Friday, March 2, 2012

The Next Order of Business

Okay, I know I've been failing dismally on my supposed resolution to try writing a blog post every morning. For now, let's just play it by ear, as I still need to work out some thinking as to what would constitute a good routine. I think ultimately I need to pay attention to my individual needs each day as they change each morning: Some days I might want to engage the "output" side of my mind and write something, and another day I may want to partake in the "input" side and feed my brain a book.

But to get you up to speed on my happenings, I think I've mainly been avoiding blogging because the lack of a desk made it too uncomfortable to be typing at the computer for an extended time, as it was completely on the floor. Thankfully, now I've got a stand-up desk, as I much prefer standing up to sitting down. I wanted to hold off on the expense, but the discomfort in my back prodded me to do otherwise, so I got a cheapo $50 setup going that utilizes a mere folding card table I got from Target and a 10-pack of constructable storage boxes I got from Office Depot.

But anyhow, going back to the real deal I am finally moved into the apartment. I just need to buy some serviceware and silverware, a few more pieces of furniture, and hang up my clothes in the closet and I'll be totally settled. I haven't heard from either my old landlord Wassail or Mr. Knife since my move. I'm not sure about the latter, but I doubt I'll ever hear from Wassail again since she seems to have recklessly lost my phone number, which works to my advantage in shutting her off forever. Luckily, the final steps of my move were conducted in her absence, so I didn't have to deal with the prospect of getting into a belligerent argument with her when I finally communicated how I felt about her and why I wasn't going to keep in contact. Instead I left a long letter that simply laid out the facts and was free of hostile or profane language. I told her of her immoral irresponsibility, her obvious alcoholism, her poor way of treating people, and more, and even went so far as to give her some advice in how she can improve her screening process for potential tenants. If she takes my advice she could massively improve her life, but I have no hope for her. I actually wonder if she's still alive. With her type-1 diabetes she's in constant danger of killing herself with her irresponsibility, and if she still doesn't have any housemates she wouldn't be found in time to be saved. After that, how long would it take for the body to be discovered? She has no friends who visit, so it'd be a wonder as to when any of her associates would know if anything is off. I'm skeptical her employer would come looking for her given her lowly position and probably bad work ethic. With that and other factors -- ha -- I wouldn't be surprised if, when the bank repossesses the home, they find a blond haired skeleton inside. You can only play Russian Roulette with your health and life for so long.

Yet, despite finally being out of this bad living situation I'm still not back in mental shape. The stressful Mr. Knife saga has made me readopt some old bad habits since I did find it worthwhile to pursue my highest goals until I got out of that terrible living situation, and now I find some old bad thinking habits are being to resurface, resulting in old bad patterns, discontent, and wasted time. Regardless, I am still, to a great extent, better. I just need to take what I would consider to be the final steps to healing, as this time there is no external interference.

The problem with my trying to heal in the duration of living with bad and stressful people is that the stress of the situation would always provoke my anxieties, particularly because I was powerless to immediately remove myself from the situation. If the country were more prosperous and the culture more rational I would have probably been able to remove myself promptly, but with bad financial and cultural times I found myself stuck in those situations despite having no fault in it, and had a really rough time getting out, thereby forcing me to bear the brunt of severe stress in the meanwhile. It took about two years to get away from my mother after I determined to. With my grandmother, about three. And now with this awful ex-landlord -- considering I lived with her in her house, rather than on a property she visited -- it took almost a year. That's approximately six years living with bad people who imposed nothing but stress and psychological interference, from when I got away from one bad person I got in with another, and which was super-difficult to get away from them in an efficient manner. Dealing with a problem is one thing, but when that problem is practically omnipresent and unresolvable except through very difficult and time-consuming means, it eats at you in that duration and imposes some of the worst distress.

This analogy, in fact, bears some similarity to the way I actually learned to drive. Both my mother and grandmother were horrible teachers, whom I learned how to drive best without. Despite the fact I keep making proper and rational driving decisions my mother got unpredictably hysterical, which caused me to seize up and hit the brakes. My grandmother discouraged me from driving on the expressway, which in part delayed me from actually taking on my fear of it and driving on it. The way I dealt with all these problems is by keeping both of them out of the car. I even practiced driving on the expressway without telling my grandmother anything. Tackling my anxieties on my own was so much easier without interference, for while I still felt fear, that fear wasn't heightened by external interference, namely irrational people.

And so this is why I think I've been stuck these past years. In dealing with bad people in the worst possible way, living with them, I developed anxieties that couldn't be quelled the rational and proper way since the source of those anxieties were continually present in my life. It's like having the sole ability to address symptoms of a disease but not the disease itself, so the disease keeps generating new symptoms to treat. It's been eternally frustrating having to deal with the same anxious behaviors over and over again, as if they couldn't be defeated. Once I used to eat very anxiously. Once I conquered that I then had spending problems. Once I conquered that I then had problems taking too long of walks to engage in negative thinking. Once I conquered that I was back to anxious eating. Bah.

But now there's no interference. No family, Wassail, or Mr. Knife. Regardless of expense, I don't intend to live with anyone ever again, unless I get married or in a deep relationship. Living alone seems to be the only psychologically safe option.

So now with my weaknesses before me, it comes time to address them and defeat them permanently. I can see and quantify exactly which behaviors are leading to what emotional consequences, so all I need to do is enumerate them for reference, write down reminders on cards so that there's always within my mind, and then rigorously tackle a plan of action to permanently change my character. 2012 is the year of Self-Mastery, as I've named in. In my plans I want to become more frugal, productive, and healthy. Hopefully a portion of this leads to me writing more for your entertainment, as I've had some very good ideas for articles, particularly one involving a major identification about emotions and influencing other people.

Let's think. I like being pretty public with myself, within limits of course, to help motivate others deal with their own problems (and perhaps garner advice for my own), so I'll go ahead and identify explicitly the problems I'm dealing with:

1.) Idle mornings: I loll around in bed too long, and too often I engage in unproductive routines such as taking too-long of walks, which altogether delays the start of my day until noon and sometimes beyond. I'd like to be more like those people who wake up at seven AM and get rolling right away, which by the time noon rolls around they've had a rich day.

I think the root of these bad habits may be the fact this is how I lived in my childhood. Almost my entire life has been like this: Wake up, be idle until noon, and then get started. The family members I've dealt with primarily are notorious for getting outrageously slow starts to the morning, even if they wake up very early. We would all just tinker around until lunch time, by which then guilt motivates us to actually make use of the time. And, of course, as I've said in the past about routines, the mentality nurtured in the morning upon waking up seeps into the rest of the day, making the whole day far less productive than it could have been. Those mornings in which I got up and moving, and started with something like writing, reading, or doing a chore, has been amongst the most productive since I feel naturally inclined to sustain the momentum for the rest of the day.

I think the solution comes in two parts: sleep and base routines.

On the sleep front, I simply need to work at improving the quality of my sleep, as I think the encouragement to be idle in the mornings comes from crappy-quality nights. My body clock pretty much forces me to wake up at certain time frames whether I'd like to or not, and if I'm still tired then I fall prey to the delusion that I could actually fall back asleep, only I don't and can't, thereby wasting precious time in bed trying to obtain unobtainable rest. Some dietary tweaks and a change of practices should fix everything quickly.

Now on the base routine, as I've been talking about in my past posts the way I start my day tends to set its theme. When I'm idle and play around, I tend to maintain that mentality and set of desires for the rest of the day. When I apply my mind to something, however, I retain a sense of thoughtful action for the rest of the day, and desire to be productively engaged for the rest of the day. As such, I think I need to, at least for most of the week, prohibit myself from engaging in any particular recreation, and intend resort to stimulating myself first thing in the morning. A few times a week, perhaps, I could allow myself the luxury of taking a walk, but that would be best abstained from until my habits are reset. I think I could roughly divide my activities in reading vs. writing, in which some days I engage in reading and others I engage in writing a blog post, depending on whether I crave to learn something or exercise my creativity. My mind may desire to be stimulated in a broader set of activities than this, but this is probably the safe set for now. I won't nail myself to a schedule of writing, so continue to anticipate irregularity. Don't worry, I'll advertise and call for you when I'm ready.

2.) Anxious spending: Yes, I seem to be suffering from this problem once again. Sometimes when I go to a store I panic and put out of mind any sense of budget. I've never been so reckless that I've gotten into any sort of financial trouble, but still it's not wise for saving up for the future. This would actually probably best be saved through dietary means. Being a a chef-wannebe, my primary expenditure and value is food, so the grocery budget is the primary problem; I've never had any spending problem in other areas. I'm too prone to anxious eating, which makes me focus too much on getting groceries. If I engage my diet more rationally, I think I'll get my grocery spending under control since that should quell my anxiety about food in whole.

3.) Anxious eating: I've never garnered a health defect or seemed to have gained weight, but I still allow myself to indulge too much. I'd rather not dig into the root of the problem, so I'll say that I think I can solve it with some simple fasting. The Paleo diet rather endorses fasting as a regular practice, like once a week, and I know I can do it comfortably without suffering extreme discomfort, any impact on my energy level, or any change in my cognitive abilities. The point of fasting isn't to derive myself of calories, as I certainly make up the deficit in breaking it, it's to encourage positive hormone releases during the period and reset some biological mechanisms. For instance, I find that in fasting my hunger changes into something different and more bearable in nature, which changes my natural desires and approach towards food. For example, I can pretty much smash the regular temptation to overindulge in sugar by simply going one day without eating, as that seems to clear the craving and attachment out of my system. By fasting more regularly I should not only be able to improve my health and overall functioning, but also be able to improve my emotional nature in approaching food and conduct a more rational diet, which should also have an impact in how I approach my grocery expenditures.

* * * * *

As far as my thinking goes, these are the sole and primary three problems that I have. Lick these, and I should be much better off. Beyond what I've mentioned above, I think these can be further addressed by writing out messages on notecards and sticking them in the appropriate place, such as my car to remind me of my financial goals, to keep the nature of the problems to the forefront of my mind and continually remind myself of what actions I'm going to take to address them.

Otherwise, in total, I think I'm rockin' in tackling my new years' resolutions. One major one down already with the gain of a new apartment, and I've been making good progress on others. Though, there are problems, but we'll talk about that later; it's getting late and time to start on other things.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Ah! So you want to comment? Good!

My only rule: Use common sense manners.