By Phosphor, with input from other Ghosts
Last updated: 7/15/23
So, you've just discovered that you're plural, and you want to do right by yourself and yours. You've set up weekly system meetings... but you're drifting off during them. You've downloaded Simply Plural, but having to scramble for your phone every time you feel a switch coming on is grating on everyone's nerves. You've set up PluralKit, but there's always more proxies to be made and avatars to be found and bios to be written and goodness, was that a new headmate you heard just now?
If it's all getting to be a bit much, then something to keep in mind is that you do not need to do everything that you see other systems doing.
We don't track fronting history. We get absolutely nothing out of it except for stress about having to constantly "clock in/out" for every little thing.
We don't map our system or keep an updated count of every single headmate. Again, we get nothing from it.
We don't hold system meetings. We trust that if something needs bringing up, it will come up during our casual mingling or someone will come to front to say so.
We don't make PluralKit proxies for every single member of the system, just people who actually speak outside on a regular basis. If someone decides that they want to talk, we can make the proxy for them then.
These aren't inherently bad things! There are systems who benefit from tracking fronting history, mapping their system, holding system meetings, and so forth. And I think these things are worth trying when you're first getting used to plural life! But you should do them with an eye for whether they are helping you. If all they are doing is adding more stress, drop them. See if your state improves afterwards.
If something is actually helping you but it's stressful to keep up with, consider going about it a different way. For example, if logging switches helps y'all with keeping track of emotional states, but you find logging every switch to be stressful, consider instead checking in with yourselves once every morning/noon/evening instead of trying to record every single switch. If you notice that you need meetings or else problems in the system never get addressed, but find it hard to sit through one, you can make a "suggestion box" that people can put their thoughts in whenever they front.
(If you need ideas, consider asking other plural folks how they do things! And if you've figured out a system that works for y'all, consider writing about it. You never know who'll find it useful!)
In short, ask yourselves:
What is the problem this is solving, if any?
If there is a problem that this is solving, is the benefit we get from solving the problem greater than the stress of implementing the solution?
If the solution causes significant stress, why?
Does the problem need to be solved in this way, or is there a solution that avoids that stress?
It's also okay to do things irregularly, instead of keeping them up forever. For example, you might not hold meetings during a relatively non-stressful time. But you might decide to start holding meetings when the system's under a lot of stress, and stop doing them whenever the stressor has passed.
Experiment. You have time. You don't have to get it "right" immediately, because there isn't a "right." There's just the things that Work for y'all, and the things that don't.