Sunday, April 24, 2016

Four Years Later

If it takes you years of convincing and self-nagging to get around to doing the one thing you claim to love doing, is it really something you love? It's not a riddle, and frankly, there was no real reason for asking that in second person. I'm rusty... my last blog post (which is on a blog I no longer have access to because it was created in the days when I didn't despise Yahoo! for email) was in 2012. I had just quit my full time job waitressing to dedicate all my time to finding a job doing what I'd moved across the country to do: write. Rather, get paid to write.

It took that exhilarating jump (and sudden influx of spare time) to sit down and blog about it. It was short, uninspired. The gist was, here I am, quitting. In a city with soaring rent and not a whole lot of freedom to search for the perfect opportunity. It was stupid, but I knew that when I did it. I knew the chances of taking a pay cut were huge, and the amount of time I would spend searching was unpredictable.

I spent the next three years writing for my first adult job. And not once did I sign into my blog. Not because the writing I was doing for work satisfied me. Because I rationalized that I didn't have enough time.

I'm reading a book about finding out how you function; how you make and break habits and what motivates you, and the more I read, the more I realize I have very few good habits, plenty of mildly bad habits, and zero self motivation, which is possibly the most frustrating conclusion I've ever come to. I put my own to-do list dead last, always, and constantly find myself unsatisfied. I often get ready for bed Sunday nights thinking the weekend got away from me entirely and now I have to wait five more days to try again. That's unfair and far from the truth. My boyfriend and my friends are always making plans. We relax at home, we eat out constantly, and we have some amazing friends who are always doing something fun and inviting us to join. So saying at the end of it I feel unaccomplished is... a lot of things. Shitty is the first thing that comes to mind. High maintenance. Confusing. Selfish.

I feel as though there's a balance I haven't figured out how to strike yet to feel completely satisfied at the end of a weekend. Monday's are daunting; if only I had gotten some work done Sunday. But Sunday is for taking a break, right? Did I exercise enough to balance out how much I ate and drank? (The answer to that is always 'not a chance.') Did I spend within my means? (Again, never). Did I cross things off my to-do list that I know I won't have time to do during the week? (Often the same things: pay bills, grocery shop, food prep for the week, organize, clean). And again, the answer is no, no, no and no. But if I did all these things, if I worked out to my stomach's content, cleaned til there was nothing left to clean, budgeted my weekend spending, tied up all loose ends --what would be left of my weekend?

The idea of spacing it all out isn't lost on me. I've tried and failed and tried again. I'm starting to realize why: I don't create good habits. I could go on for a while about what I've discovered reading this book on habits, but it's Sunday evening and the daunting Monday morning awaits. So for today, habits I must break, and habits I must make.

Break:

  • Wasting my life away in the bathroom. (I spend an ungodly amount of time in the shower, and I couldn't begin to tell you why). I'm also a picker, and will pick at my face until it's red and swollen. It's mental, I know, and even when I know I'm doing it, and know it may be costing me precious time, I don't stop. 
  • Eating junk food at every possible opportunity. I swear it is impossible for me to say no or leave a plate of sweets unfinished. It's embarrassing, and I genuinely envy those who can pass up a piece of cake when offered. 
Make:
  • Set specific times that are no-excuses-writing time that are reserved for writing for pleasure and not work. 
  • Scheduling a time to grocery shop on weekends. It's something I resent and put off til last minute or worse -- skip entirely, which enforces other bad habits, like ordering unhealthy lunch and paying too much for it. My mother is at the grocery store Saturday mornings when they open, every Saturday, without fail. I don't know when she started that habit but she's done it for as long as I can remember. Nothing gets in the way of that commitment. 
  • Exercising 5 times per week. I can get into funks where for weeks at a time I'm up at 5 and at the gym 20 minutes later, but as soon as I stop, it seems impossible to start up again. I want to get to a point where I don't have to think about it. 
Accountability is everything. This readerless blog will serve as my accountability, so long as I make #1 a real habit, and continue coming back to post. There are plenty more habits I need to make and break... and I'll add them as they come up. If I'm back before 2020, it's an improvement. 



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