in front of the house to water the thirsty plant.

I probably should add at this point that I was wearing Stewart plaid flannel jammies, a bright pink fleece jacket, dark teal suede house slippers, and had my curly mess of graying blonde hair pulled up, with a neon orange elastic band, into an off-kilter pineapple-style ponytail on top of my head.

Oh, and I was wearing dark glasses because it was sunny outside.

• • •

THERE’S BEEN A CHIPMUNK hanging around the front of the house all summer and as I was watering the spike I saw it scurry by me on its way to the other side of the front of the house. I do not like the damage that chipmunks can cause so I stopped watering and glared at the little rodent to see where it was going.

And, of course, I yelled a few random death threats at it.

As one does.

Suddenly I had a strange feeling and realized I was not alone. That out on the street in a large black SUV someone was watching me as I stood there.

And who was this person watching me? A sheriff who had happened to notice me as he was driving by. He’d rolled down his passenger side window to get a closer look at me and when I saw him, he waved.

I smiled and waved back while holding up my repurposed pitcher, then started pouring water into the concrete urn to show him I belonged where I was. I wasn’t a burglar hiding in the bushes, I was just the lady of the house doing a chore.

He smiled back, nodded his head, rolled up the window, and went on his way.

• • •

LATER THAT NIGHT I told Z-D what had happened and how funny I thought it was that a sheriff thought I was a miscreant attempting to break into our house.

As if.

Zen-Den listened to my story and conclusion, then quietly suggested that what the sheriff thought he saw probably didn’t register with him as a burglary in progress.

Instead from the sheriff’s perspective what he saw was an addlepated gray-haired senior citizen, perhaps suffering from dementia and jibber-jabbering to herself, wandering around in the bushes in her nightclothes, seemingly confused, while carrying a random kitchen item with her.

And darn it to heck, Zen-Den is right. That’s exactly what the sheriff saw.

In Honor Of St. Isidore Of Seville, Linky Love For Eggheads Intent On Self-Improvement

Image by naobim on pixabay

TODAY IS THE FEAST DAY of St. Isidore of Seville.  Sometimes referred to as the last scholar of the ancient world, he lived from 560 to 636 in Spain and was an Archbishop in his day. [More here]

He is the Patron Saint of Electronics and the Internet, having been named such by the Roman Catholic Church in 1999. [More here]

Today the Order of Saint Isidore of Seville works toward Christian chivalry on the internet. Their motto in Latin is Bono Vince Malum which in English means: “Overcome Evil with Good.”

SO WITH THE FOREGOING IN mind I’m typing away like a good little blogger this morning, one who’d like to share with you the following good articles that I’ve been thinking about this past week.

I’m conscious of what I allow to fill my brain, knowing that for me it’s easy to get lost in the sauce [emotion] of what I’m reading.  Thus I tend to restrict my casual online reading away from hate and vitriol toward what I call good psychology.

Below are links to five articles, with a bit of commentary provided by moi. ‘Cause this is a personal blog and that’s what I’m supposed to do. Babble a bit, share a bit, provide joy & insight to my readers.

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Are you an evil genius? How dishonesty can make you more creative 

[well, there’s a truth to this]

The Surprising Benefits of Creating a ‘Failure Resume’ 

[did this, somehow don’t feel better about myself]

Don’t Know What To Do With Your Life? This Exercise Can Make Things Clear 

[good idea, I need a manifesto]

Most Personality Quizzes Are Junk Science. Take One That Isn’t.  

[quickly confirms that I know who I am]

Why A “Complaint Cleanse” May Be Exactly What You Need For A Happier Week 

[clever idea that makes sense to me]

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