Groundhog Daze: How Future Holly will make Past Holly proud

Watching Little Women while attempting to eat pizza should qualify for a new Olympic sport. Attempting to swallow molten mozzarella while choking back sobs is, I believe, a feat of Herculean strength. Just an observation I’ve had.

The solitary hair sprouting from the corner of my right upper lip is still very much there, doing as Bob Dylan asked it to and blowing in the wind, though it is definitively not the answer and more probably the cause of my malaise. My brother’s girlfriend asked after it and now it feels like it has a personality – a presence, a persona. Now, it’s no longer like I’m simply plucking out a soulless skin defect, now it is as if I am murdering an entity of specific emotions, characteristics, dare I even say charisma?

It’s had a growth spurt and it’s practically down to my waist in length. I need to pluck it but it feels like the end of something. This hair’s been the best goddamn friend I’ve ever had. We share every meal together.

It is 01:19 and that ridiculous witching hour where I’m googling the love interest from Brittany Runs a Marathon. His wife had a homebirth in the middle of the pandemic. I really thought Jern/Utkarsh/UTK the INC and I could have had something.

I am restless. I’ve been ill for the past week, devoid of energy and with a wheeze and cough that would be impressive if I was 60 years older and the proud owner of a pair of Marlboro-sponsored lungs. I spent the entire day sitting down, watching back-to-back old movies and painting abstractions of naked female bodies. If anybody would like a colourful rendering of a single, disembodied tit, please get in touch.

And so, to feel a little more in control of my Sunday night fear, I constructed a foolproof plan to become a better person: I made a to-do list. Suddenly, I feel far less unemployed and 100,000 million times more freaked out. These are merely a snippet of some of the most pressing actions awaiting me come sunrise.

Ways to make Past Holly proud of Future Holly/Things you absolutely need to do and stop putting off:

  • Book dentist appointment
  • Also, start flossing
  • Book – and mentally prepare – for bikini wax
  • Stop eating dairy
  • Finish jigsaw, even if it kills you
  • Tell people you’re moving to Australia
  • Paint three masterpieces
  • Send thank you emails – you know what this is for and you know why you are a bad person for putting this off even though it will only take 5 minutes. Dear Lord, woman!
  • Buy laptop
  • Find the best/cheapest laptops that exist in the history of the world – buy that laptop
  • Get a sales assistant to promise that the laptop you buy won’t ever, ever break or cause you to go through this research agony again
  • Read every book in your room that you haven’t yet read – start with The Second Sex you terrible feminist
  • Buy all of the luggage
  • Initiate another disastrous at-home leg wax
  • Try and get more than 40% of the hair this time
  • Walk 10,000 steps a day
  • Get another piercing
  • Seriously, stop eating dairy!
  • Finish taking your antibiotics right to the END
  • Definitely stop watching Parks and Rec – you can do that in quarantine
  • Be more like Leslie Knope
  • Google how many bras you’re supposed to pack when moving continents – is five too much? too little? Research this, it’s important
  • Spend time with the people you love
  • Stop feeling guilty about buying a Kindle
  • Give yourself a fringe?
  • Try and be present when spending time with the people you love – stop making internal checklists in the middle of a conversation
  • Try and be present when spending time with the people you love – stop thinking about how your time together is finite and one day very soon you’re going to be on the other side of the world
  • Make a map of your favourite walking routes and a schedule to ensure adequate time to say goodbye to them all
  • Stop crying
  • Get a new tattoo
  • Figure out design for new tattoo (preferably without pissing off every tattoo artist in Dublin this time)
  • Take summer clothes back down from the attic
  • Put everything I own into the attic so my sisters won’t steal it
  • Double check with the travel agent that your flight hasn’t been cancelled and you’re DEFINITELY moving to Australia
  • Drink as many pints of Guinness as humanly possible
  • Give dog her daily massage
  • Get a credit card? Health insurance? Other responsible things that might be important?
  • Try not think about the fact you’re leaving your dog behind
  • Stop crying every time you think of your dog
  • Go to the beach as often as possible
  • Avoid pressure to exercise because you know you will be in a bikini soon – your body is beautiful and movement should be medicine
  • Do not use this huge, life-transforming opportunity as a chance to “reconnect” with old boyfriends. They do not need to know your whereabouts. They really don’t.
  • Figure out how to see and hug all of your friends without getting/passing on COVID.
  • Walk away from the “shoulds”. This time is precious – the novel, the abs, the climate crisis can probably wait
  • Find lost New Balance. Interrogate sister as to their whereabouts. Again – crack her this time.
  • Have at least one slice of Batch slice pan and purple snack a day: these are finite resources and you will not be able to access them soon
  • Write the Christmas cards you were supposed to send in 2019
  • Try and ignore every natural impulse that would have you put off packing/dealing with the emotional fallout of a move until the last conceivable moment. You are too old for all-nighters*
  • Remember to go and look at the Christmas lights.
  • Get eight hours of sleep. Now.

*that do not involve copious amounts of alcohol and offensive dancing.

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