Sometimes, I Make Myself Sick

Literally. As a result of six weeks of long days at work, late nights writing, trying to get back into the things I care about, and reorganizing my life in a way that works for me, I’ve finally hit the point where I’ve stressed and pushed my body to the point where it has decided I am sick. Well, I’m pretty sure I pushed myself past that point because usually all I need is a good night’s sleep to not feel sick and this time, I’m actually sick despite sleeping a ridiculous amount.

Usually, I’m pretty good at maintaining my level of stress so I don’t actually go this far. I recognize when I’m getting close to this point and I pull it back. I take a night or two off from writing or trying to keep up with my friends in the various games we play together. I go to bed early and I actually get seven or eight hours of sleep at night. But I haven’t done that consistently in the past six weeks and now I’m paying for it. My head is pounding and congested, my throat feels like it’s lined with sandpaper that grates against it every time I swallow, and I’m just miserably sick enough to make everything sound worse than it is because my combination of symptoms is difficult to relieve without opting for something that’s going to make me sleepy. As I’ve already slept more hours since last than I’ve slept in any two nights this week, I think I’d rather do some reading, play a game, or watch a TV show. I mean, my roommate’s cat is being super needy and I’d really love to just occupy the couch for a few hours of cat snuggling and anime watching. But that’s hard to enjoy when all your day-time medication does is clear your congestion a bit.

Anyway, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on what lead me here between dreams about being a badass post-apocalyptic warrior using magic spears that can turn into magic axes or, when turned into on giant magic sword, can shoot giant pillars of holy fire at the evil scum I’m destroying so my people can be safe. If the swords, spears, and sword weren’t taken from fantasy games and books I’ve been reading, I’d seriously write that story. It’s a really good one. I still might, if I come up with a fun way to change it. Maybe that’ll be the next serial story once Coldheart and Iron is finished. It’d be fun to write since apparently I have a thing for apocalyptic stories turning up in my dreams.

Back to the topic at hand, though. My reflections have led me to believe I missed a lot of the warning signs I usually see. Because of the success I’ve been having lately, I’ve been feeling more fired up and ready to push toward my goals than ever. I’m only halfway through August and, thanks to a couple (mostly this one) reviews that got shared by the creators of the comics I reviewed, I’m only a couple of days away from having my best views month ever, despite the fact that my daily views have dropped into the single digits for the first time in over a month. In addition, the long hours at work have been paying off and I can finally see the light at the end of the debt-tunnel. I’m six days away from paying off my car loan and I’ve finally gotten my finances into order so I can guarantee a delightfully high minimum monthly payment. I’m working my way back into being socially active online after a mental health break that turned from two weeks into three months and I’ve been able to perform well in the video games I play with my friends thanks to a few things finally clicking for me.

I’ve had a lot of successes, lately, even if they’re really only small wins in the war for a big win, but they’ve been all I needed to keep relentlessly pushing forward. I’m pretty sure part of me recognized a fall was coming, though. This whole week I’ve been preoccupied with trying to figure out where all of my time is going since I feel like I’m not writing as much as I could be and I’m definitely not sleeping enough. I even bought a whole pile of notebooks so I can start journaling and tracking what I do/how I feel every day in an effort to find any habits I can improve. I think that’s going to pay dividends eventually, when I can look back through it and find out what stuff might be affecting my mood over the long-term. In the short-term, I’m hoping it’ll help with productivity because I’ll actually be writing out everything I want to get done, both at work and at home. Tangible to-do lists always seem to hold more sway in my mind than intangible ones on the computer screen.

I’m on day two of journaling and I’ve already had to move some to-dos around thanks to being sick. I don’t have the mental fortitude to write a poem right now and I obviously didn’t go to work so I can’t do any of my work tasks. They’ll carry over until Monday, though, and I’ll have a decent chunk of writing time this weekend, when I’m watching my youngest sister. Our parents are doing some traveling so us older kids are taking turns keeping the youngest one company. Thankfully, most of my siblings live around Chicago right now, so I won’t have to travel much to help. Just this one weekend.

Which is why I’m just gonna go back to bed now. I’m already tired again and I have a lot of driving to do over the next two days, so the more I rest now, the healthier I’ll be for the weekend. I hope you have a great day! Check back tomorrow for a return to our regularly scheduled programming!

Saturday Morning Musing

I started this year, 2018, by telling myself that I was going to put my writing first. Instead of sacrificing my writing time in favor of my friends, catching up on sleep, playing video games, reading books, or building relationships, I was going to write. Not all day, but for at least two hours a day. That seemed perfectly reasonable, since I was already sort of doing that anyway with my, at the time, two months of daily blog entries. Turns out, it is a lot harder than I expected. Not so much the writing time part, because I can make the time for it, but actually making it my number one priority.

When my roommate went to the hospital, I gave up all of my writing time for that day to visit him. I’ve given up multiple days each week to spend time with my girlfriend. I started playing D&D on Monday nights, which often means I’m too tired to write when I get home at 9:30 or 10. I’ve been going to foam fighting practice almost every week, which definitely leaves me too tired to write when I get back. I am prioritizing people and social interaction over writing rather consistently at this point. I do it without thinking. I have a natural tendency to put other people’s desires, or what I think are their desires, before my own, so it can be a difficult habit to break even on my best days.

I don’t really regret it, though. As much as I’d like to have a bunch of writing done or have rebuilt my buffer so I’m not writing blog posts the evening before they’re supposed to go up, I really don’t think I should have made my decisions differently. I want to prioritize writing above everything else, but the world is full of things that are actually more important than getting a thousand words written, no matter how much I want to have written those words. Honestly, I can’t even really say that I prioritize my writing over other things like resting or playing video games. If I’m too stressed or exhausted, I won’t be able to write well. I can sit down and produce words no matter what, but there comes a point when it is easier to just take a break to rest and try again some other time.

Recently, I haven’t been writing as much as I planned. I intended to write an extra thousand words every day this month, on top of maintaining my blog, but I’ve written exactly zero extra words. I sit down to write and wind up feeling too tired to get anything written but the stuff I absolutely need to. I only ever sit down to write at the end of the day because I’ve been spending my work days prioritizing work (as I should be, since it pays my bills and allows me to participate in society) and then I come home and wind up spending time with my roommates or making dinner. I can’t say these decisions are the wrong ones to make, it’s just that I find myself realizing that there’s not really anything to prioritize writing over.

I only play games and read when I’m stressed to the point of needing relaxation in order to sleep at all. I try to sleep enough every night because sleeping too little leads to depression spikes like last week’s and a haze that coats my mind is thought-slowing cotton. I can’t skimp on meals because the act of preparing and consuming a meal is very relaxing to my. I have been letting a lot of my cleaning go, lately, but that’s reaching the point where not doing it is stressing me out more than I’m benefiting from the extra fifteen to sixty minutes I gain from not tidying up my living space. I definitely can’t work less since I can barely avoid my life as it is. If I worked fewer hours, I probably wouldn’t be able to make ends meet or I’d be so stressed that I wouldn’t be able to do anything but desperately avoid thinking about my finances or panic about my finances.

I honestly don’t have much in my life that isn’t something I need to try to be healthy. I probably don’t need a girlfriend, but I really like having one and she’s an immense positive influence on my average mood throughout the week. I don’t really go on trips, I don’t waste time with things that don’t benefit me, like phone games or Imgur, anymore. I’ve cut out a lot of crap and tried to reinforce my life with things that positively influence me. I read more, now that I’m not browsing Imgur for hours every day and I get more done at work now that I’ve removed most of my handheld distractions.

I really should be seeing an increase in the amount of time I spend writing and the amount of writing I get done. I’m really not sure why I’m not, and I don’t even know where to begin trying to find out…

Saturday Morning Musing

Lately, I have enjoyed joking that my life is finally in order so now I can say that, for sure, I am the mess. There’s some truth to this expression, but it isn’t entirely fair to me. I believe that my mental issues are a part of me and that they are a significant characteristic, but they are not limitations. I am bigger than my mental illnesses. I am more than them, though I am them as well. I may be a mess right now, but I’m a fairly organized mess and I’ve got a plan for becoming a not-mess. I’m in-between bookshelf organization methods. Sure, my books are stacked all over and covering the floor, but I know each stack and where each stack needs to go. I’ve just got to do the work of putting the books away.

I’ve been having a lot of stressful weeks, lately. I’m currently trying to do everything I can to avoid feeling too depressed and wanting nothing more than to just stop doing stuff for a few days or weeks so I can rest. Dating, writing every day, blog posts, working more, and more! Then there’s been a lot of individually stressful things like a few super busy weeks at work, tax-filing, and realizing I need a strict budget. This leaves me spending my Sunday in bed, watching my Steven Universe DVDs while listening to the Steven Universe soundtrack and playing Pokemon, only leaving bed for D&D at 5 pm and a few times before that for food and the bathroom.

I don’t even know if I can say I actually enjoy days like those. I have them every so often and I know I need them, but I don’t really enjoy retreating from the world to that degree. I talk to almost no one, get nothing productive done, and make a mess in my room because I can’t even be bothered to go downstairs to put my dishes in the sink. Don’t forget the time I spend agonizing over stupid little things that shouldn’t be stressing me out as much as they are while I ignore the actually legitimate issues I should be fretting about. Sometimes I eventually work through it all and can think about the real issues, but not always.

Depression is a bitch. As John Green once said in a video (I can’t find the video so I can’t attribute it to its primary source), “Depression is melancholy, without its charm.” There’s nothing fun about this. Anxiety also sucks. Nothing ruins a day quite like feeling like you forgot to turn off the oven about literally everything. I woke up at 6:30 because I apparently don’t like to sleep and then spent the next seven hours stressed out. That was last weekend and it was the longest day I’ve had in a couple of years.

I really want to find a way to calm down and let go of my tension, but my tension is a result of constantly working on things that are good for me and that I enjoy. I want to do everything I’m doing and more, so I’ve only got myself to blame for the position I’m in. If I want the successes I’ve set as my goals for 2018, then I have to pay the price. It’d be really cool if I could just get out of my own way and no longer waste so much energy on dumb shit like freaking out about whether or not I’m going to see an increase in the daily average views for this blog or if I’ve actually got enough clean underwear for the next week (which doesn’t matter because I’ve got a washer and dryer, so I can just do laundry whenever I want).

I’m used to being able to turn my anxiety and OCD toward useful ends. Even my depression had its uses. Now, all of my worries and OCD traits feel frivolous or irksome. It is hard to enjoy the feeling of being in control engendered by the act of cleaning your space when you can’t actually get down to cleaning because your cleaning supplies need to be cleaned first

I’d like to just shrug and say I’ll figure it out in the end, but it feels difficult to maintain that level of confidence and belief in the strength of the future when I feel like I no longer have any part of my mental health problems figured out. That’s the stress and exhaustion talking, but they sure talk pretty loudly these days. They’re becoming dominant aspects of my mental landscape every week. Hopefully another quiet weekend or two, following on the tail of a quieter work week, will help me get back on my feet and feeling like I can figure it all out in due time. That’s always a nice feeling.

Saturday Morning Musing

Being broke sucks. After the Christmas season and its associated commercialism has ended, I am forced to take stock of my financial state in preparation for filing my taxes. This year, as a result of a higher-than-average monthly expense accounting, I’ve been forced to make a strict budget. Having a girlfriend is great, for sure, but it makes me significantly more inclined to spend money on things I otherwise wouldn’t such as trips to other cities to meet new people or a bouquet of cooking utensils my significant other wants but doesn’t have. Which is a great gift idea, by the way. Flowers aren’t the only thing you can wrap in tissue paper and present to your significant other on special occasions.

I’ve stuck to a budget before and I keep pretty good track of my finances, so this is nothing new. It is an added layer of stress and anxiety, though, to have to update and track every single number to the cent rather than going with my “soft budget” that I’ve been using since I changed jobs. My student debt (and the credit card debt I occasionally accrue because I’ve got no answer to sudden expenses that aren’t covered by insurance) gets me wound up when I start thinking about how much I still owe after having paid as much as I have, so I try to avoid thinking about my finances in any kind of exact terms when I can. Even though I know my debt total has gone down since last year, it is still easier for me to think about last year’s inaccurate number than about what today’s accurate number would be.  I know it isn’t a very good idea to ignore financial situations like this, but I’ve got my finances set up so I only need to review the hard numbers of my debt once a year, when I do my taxes. When I do, I spend some time looking into solutions to better my financial footing like refinancing options and consolidation, so it isn’t like I’m ignoring my problems entirely.

My dreams for the future, in financial terms, are pretty simple. I just want to be able to live modestly without needing to worry about money like I do now. I want to have enough set aside to absorb sudden expenses without needing to rely on credit cards. I want to be able afford a nice place to live and to have enough space to welcome people into my home semi-frequently. I like to host my friends and our gatherings, and I love to feed people, so being able to afford that on a regular basis would be amazing. If I’m really aiming for the stars, I’d like to be able to put any potential progeny through college (assuming the current system is still in place) and have some money left over every year to travel somewhere new.

Ideally, I’d be able to live this lifestyle as a result of being a writer. I know it is possible, even if it does seem unlikely most days. One of my biggest barriers to writing consistently is how upset I can get when I spend a weekend writing and then have to go back to work on Monday morning. I’d be so happy writing full-time. I’d be willing to sacrifice a certain amount of my financial dreams to achieve that, but not much. Writing is fun, but I can still do that even if I’m working a day job to provide myself with financial stability.

Budgeting, though stressful, can make your financial life a lot easier. I may not enjoy thinking about it, but having concrete terms for my spending makes it easier to see the impact a change in my spending habits can have on my bank account. While paying off my car loan by the end of the summer seemed like a bit of a pipe dream when I thought of it last month, my budgeting has told me that it is possible as long as I toss my whole tax return in as well. As much as I’d like a new mattress, I’m pretty sure that I’ll sleep better with all that extra money in my budget. For paying off other loans, of course. The best loan repayment plans depend on that snowball effect.

Though I might just let it hang out for a little bit, make a few friends in my bank account, and then get blow it all on something to replace my 4.5-year-old, $300 queen mattress that has a giant sag down the middle. Springs, I tell ya… Not so springy anymore.

Saturday Morning Musing

I really enjoy spending time with my friends. Like most people, I’ve got a mix of introverted and extroverted qualities. Depending on where I am when I’m with my friends, it can be either relaxing or tiring. For instance, I organized a get-together tonight since one of my friends is leaving the state for her last semester of college and I like send-off parties. We went to a Mongolian grill restaurant for dinner and that was super exhausting because it was super loud, super busy, and I had a hard time participating in any kind of talk with my friends. Afterwards, we went to a coffee/chocolate shop where one of the group was still working, and the much quieter atmosphere helped me relax from the stress of the restaurant.

After the coffee/chocolate shop closed, they all opted to go to a bar and I opted to go home. It was a Friday night. The last thing I wanted, tired as I was and as busy as I am this weekend, was to go out to a noisy, crowded bar. They all get it, which made it easy to linger as they made plans so I could enjoy a last few minutes being around them. To be entirely fair, I probably still would have gone home even if they’d gone someplace super chill. I was exhausted after a long week and the continued reduction of my daily caffeine intake. I also started getting back into some more active things, so I’m super low on physical and mental energy. Throw in a week’s bout of depression brought on by the gloom and the cold that had ruled Wisconsin, and I’m also out of emotional energy. The trifecta. All energies dwindling and rapidly approaching zero.

So I went home and went to bed. Brushed my teeth, put on my pajamas, and decided to just wake up a bit early to get this written and pack for my trip. Unfortunately, as is often the case when I’m nearing zero, I couldn’t sleep. Instead, I opted to lie awake and stare at the ceiling until I wanted to pull my hair out. Rather than do anything to speed up my inevitable male pattern baldness, I got out of bed and worked on some poetry for a bit while listening to a band my girlfriend suggested since they’re in town for a concert next month. Walk the Moon makes for pretty good late-night-poetry-writing music, actually. They’ve got a good sound that fades in and out of the background as your attention waxes and wanes.

While I was trying to sleep and then writing poetry, the main theme of the thoughts I was trying to ignore was dread for my weekend plans. Even now, as I’m double-checking my bag and debating whether or not to bring my Switch, I really don’t want to go. I know I’m going to have a great time because I’m seeing some of my closest friends from college, people who used to fill me with such a creative charge that they drove some of the almost-insane amounts of writing I did during college. Well, insane in a sense. Given the amount I’d written at the time and how many projects I started that eventually influence my ability, I was at my most prolific in college. These days, I wrote more in a month (NaNoWriMo 2017) than I did in any entire semester of college.

Even though I’m going to meet with these wonderful friends, watch some fun movies, exchange late Christmas presents, and have a peaceful drive to clear my mind, I’m still dreading departure. This same exact thing happens all the time. I make plans that sound like a lot of fun and then the plans start to appear on the horizon, looking miserable. It happened with my plans to go out to dinner yesterday. It happened with my decision to return to my foam-fighting practice on Thursday nights. It happens with pretty much everything I do these days.

I will go and I will have a great time assuming nothing horrific happens. Unless I get in a car accident, break a bone, or get my wallet stolen, I’m going to have a net-positive trip. I’ve got too many great people and fun things packed into my weekend to have anything but a good time. The only thing that could make it better is bringing my girlfriend along for the ride. Which will happen eventually, I hope. The friend I’m staying with is still adjusting to her new apartment and hasn’t met my girlfriend yet, so I’m going to hold off on throwing additional stress her way. Plus, now I’ve got a reason to go back and visit everyone soon!

Pokemon Through The Ages

I’ve been a fan of the Pokemon games ever since the first one came out. I have dim, partial memories of standing on the deck at my parents house, looking at my brother’s Red Version cartridge, and deciding I wanted blue version because I liked blue more than red. I remember how amazing it was that you could have your Pikachu follow you around in Yellow version. I even still have the game guide and Pokedex my brother got for Yellow Version so he could complete his Pokedex. Back in the days when there was only “Special” instead of “Special Attack” and “Special Defense,” breeding wasn’t possible, IVs were unheard of, and Pokemon abilities weren’t even on the horizon, I built my team in Blue using the Pokemon I thought were the coolest and my Yellow Version team as a match to Ash’s team, since I watched the Pokemon Anime religiously.

As I grew and more games came out, I played at least one of every version up until the Black and White generation. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t want to play new Pokemon games at that point since I was in college and there’s no denying they’re basically all the same game, but the reality of the situation is that I was too broke to buy them. To this day, they remain the only generation I haven’t bought or played. Pokemon games don’t really lose value and they’ve been coming out with new ones at a pretty regular frequency, so I’ve never really been left wanting a new Pokemon game.

I primarily play Pokemon as a way to relax. For me, it is all about having something easy and calm to do that I can use to deal with stress or anxiety. If I’m playing Pokemon, I’m too busy to be stressed or anxious, but not so busy that I can’t quietly work through stuff in the back of my mind. The games can be kind of boring at times, if you’re going for Pokedex completion, but it can also be rewarding to come up with plans, look at models for the appearance frequency of various Pokemon, and to calculate which Pokemon will make for the best addition to my team.

Unlike some of my friends, I’m not into the competitive scene. I have no interesting in fighting Pokemon battles against real people via online competitions. I’m not super interested in the strongest Pokemon and maximizing their stats,  but I definitely enjoy Pokedex completion more than they do. I’m the only one of my main group of friends who actually takes the time to collect or works on creating a full Pokedex using the “Pokemon Bank” service, something that allows me to store Pokemon from the more recent games on a server somewhere. This allows me to transfer them between games whenever I so desire and is not limited by in-game storage capacity.

Due to my penchant for starting the games over multiple times (mostly so I’ve got actual objectives beyond just catching Pokemon, because that can get kind of boring at times), I’ve now got enough evolutions of the Pokemon in the recent games, Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Moon, to complete my Pokedex simple by moving Pokemon from the Pokemon Bank to my game. I’m still working on getting ALL of the 800+ Pokemon now, since a lot of the rare ones are event-specific and I suck at going to the events or even turning my game on at the right time to get them.

I would say my favorite generation was Gen 2, the Silver/Gold/Crystal generation and their remakes, HeartGold and SoulSilver. I prefer the remakes since your lead Pokemon follows behind you and I’ve always enjoyed that. Generation 2, especially the remakes, had the most story elements in them, though the recent ones probably have the largest story (though it is a lot more straight forward and less complex). I also really enjoyed being able to get more than 8 badges and was really sad when Gen 3 didn’t continue that trend.

I can understand that a lot of people aren’t always enthusiastic about each new Pokemon game and I’ll admit that I rarely play the older ones now, but I can’t deny that they hold a special place in my heart. They were the first video game franchise I ever bought into and my longest-running. Half of my handheld games, if we exclude the Switch, are Pokemon games. I’m constantly on the lookout for cheap copies of the games so I can complete my collection. My love for the games also instantly provides common ground between myself and other people as most people my age have played at least one of them.

Aside from the easy identifiers such as apparel and knickknacks, Pokemon fans are usually easy to identify. All you have to do is drop the name of a less-popular Pokemon. If you get a look of confusion, you know to avoid Pokemon. If they recognize the name, the conversation will usually take at least a momentary aside to talk about Pokemon. With the advent of Pokemon Go and its continued popularity, the game is reaching more and more people. I’ve got a coworker in his early 50s who likes to talk about Pokemon as a result of the app, even though he never has and never will play any of the console/handheld Pokemon games.

I can’t even criticize the games for being money grabs because I’m happy to give the studio and Nintendo my money so they can keep making more of these games and other wonderful stuff in the future. The games bring people together, they help me relax when I’m stressed or can’t sleep, and they’ve been a part of my almost as long as I can remember. What more can you ask of a game franchise? I really hope they’re still making these when I’m 80 and enjoying my retirement in a space-station retirement hold. Don’t have to worry about breaking your hip or falling if there’s no gravity!

Once More, With Feeling

Well, it is done. I’ve lined up a new job that I start in just over a week and I leave my current job in one week, on January 6th.

This is what I’ve been working toward since September, when I posted last. The job search, application process, and transition planning took up so much of my time that I didn’t have much time for writing. Even if I had the time, I couldn’t have written anything here because they would have crept into anything I attempted to write and I didn’t want to give any hint of what was going on to the people I work with/for (I wouldn’t put it past them to follow employees’ blogs to make sure we’re not bad-mouthing them).

But now that’s all over. I gave my notice weeks ago, transitioned all my projects, found new owners for my areas of expertise, synergized with my developers to maximize our returns during my last few weeks, and generally did a lot of Business. Now I’m coasting to my last day with a few days of puttering and trying to find an effective way to use my last week so that none of my coworkers are left with a mess they need to clean up. Then I’ve got a long weekend to myself (first one in two months, thanks to the holidays, business trips, and the stress of job hunting) before starting a brand new job with brand new people. Brand new opportunities around every corner and a chance to, this time, succeed in ways I never could at the job I’m leaving.

I don’t know that this new job will be better. I truly doubt it could be worse, though. This new job will hopefully leave me with more time and more energy to write. I can finish my book. I can update this blog regularly. I can do something with my poetry other than crystallize my emotions as a coping mechanism. There’s just so much opportunity out there when I’m not having my soul and energy drained every day.

I will be back soon. Probably not tomorrow because, tired as I am, I’m throwing a party for all my friends to ring in the New Year. 2016 has been a crazy long year full of misfortune, anger, hate, wonder, luck, and love scattered through the doldrums brought on by my job. I felt like we should gather to mark its end and remember what we’ve got to look forward to in the next year. Sunday, for sure. I’ve got a lot of stories about Dungeons and Dragons, video games, Overwatch, movies, and books to tell. I can’t promise much other than 2017 is going to be a new, much more active year for me. One way or another.

Happy New Year, reader. I hope you’ve got a chance to take a moment to appreciate the end of the old and the start of the new. Breathe it in and then let it go. Move on from what has been and look toward what will be. Pick your favorite cliché, really. As people often point out, clichés are cliches because they have a certain degree of truth to them that we can’t quite do without. So embrace yours and let it be for just this once. You owe yourself at least a little peace at this time of the year.

I Turned 25 the Other Day

You know, most of the crap I deal with on a day-to-day basis (both the crap that falls upon me as a worker/inhabitant of this world and the crap I heap upon myself because I can’t seem to just leave myself alone) really isn’t worth the effort of being upset about.

I get angry about it a lot and I can get really fired up from time to time, but I eventually settle down and get on with my life because it didn’t have much of an impact on the grand scheme of things. I also get really upset by it all the time. I try to avoid self-pity but it’s truly hard to avoid feeling like the world is out to get you when you’ve got a laundry list of unfortunate truths you have to deal with every day. Still, though, I’m only down for a while before I pull myself out and get on with my life.

I’m going to try skipping a few steps in these processes. I want to see if I can bypass getting bent out of shape over ultimately inconsequential stuff in order to keep myself focused on putting my energy where I feel it is important. Like writing. I haven’t been updating this blog much because I don’t have a lot to say and I’m often exhausted by the time I’m settling down for the evening. I also haven’t made much headway in any of my writing projects for the same reason. I spend all of my free time trying to recovered from just how whacked out I let myself get before correcting the course of my emotions.

It’s all very zen, really. Going to ignore all the pleasures and pains derive from this sort of emotional involvement in my life so that I can better focus my passion and interest toward what I feel is in the best interests of my future: paying off my student debt and writing my books. Since I started this on Thursday afternoon, I’ve noticed a marked decrease in the level of sheer rage I feel toward other drivers on the road, only truly feeling the need to swear at them or make obscene gestures when they cut me off in such a way that I’m forced to slam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending them.

I’m not really sure how well this is going to work, yet. I have a habit of coming up with these kinds of resolutions and abandoning them before too long. Not because they don’t work, but because I feel like I don’t need them anymore, that I’ve become so invested in whatever practice I picked up that it is second nature to me. Which it never is. If I could change myself that drastically in one or two months, I doubt I would still be as much of an anxious, stressed wreck as I still am most days.

It is supposed to help me focus on the good parts of the day and my life by not engaging the negative parts and by not engaging in self-destructive behaviors that feel good in the moment at the cost of feeling good later. I could really use something like this right now as I’m feeling rather self-conscious about my weight and I’ve had to face the fact that I might be spending more time paying off my student loans that I’d like, so its difficult to stay positive and working on my long-term goals when they feel so unachievable.

Well, I’m going to go play some Overwatch, finish washing my dishes, and eat some kind of dinner (definitely not in that order). And I’m going to let myself take a breath and calmly continue playing instead of yelling at my monitor that these silly little jackasses need to learn to function as a fucking unit and not just run around like they’re invincible so we can take the freaking objective instead of letting their dumbass snipers pick us off one-by-one for five minutes. The main point is that I’m TRYING. As are they. Hopefully, I can do better than they are.