Dearest reader. I have a confession to make. Although I come across transparently as some kind of divine, beautiful, prolific, charming, delicious, hovering, glowing, idea-generating sky daddy, I am in fact a (kind of) human being. I have flaws like anyone. One of the flaws typical of Gods like Jupiter, Dagr and God-adjacent humans like I comes from the fact that we exist outside of what you mortals call “time”. And it is a problem that, different though we are, you might be able to relate to.
You see, the way I understand time is not in the normal, mortal, linear sense. A minute is not a minute to me. When I am in full swing writing a blog post like this, a minute can pass in a moment. When I’m reading a novel (I am *really* not designed to read books, sorry) time slows down, my eyes fill with jelly, and every moment is a gargantuan sticky stomp through a track made of peanut butter. I’m not a slow reader but time itself becomes painfully slow while I read. One minute of novel-reading is as one hour of writing or scrolling through Twitter.
And whilst a Sky Daddy like me experiences time *in the moment* in a strange, squashed-up and sludgy way, our *memory* of time is also uneven, often in completely inverse ways. A day can rush by full of hearty cooked meals, long calls, designs, room-reorganisation and overly-detailed explanations of testicular cancer recovery rates. But then looking back from the evening to the morning, the fried egg at 7.30am becomes as distant as my last pre-lockdown party.
I have no objective sense of time. There is time-in-the-moment, which is fast when I’m in a groove and slow when I’m waiting for the microwave to ping. There is time-in-reverse, which is defined entirely by density. Did a lot of things happen? “Must have been a long time.” Did few things happen? “Ah therefore little time, I am a smart brain.” There is also something myserious and enigmatic known as “the future” but that is a complex topic beyond the scope of this article.
“What does all this have to do with being ‘too much’?” I hear you ask. If you have been following the subtextual thread here you might have already worked it out. The hairy problem is one of respecting other people’s rhythms. Usually, when I send a message to someone, it feels to me like it has been an eternity since we last chatted. Because in the exotic zoo that is my head, *it has been an eternity*. I’ve had a productive day of work. I’ve listened to two albums. I’ve written a blog post. I’ve done pull-ups. I’ve listened to a late-night-talk-show-flirting-compilation with Craig Ferguson, who I firmly believe is the sexiest man who has ever existed. I’ve eaten a shepherd’s pie. I’ve registered a new address with my mobile phone company. I’ve set up my standing order for my rent. It must have been DAYS since I last sent you an etymology quote that sums up part of your personality perfectly. Right…?
It’s been five hours.
I’ve learned to deal with this problem by having an obscene number of aquaintances I chat with, so I cycle myself between them. Few people actually want to experience the full Mungo continuously without a cooling-off period. This is, I believe, the best solution to the “being too much” problem. If you’re “too much”, then you need to apportion yourself out. Give a little bit of yourself to lots of people. Spread the love.
Sometimes it is very tempting to unload yourself over and over to one particular new and exciting person who has, lets admit, already had their fill. After what has felt like an eternity, they have finally gotten back to you about a thing. “Great,” the idiot attention-seeking squirrel inside your head says to you, “time to follow up with them immediately!” DON’T DO THIS. GIVE THEM A MOMENT. GIVE THEM MORE.
I 100% do not want to be one of *those guys* who tries to formularise interpersonal relationships. You don’t need to pseudo-scientifically lock your messenger account away until you’ve waited exactly as long as the other person did after the last message. But you should look at it this way. The time between messages, especially when you’re still in a “new and exciting” phase, is a bit like the distance between cars on the road. If you send a message, and they send a message straight back, that’s a bit like they’re behind you and driving close to you. You have permission to accelerate. If, however, they are giving a lot of time before they reply then one of two things is happening. Either they are busy with something more important than checking your messages, in which case more messages are not going to help, or they are doing what a driver ahead of you slowing down would be doing. They are telling you, in the language of a road user, that you’re going too fast and they want you to slow down.
A lot of people will tell you to text anyone whenever you like, and that timing doesn’t matter at all, and anyone who gets turned off by too many texts is not worth your time anyway. I guarantee you that not one of these people is a Sky-Daddy. They live in a time system that is much closer to the one described by Isaac Newton than the one I experience moment-to-extremely-differently-lengthed-moment. Avoiding being too much is not about limiting or denying yourself. It is about respecting other people’s unique three-dimensionality. Even the most hyperactive of you will have experienced someone else who was a bit much to you. That person probably had a story in their own head about how they were just being themselves. But to you, they were still too much. And the result of their behaviour is that you wanted to push them away.
And all of these issues with time apply just as much in person. As with time, so with personal space, with topics of conversation, and with all things between people. Everyone needs space. As you get to know a person, they’ll accept you more. Their need for distance will lessen to some extent. You’ll generally find that you learn what their patterns are. People become more forgiving of irregular rhythms as they learn that you are not insane. Or that you are insane but in an entertaining and non-threatening way.
So, in summary, if you are afraid of being too much, you should slice yourself thinly like prosciutto and lay each layer delicately at the door of a different person. Cos you’re not just a Sky Daddy, you’re a snacc.