Stay Stoic and Carry On

I put shit off. I put putting shit off… off. I am the KING OF PROCRASTINATION… BOW TO ME PEASANTS! Not now though… later. I don’t feel like it right now. I’m busy playing on my cell phone.

Some days, there’s not even a microcosm of procrastination from start to finish. Those are probably the most satisfying days. You know those days that you sit down on for dinner and you exclaim, “DONE” with a tired smile on your face? That’s the type of day I’m talking about. Those can be my favorite. I also love days where I adventure, travel, eat, goof around, play video games, chit-chat about nothing… but that’s not what we’re addressing here.

Even though there are days that we’re extraordinarily busy, there can be this sense that we’ve accomplished nothing of substance. As if whatever we did throughout the day had no impact on really anything important. Did today bring us any closer to the goals we’ve set? Did the actions today create memorable experiences for us and those around us? Have we made progress? Why do we still feel like there’s SO MUCH MORE TO DO?!

Sometimes the progress is there, possibly even tangible depending on what we’re trying to do. Sometimes we can’t see the progress, but we can feel it. Sometimes we see improvement but it doesn’t necessarily equate to progress. Taking a day to clean the entire house is certainly satisfying and meditative in a sense, but it doesn’t get that book you’ve been dying to write published. Skipping a day’s physical fitness to reorganize the office streamlines a workday but it doesn’t get you those chiseled abs you’ve been telling yourself you’re going to get. Skipping a martial arts class because you’re tired doesn’t get you closer to a black belt.

We can be busy and still procrastinate, with good reasons too!… or so we tell ourselves. It’s like a distraction away from our inner values and thoughts. I once watched someone pick up a pile of rocks and put them in another pile 2 feet behind them while we were cleaning out a building. My question was posed to this person verbally, “What in the actual fuck are you doing?” Their response? “Tidying up!” In their defense, this person was as soft as puppy shit so it was of no surprise, but just another example of them staying busy to avoid the real task of cleaning (which was usually their forte). This person had an inner monologue that told themselves it was a productive idea. On a greater scale, we all do the same thing. We move shit around, tell ourselves that we’re too busy to ______________ (fill in the blank), and decide it was a good idea… meanwhile we’ve avoided real tasks.

But our chasing of perfection or “the right path” can be debilitating too. There have been moments where I think about all the time I’ve spent running on a treadmill and getting nowhere, metaphorically speaking. Literally speaking, treadmills can be quite both the angel and devil on your shoulders. Regardless, the thoughts about not wanting to “waste my time” doing something are thoughts that benefit no one. They only paralyze me. They stick me in a chair browsing the internet for hours while no tasks actually get done.

Watch Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy.” Great Film and we’re living out the prequel.

“Okay… count down from 10 scrolls on Reddit and then you have to go to the gym.”

“10 more scrolls and you have to type out that email.”

“10 more scrolls and you have to get into bed.”

Yeah, this is the “baitin'” bullshit I put myself through… because “I’ll do it later.” THAT MOTHER FUCKER! Whoever that voice is, I know it’s not me. It’s a tool of Satan himself. That red piece of shit wants no progress and for us to all waste away… unaccomplished, unsatisfied, useless, sad, and defeated.

Yesterday I had a particularly unproductive day. From the moment I woke up, very little got done. My mornings typically start with either meditation, a cold shower, some journaling … or all 3 (usually all 3). I journaled, but then I couldn’t bring myself to take a cold shower. That’s a MUST for me daily. If I can sit in that for 5-10 minutes, the day is mine. The hardest part is just stepping beyond the curtain, once you pass the threshold the rest is simple.

To put yourself, willingly, into physical discomfort immediately upon waking… the hardest task of the day is done. When I couldn’t bring myself to just rinse off in some cold water while the entire apartment is heated and full of comfort… it only sets me up for what is bound to be a depressing, downward spiral. Thankfully, there were some minor accomplishments that helped me rebound to deter a deep depressive episode. Had I taken zero action, that dark beast would have gained control of me. I ate the day as a loss, learned my lesson, and decided to come back swinging. Acknowledging that we only have access and control to the present, reminds me that to mentally beat myself up about actions in the past can only hurt the present and subsequently, the future.

Today has been a day in the win column for myself… 90% of my time has been what I consider to be productive (that’s all that matters, damnit!) and even more so joyful. So after a solid few hours of stepping forward, I put myself into a sauna blanket to grab some passive health benefits. When I physically lock myself down from neck to toe, I do 1 of 3 things.

  1. Meditate (60 minutes can be brutal… but also brutally helpful for the psyche)
  2. Listen to a podcast (Tim Ferriss, Rogan, or the BillBert podcast … in that order)
  3. Browse YouTube, fall down the rabbit hole, and hopefully learn something of interest.

Today was option number 3.

I found a few videos that spoke to me and my challenges. These clips were found by sheer luck and at the right time for me to accept their message. There are times where we could hear the information but listen to none of it. This was not one of those times. These videos were a kick in the ass, a slap in the face, a spoon of hot sauce in my cereal (gross). All of which I needed. Anyone dealing with any sort of procrastination, hesitation, or treadmill-esque behavior should take a few minutes to watch and listen. These 2 videos are the reason I sat here for the last hour to write this post. Hopefully it helps someone… besides myself.

Enjoy.

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One Day at a Time

It’s been months since I last posted anything, but thought about it almost daily. For some reason, trying to stick to so many self-imposed rules and goals became terribly overwhelming in such “unprecedented times.” There was no governing board that put the structure of self-improvement into affect, just the one big rule that we needed to remain home. This was the first time most of us had ever been in a pandemic, in a lockdown, in a state of being both physically and mentally stuck. Uncharted waters for most everyone on the entire planet.

Perhaps the self-imposed structure was put into place to keep myself mentally upbeat, to keep the progress I had worked so hard for. Productive habits that took months to build were lost in a day. Because it’s not that a morning routine is lost instantly, but it becomes a matter of procrastination until the day is lost. Before you know it, you haven’t done your meditation, writing, ______________ in 3 days and it becomes tougher to come back.

Sometimes it’s the self-criticism that keeps us away, at least I know it can for me. We can be harsh on ourselves when we slip, like the bully at school with no confidence. He laughs when we fall to keep eyes off himself. If we all point and chuckle at someone else when they fall, we take 0 responsibility for our short comings. If we don’t fall, the bully has no ammo, but it means we never tried either. It’s much easier to keep avoiding the treadmill than it is to muster up the strength to get your ass on it. Excuses can come easy. I’m sure we’ve all heard a saying or 2 about them…

How is it beneficial for us to be so difficult on ourselves? When we’re so critical of our failings that we can’t forgive ourselves for being human… how can we march forward? Failing means we’re trying and through the failures we need to learn. It’s cliche, but I’ve found that it always rings true. No one’s social media is filled with their own personal failures. They’re not glorious, prestigious, or uplifting. These are the genuine times that hide behind the scenes, but are important to admit and share. If we can share them, the sin of not meeting expectations becomes a far more forgivable offense. That voice in the back of your mind that wants to shit on everything you do can be shushed when we’re aware of how common failure is.

I’ve since regained steam from falling off the planet for a few months and have learned that to miss a day of practice or a habit within a day is OKAY. Forgiving yourself for stepping free of routine for a day is more productive than making yourself feel like shit for it. Every movie ever has a protagonist fail in one way. The story would be shit if they didn’t. To quote the ever prolific Joe Rogan, “Be the main character in your own movie.” The dude is spot on. Have you heard about MeUndies yet? Goddamn these things are comfortable…

We’re going to slip, fall, tumble – but we need to get back up. Come back with your lesson learned and your resilience a little bit stronger. Every great at anything never admits that they’re great… they all refer to putting in the time – minutes, hours, days, etc. all honing their craft to get to where they are. Scarily enough, they’re not comfortable where they’re at now, they all want to be even better.

Now, even if you have no intentions of being great, wouldn’t you rather be mediocre at something you love doing than not doing it at all? At least there’s passion in what you’re doing, whatever it may be. Writing, music, finger painting – who gives a shit? We can’t all the be the best at anything, we have limitations. We started later in life, we have families, jobs to maintain… it’s OK. Be happy you’re able to do it at all, be grateful. After teaching martial arts for years, the most common sentence from adults is, “I wish I started sooner.” But they were always appreciative of the fact that they could do it at all.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Is it though? Without knowing about the Wim Hof’s, David Goggins’s, or Mike Tyson’s of the world, we’d always settle for “good enough.” Sure, it can be good enough, but it can be better. There’s just steps to it. We can’t set out to start running a marathon a day if we’re out of shape. Run a little bit each day, set out a program, aim for a 5k, half-marathon, then a full one, just something with steps. But if you like running, just go running for fucks sake. Not everything has to be some massive goal, we can just enjoy shit to enjoy it. I don’t even beat most of the video games I play… they’re just fun to play. Once they’re not fun, I stop playing them. Simple.

The undying need to be creative is one that always gets louder. If this need does not find outlet, it will show itself to us in devious ways. The times that have been my darkest was when I wasn’t writing or creating. These were days without purpose, days where you wake up and it’s like being on the hamster wheel – go, go, go and get nowhere. The discipline to write was lost, the motivation to live was low. These were times that I’ll ever relive, but I learned how important creativity is to my life and also how important structure is to creating.

Ultimately, this post serves as nothing more than a kickstart to my creative flame. By no means will I make a bunch of outrageous goals and expectations for myself, but a promise that I’ll continue to post and it’ll something besides self-motivating redundant ramblings. I’m not saying that they’ll come to an end, just that I’ll write something else for once… maybe from the perspective of being grateful that I’m even able to live a life with my health, family, and cognitive functions?

…or maybe I’ll just review Cyberpunk 2077. Either way, I’ll be writing … and sharing.

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Good behavior, please.

I went to school for criminal justice and legal studies … and parties. Definitely double majored in parties, but who didn’t? What we learned (in the actual schooling) in CJ was about different types of criminals and prisoners, amongst many other subjects, but this is the one I wanted to touch on today.

There are many types of people in the world and a good percentage end up going to jail or prison. It’s the sad affairs we live in today, but here we ALL are, stuck in our own little prison. This is anything but a real jail cell, but it’s probably the first time we’ve all had our movements restricted since being punished as a child.

Now, there are different types of criminals/prisoners. There are the few that make new friends and learn trade secrets – hint: it’s not about plumbing.

There are the types that reform themselves. They sit in their cell reading books, meditating, becoming one with the higher power and dedicate themselves to spirituality.

Some educate themselves and prepare for success on the outside, reading books on law, science, math, etc.

Some become artists.

Some become physical fitness gods.

And then some are termed “chronic offenders.” These are the people that go back to doing the same shit and continually end up back in prison. The majority of criminals fall within this category.

We are not criminals, most of us anyways. We’re simply victims of circumstance. China wanted to cook sick bats (what the fuck, China?), someone created a new type of virus, and now we have to hide indoors until smart people figure this shit out… while dumb people continue to spread the virus and make themselves sick beyond their wildest imaginations. I’m looking at you, Florida and Brazil.

Keeping things brief (it’s about consistency, not about churning out 40 pages a day), what kind of “victim of circumstance” are you going to be?

I hope to find myself in some sort of blended category of them all; not so much one or the other, but finding myself in the middle of a Venn Diagram.

Exercising, reading, meditating, playing video games with friends, eating and drinking with my lovely lady, being creative... but not taking a spoon and digging a tunnel into the guards breakroom.

This will come to an end, our prison sentence will conclude (or we’ll be let out early for good behavior…? PULL IT TOGETHER YOU FOOLS! QUIT GATHERING, YOU’RE MAKING THINGS WORSE) and we’ll be let free. Where will you be? Who will you be? How will your time have been spent? We’re all going to have ups and downs, but if we keep grinding and keeping our sanity, we’ll be smiling at the end of this.

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Keep swimming…

Today didn’t start until 9:30am. It’s probably the latest I’ve slept in since … well, I can’t remember the last time I slept so long. Last night I not only drank “sleepytime tea” but I also had 2 “nighttime formula vitamins.” Out like a fucking light and had no intentions of waking up early.

Sometimes I feel like having less time during the day is better; it’s less time to kill. While we’re staying “safe at home” right now, the less time I have to think myself into a state of fear and panic, the better.

It’s now 2pm and still too early for my next dose of caffeine but I’ve accomplished all I set out to do for the day (minus writing this). Journal – check, exercise – check, reading – check… now it’s dealing with the age old questions – “What’s next?”

Well, I’ll be quite honest and I’m sure you can figure out what’s next: Video games. It’s not that I’m aching to play, but while battling the urge to succumb to your fit of madness, video games make for a great distraction.

It’s a distraction from missing all your friends and family, a distraction from having a job, a distraction from existential dread, a distraction from wanting to get more alcohol… but tomorrow is my friend’s birthday so I’ll make sure to have a few pops – but at our respective homes while playing a game together.

Yesterday I went for a drive and changed my surroundings just for an hour. To be outside my immediate neighborhood was beautiful. The sea looked serene, the beach was empty and undisturbed, the trees were starting to bloom and filled with wildlife.

Wait, I’ve got it – we’re living in M. Night. Shamamamallyn’s “The Happening.” That’s it. NATURE IS TRYING TO KILL US OFF… and it makes absolutely no sense. How’s Mark Wahlberg doing with all of this? Is he looking jacked while making confused faces?

The one goal has been to keep my sanity, amongst setting smaller goals with fitness and creativity. Really, I just want to keep myself from having a mental collapse where I fall to the floor in a fetal position and just cry for hours. There have been a few close calls but conditioning yourself to “be a man” for years now makes it difficult to shed actual tears. Even if my eyes well up it feels like just enough steam from the kettle to keep it from exploding.

Now what? I guess more distractions. My opinions are bare, my thoughts are like balls in a juggling act – keep them moving… any sitting still is like a shark that stops swimming.

Elder Scrolls isn’t going to play itself, guys. Might even mix it up and throw in some Call of Duty…

…sigh.

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Sent to my room

Review of yesterday – An escape. It was an escape from the reality that the globe is facing a pandemic, the economy is taking a stinky shit all over the place, and you’re basically stuck at home until further notice.

Yeah, so I played video games for the majority of my day yesterday. I didn’t end up reading, I barely wrote anything, after I exercised I didn’t stretch, and I had a snack after dinner. For shame, right?

I’ll carry the guilt for it. Jump on board with the stupid shit I said 10 years ago when I was upset, the time I killed a headshotted a chipmunk by accident (hiding in a woodpile RIP), or drove my parents’ car down the street and back when they weren’t home and I was 15.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. No one gives a shit. There’s still positives to take out of the day. There was plenty of exercise, healthy eating, writing, social interaction, no alcohol… another day I clung on to the strand of sanity I have left.

There’s positives to pull. Today was fairly similar – excessive video gaming, nothing major accomplished… but it was another day that I held onto my sanity. Every day doesn’t have to be this massive undertaking, especially with the circumstances were in. If holding onto the status quo without falling behind in what kind of life you’ve built is a success, then I’m winning. I still ate healthy, I stretched, drank plenty of water, wrote words on paper, went running… and there’s hope tonight that the book on my nightstand will still get cracked open.

This page is mostly blank. The few words that were written have little to no bearing on this story. This entry will serve as nothing but proof that I wrote and that today I held on again There was no falling behind and the movement forward was minute, but existent. When struggling with mental health was a battle before, quarantine multiplies it. The battle became more difficult, but there’s no giving up.

We’ll make it. It’s like being grounded on a larger scale. Did a child ever die from being grounded? Probably. But people have died to coconuts too. So let’s take our punishment like big boys and girls, pull out our toybox and wait this out. I’ll be playing video games and doing pullups.

See you guys on the other side.

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One boring little Tuesday

Today’s post is going to be a look into my day to day life in this quarantine. How I’ve been operating, what my thoughts look like as the day progresses, etc. Let’s get started, shall we?

8am – I’m awake but I’m not moving yet… there was a cool dream I totally forget that I’m working on getting back to.

8:30am – Fuck it. I’m up. Time to start slugging water so that I can enjoy coffee in an hour. Where are my pants? Why are pants?

9am – Browsing reddit as I drink copious amounts of water. Telling myself that I’m not going to drink tonight so my body can work on finding its’ baseline again.

9:30am – Shower. I’m covered in stale sweat, grime, and general sin. Let’s put on some normal clothes and pretend I’m ready to go out into the world at any moment being fully aware I’m not going to… at all. Unless going to the liquor store…

9:45am – COFFEEEEE and journaling. Just taking a mental shit on paper so my brain can function a little bit betterer.

10am – COOFFFFEEEE worked. Bathroom and more reddit browsing. Slight guilt about not reading a book, watching stocks surge up as mine go down – goddamnit.

10:10am – Start hourly blog. Considering making more coffee. Remember water is more important. Still considering making more coffee.

10:30am – All caught up. Can finally play video games without feeling completely guilty. ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE LET’S GOOOOOO.

11am – I hopped in discord and bullshitted for a good 30 minutes while falling down a reddit rabbithole. Definitely leaning towards the next cup of coffee coming sooner rather than later…

12pm – My 2nd cup of coffee is almost gone. A 3rd cup is out of the question, but sounds delicious. Instead, I’m contemplating a big salad filled with veggies. With some water. While I continue to level my necromancer in the glorious COVID-19-FREE Grahtwood. 28 and counting…

1245pm – It’s salad time. I can’t say that I’m all that hungry, but some veggies will do me good and the boredom of being home all day is starting to set in. At least this will partially break up the monotony … and keep me from craving junk food later…. hopefully.

1:45pm – I’ve washed my hands an approximate 400 times today. Skin is beginning to become a thought of the past. My salad is digesting while I consider either taking a nap or just resting my eyes for a few minutes…

2:20pm – Added some special “lemonade” to my seltzer. Why not relax a little while I wait for my food to digest… and it’ll help the time pass until I go in the other room for a workout. I can already feel my body giving a sigh of relief.

4pm – Time for more caffeine. Sugar free Red Bull? Sure. I never drink these but once in a blue moon. Since I’m quarantined and sinking into a downward spiral of laziness, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll either have a full on panic attack or I’ll force myself into a brutal workout to kickstart a week of focus on health…

5pm – I’m simultaneously disgusted with myself and want to exercise for the next 5 hours straight and wanting to lay down on the couch and take a nap. Knowing how little I’ve moved over the past month, it’s time to push myself into a sweaty realm of endorphins. Then I’ll be able to play some more video games before dinner. It’s like working out the rationale of a 12 year old.

6:45pm – Energy exerted and calories burned. My sweat smelled like a distillery. I’m exhausted and looking forward to dinner. I’m back on the computer while she gets in her workout and then we’ll reconvene over the dinner table. Stuffed peppers tonight I believe. Bingpot. I guess I’ll kill some more time with some Elder Scrolls until she’s ready… almost level 30….

9pm – Dinner was fantastic. Red peppers filled with bison, squash, and a little bit of cheese with an arugula salad. If I had to cook for myself on night to night basis I’d be sick and tired of chicken tenders fresh from the microwave. Still playing around with Elder Scrolls, but looking forward to sitting down and watching a show before getting into bed and reading before bed.

11:30pm – Death of Stalin: great, entertaining dark comedy that helps tell a historic story with some tongue in cheek humor. It was better than I was expecting it to be and came out feeling like I learned something. I’m currently exhausted and ready to get some sleep while starting all over tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’ll review my little timelog of a quarantine Tuesday and save my judgement for then. It’s too late to judge … it’s time for a little Always Sunny in Philly and then sleeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

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Still posted….

10 minutes. That’s all I’ve got tonight. Technically, I’ve already missed my deadline, but I think in a global pandemic I can give myself a little slack.

We watched the movie Parasite. If you want something to keep you in suspense for 2 hours straight, make you laugh, make you cringe, evoke every emotion in you possible – this is the movie. Great film, you even forget you’re reading the subtitles. You think you know what’s happening, then the world flips upside down on you… in Korean.

Enjoy.

I wanted to see what kind of nonsense I’d spill out at the end of the night but it’s nothing. I think through living in a confined space for weeks on end is putting a pinch on my creative space. I think what’s going to have to happen is a shift in voice… moving onto a more imaginative direction. Upon waking, I’m going to ponder the same question I fell to rest with…

“When the dust settles, what happens next?”

Guess I’m going to be up all night…

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TGIF….?

Captains log, day #952

We’ve been at sea for what feels like decades. I’m forgetting what people’s faces look like. The seas have been turbulent and unforgiving. We had to kill Jim. Yup, Jim’s dead. Not really sure how he got on our boat, but we put 2 between his ears and tossed his lifeless corpse overboard. Mertha caught scruvy and we had to remove his left foot. It bled like a sonbitch but it wasn’t anything a hot iron and a little rum couldn’t fix. Speaking of rum, supplies are running low. Men have started to form alliances over the last few bottles remaining. I’ve stashed 6 bottles in my trunk so that I may remain neutral and avoid any possible mutiny. Crazy eyed Bobby was looking a little extra crazy the past week and I do not test his levels of craziness. We’ve been eating seal blubber in between meals to keep ourselves satiated. Fun fact: the blubber also acts as fuel for our lanterns. Most of the food is gone, but there are plenty of fish in the sea, amirite? I’ve grown sick of the constant questions… “Where are we headed?” “When will we get there?” “What’s wrong with the wifi?” I never should have become a cruise line captain.

Mental health phone lines calls are up roughly 700%. No shit? What’s the number…?

It’s day 21 for me. 3 weeks where I’ve been spending 23 hours of my day inside my home. I love this place. We work hard to keep it clean, organized, feng shui’ed… okay, my lovely little lady does. Regardless, as much as I love being home, I think I’ve had my fill for the next 6 months.

They say you don’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone… I suppose I just never realized how much of a privilege it was to be in a community. All those times that I chose to ignore a friend and stay home, those times I stayed indoors on a beautiful day, and all those times I had to go to the store to get something. UGH, what pains in the asses.

Again, I’m grateful for my health, my beautiful other half, a wonderful home to be quarantined in, and much more. This could be a literal prison. There could be no computer, no internet, no choices, no space. Continue to be grateful for what we have, it could always be worse.

The way I’m seeing it – we have a little over 3 more weeks here in MA. 3 are already over. It’s about halfway over and then we can all celebrate. The day that the pandemic is declared over will be the day that the world celebrates as one. I’m looking forward to that day as it’ll feel like a literal weight off my chest.

You know what else? We watched Detective Pikachu last night. I’m grateful that HBO threw out some free content… but I’ll give it a “Eh.” Eh-nterttaining. So thank you again, HBO and everyone behind the making of that movie.

I think that’s it.

Yup.

Happy friday everyone.

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The Watchmen is a great movie

I always felt like when someone turned the race course backwards and considered it “different” was a cop out. Really? Just turn it around and now it’s all super different?

Welp, I guess I’m starting to see the light.

When life was normal, every day’s goal was to get up and get after it, almost immediately. Wake up at 5:30, get to the gym, come home, be showered and ready to get out the door by 8, drink coffee and be creative for an hour …or browse reddit before I’d leave and get on the road for the day.

The goal was to have all the work stuff done early so all the relax stuff could be savored when I got home. The beauty of walking through the doors at night knowing all the work for the day had been done was glorious… I just couldn’t WAIT to get in and spend some time at home. I was always wishing for more time at home. Now that’s all we have. Isn’t it glooooorious, guys? GUYS?!?!? RIGHT?!!??!!?

There were times in my life where I’d leave all the work until the end of the day. Procrastinate and put unnecessary pressure on myself so that it would force me to get the work done quicker. It proved ineffective and sloppy as time went on and as the workload grew. It reached a point where I had enough and decided to take the opposite approach; deciding to start each day with an “attack” mentality yielded success in almost every aspect of my life. I couldn’t imagine ever going back to procrastinating all day and even felt lazy thinking about it.

In quarantine, getting everything done (without piling more onto my plate) in the morning was leaving me restless come mid-afternoon. With the plague scaring everyone into their 6 foot bubble and shutting down 90% of business, I was running out of things from my normal routine to do in the afternoon… except for panic. Had all the time in the world to panic. Constant fears and thoughts about whether or not I have the virus, if I’ll spread it, what if I have something worse. I heard that if my hand is larger than my face I have cancer!… Oh yeah, the list goes on. Paralyzing bullshit thoughts.

Some people are really good at picking up arts and crafts, instruments, and chores to fill their time. Before my indecisive mind can figure out what avenue to take, those fearful thoughts creep in and keep me from doing anything within my own home. The only thing that works to distract me is having a couple cocktails. Even as much as I like drinking, doing anything daily takes the fun and excitement out of it. Then, under the influence, it’s way easier to eat something I shouldn’t.

Today, I went back to saying, “Fuck it… I’ll do it later,” which is a very hot flame to play with.

But, for today, it worked.

Today was different. Today, I woke up late, stretched, wrote for about 30 minutes, and played video games for almost 6 hours. I drank plenty of water, plenty of coffee, and then at 6:30 I decided it was time to get in my fitness for the day, eat dinner, and write some more.

Playing the video games (Elder Scrolls Online, highly recommended) kept my mind busy and immersed enough that I had no time to think about quarantine and plagues. Playing with friends gave me a social outlet so I didn’t feel so alone and in my own head. Pushing my fitness to the end of the day forced me to stave away alcohol. It also kept me much more health conscious so it was yet ANOTHER reminder to eat healthy into the evening.

Any other time, I’d still consider this “lazy.” And sure, it’s definitely not productive. But in a time where we’re being forced into isolation, being forced to avoid our fellow human beings, and being forced out of our routines, I’m calling it “surviving.” When life can resume as normal-as-it-can again, the goal will be to “thrive.” In order to thrive, playing games for 6 hours a day will to have to take a backseat. Now, I could just be late to the party and everyone already knows this, which is most likely the case, OR I’m finally able to let go of the guilt associated with sitting around all day. Or both…

Surely, there’s still opportunities to be had. In every struggle, someone is finding success somewhere. With millions of people out of work, I can’t even begin to think of where that may be. The answer is probably in the prequel to the movie “Ready Player One.”

But for now, the goal is to survive, stay active, and remind my demons that I’m not stuck in isolation with them… they’re stuck in here with me.

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What about the greatest competitive eater…?

I’m living in the Dave Matthews song “Too Much.”

Seriously.

I eat too much
I drink too much
I want too much
Too much

Yup. Pretty accurate. The food journal is helping me reduce my amount of eating and drinking, but I’d be a liar if I said the cravings weren’t there… and that my discipline still needs work.

I want too much. Right now I have ZERO urge to eat. None. My stomach feels full, there’s no desire in my mouth for a certain salt/fat/sugar… but if you put a delicious pizza, a massive burger, or a bunch of honey mustard pretzels in front of me, I’d start to eat them. They’re delicious! They bring comfort! But the excess inevitably brings shame. It might be when I step on the scale in the morning, when I write it down, or when I take my shirt off to get in the shower… but I’m certain it’ll come.

A large glass of sparkling seltzer with a shot of vodka in it will make the day a little more exciting. In fact, fuck the seltzer, let’s throw some whiskey in a glass with rocks and a lime and enjoy ourselves. We’re stuck indoors due to a global pandemic, who cares? It’ll be fun. Sure, have another, you don’t have anything that NEEDS to get done. You don’t have to drive anywhere.

Toooooo muuuuuuuch”

I’ve heard this sensation, this chase, described as a hole, as if it’s something that needs filling. People fill it with food, drugs, sex, etc…. but it continues to be an endless hole that no matter how much we try to fill it, the hole remains.

This quarantine has us stuck inside with a hole that seems to grow in diameter. Maybe it was only a little hole that we filled with a couple drinks over the weekend and an act or two of debauchery. But now, being stuck inside with lots of us losing the ability to meet friends and family, losing our hobbies outside of our homes, and losing what we identified with – “Work” – we feel that empty feeling growing, like an untreated rash. Scratch it with the “too much” and it grows. We’re feeding it. That hole seems to be more of a mouth that belongs to the little red dude on the other shoulder.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed having a couple cocktails in the afternoon and eating a little differently than if society was running as normal. But “Too much” of it becomes a slippery slope. When we feed that little red dude on our shoulder, he grows in strength, like anything you feed. Though, it’s our job to control his portions and be careful of feeding him… “Too Much

I remember a Full House (the 90’s version – we don’t speak of the blasphemy that airs on Netflix these days) episode where Danny Tanner has to explain that “Too Much” of anything is a bad thing. “Even too much owce cweam?” one of the Olsen twins asked. Honestly, this lesson hit me like I owed it money.

It can be too much exercising, too much eating of vegetables, too much stretching. The concept of “Too Much” is going beyond what can be deemed positive, or even just the pursuit of going beyond. Some people want to be the BEST marathoner. Well, they’re probably going to have to find where “Too Much” running is before they can find a proper training regimen for themselves. The person who wants to be the best violinist is going to play “Too Much“before they realize they’ve gone too far. The person that wants to be the greatest gamer is going to play “Too Much” before they realize that it was indeeed…“Too Much“.

Through doing whatever activity “Too Much,” we can find the line of diminishing returns… right? We want to find our limits and break them so that we can push them further next time, but there’s going to be a point IN ANYTHING that it was “Too Much.” It’s going to that point and then realizing that preparation and recovery from anything that we do in excess would be crucial to the “success.”

So, for instance, if I’m planning to run the furthest I’ve ever run, I should probably prepare by running smaller distances leading up to that long run, I should eat properly before hand, I should make sure that I have the proper footwear… etc. Afterwards I should stretch, rehydrate, rest, etc. I’m not a marathoner so this is certainly not my expertise, but you get the point. If we want to find the line of “Too Much” then we have to hit it and prepare properly for next time.

Perhaps it’s the pursuit of something great that can close the hole of that little red dude’s mouth? If we put our desire for “Too Much” into something artistic, physical, and/or intellectual then we won’t desire a sleeve of cookies, a bottle of whiskey, or 30 women or men. The distractions will always remain, the little red dude will always be on our shoulder, but can we quiet him? Can we keep a greater distance from him? Shit, even Bill Gates locks himself in a cabin for a week reading “Too Much” while crushing a 30-pack of Diet Coke. Maybe it’s just a release valve that we have to open every now and then as it’s part of being human… having flaws, not being perfect, NOT being some sort of deity.

I really have zero clue. These thoughts and questions are rhetorical and simply something to ponder and keep in mind when the craving to keep eating, drinking, or binging comes about.

What I do know is that I’ve been sitting for “Too Much” of my Wednesday. It’s time to do anything of “much,” which will be much better than not doing it at all.

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