Tuesday, March 30, 2021

4 Week Self Check-in.

There are some good things that have so far come out of this new life schedule that I have built. 

I feel better. Not like life-changing-ly better, but just better generally. That should not be a huge surprise, because I was feeling pretty busted and burnt out there for a while. The schedule has forced me to feel a kind of responsibility to myself. I think that is a good thing. Life being the what it is, it is easy to forget to look after yourself.

I’ve been running more. A LOT MORE! Not as much as I’d planned on, but significantly more. I’m so appreciative of the recent time change; I have so much more light after work. I’m budgeted for 90 minutes of running, but lately I’ve been going for more like 2 hours. I have gotten to do so much more exploring! Yesterday I ended up on top of a hill and I could not only see the ocean at the horizon, I was high enough that I could see the ocean itself spreading out giant and dark blue all the way to the edge of forever.

Slowly, very slowly, my body is getting better at sleeping. For a while there (months) I couldn’t really get to sleep or stay asleep, but I’m getting a little better at it. The running helps because by the time it is time to crawl into bed, this body is worn out.

I have consistently been doing my silly little stick figure drawings each morning and while there there is not much in the way of great artistic value to them, few things in life feel better than having a project that takes a very very long time. I have no idea how long I’ll keep doing those, but I just so enjoy starting the day by doing something … anything … even if it is just an embarrassingly simplistic drawing of a zookeeper giving a goat a hat.

This here blog. I have been pretty consistent about writing here. Now, same as above, the quality ain’t nothing to brag about, but I’m sitting here and I writing this and let me tell you, that isn’t nothing.

My diet is better. At least during the week. It is pretty standardized and what it lacks in spontaneity, it makes up for in for in reliability, ease, and not-being-junk-food-ness. I’m slowly learning to enjoy cooking … a little.

There is, however, much I am still failing at. My shoulder and arm are still giving me trouble and so the morning yoga has just been out the window lately. Yesterday though I was finally able to schedule some physical therapy appointments! AND they don’t start until AFTER I get my second shot, so that’s good.

In the evenings, running long and then cooking take up more time than I’d expected, so I have not been writing as much and I have not been reading as much. After work is supposed to go: run, clean up, make dinner, write, read, sleep. I’ve found myself running out of time to fit all that in after work, but I’m working on it still. I may need to adjust the schedule a little, but I’m not convinced of that yet.

The weekends: I still haven’t worked out a good schedule for managing my weekends. I want to allow time for laziness, but right now that’s all I’m allowing for. I need a better plan than this.

I will tell you though, the single biggest achievement to come out of all this effort, is that I have made some progress toward de-centering work in my life, which was a big part of the point of all of this. If I am not on the clock, but find myself getting stressed out about work, I will tell myself, “Jamie, that is not what this time is for,” and I will redirect my attention to the schedule and whatever I am supposed to be doing right then. That, that freedom right there, is perhaps why I have been feeling better generally. I feel more like a person, as much as one can under the continued quarantine circumstances. 

You know, the number of things I have read that said like, “The keys to being happy and healthy are to have a routine, eat healthy, exercise and get sleep” would blow your mind, but you know what, I don’t know that I’d ever actually understood that those things were not being prescribed all hippy-dippy by someone selling healing crystals. They were being prescribed as a discipline; eat healthy doesn’t mean “no junk food” it means eat healthy. Sleep doesn’t mean, “Make sure you get some” it means prioritize it. And like any discipline, it’s hard. One would think that attempting to be better should trigger some instinct in the body that makes it easy to do, but the opposite is true. It’s not hard to change oneself, it is hard to improve oneself. The two are not the same and I think I always kind of thought they were.


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