I know it’s rather funny since I have far more time to write on a Sunday than on other days, but I’m often less motivated because I’ve spent either the day wasting time or doing other things that fill my need for “constructive uses of a weekend”, in this particular case, reviewing the service manual for my 95 Geo and reorganizing my music references by my desk. Still, I feel the need to keep myself to a schedule of postings, just so I can maintain the discipline necessary in my life to do the things I want to do.
I’ve come to realize that I simply have far too many goals to realistically hit them all at the same time, as well as some poor time usage habits that I’ve come to see as major impediments to, for lack of a better term, my personal actualization. Let me list all the various projects I’m trying to undergo:
1. Continuing my fitness regiment. I exercise for 45 minutes to an hour everyday, alternating between anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Ideally the end goal of all this is the 100 push-ups, 20 pull ups and completing a tin man triathlon. I’ve sort of been stagnating for the past 6 months and realize I need to intensify and alternate my training routines, which requires some things like building a pull up/row bar and buying some new training equipment and figuring out how to get swimming into the routine (yes, I am aware of the irony of living by one of the best rated beaches in the nation and being at a loss on how to work in swimming, long story).
2. Develop better mental habits and optimizing my cognitive potential using mental performance techniques. This is stagnating. I need to get to it because it will help in better digesting and using the various materials necessary for my other recreational activities. Still, I can bracket off time at work to do this if I can defeat one of my major timesucks.
3. Learn to play multiple instruments for the purpose of writing and recording my own music. This is really stagnating. Why? You need to invest at least 15 minutes daily minimum to maintain proficiency in an instrument. Spread between ukulele, classical guitar, bass guitar, drum sequencer, harmonica and a whole host of other sundry small instruments and effects units means that I’m nowhere near even passable on one instrument, much less multiple ones. How did I get into that conundrum? Well, I felt I needed to do it all by myself since I bombed so badly on band auditions. That does not include the time needed to learn proper musical theory and composition as well as effectively learning the DAW software, which is a major undertaking in and of itself. I would be better paring myself down to one or two instruments and focusing on writing simple songs that don’t require much multitracking or musical complexity.
4. Building musical instruments and effects units. This includes getting my electronics, programming and woodworking skills higher than the basic level they are at. Unfortunately this also requires investment in tools and materials and money is something I’m always in short supply of. Still, nothing beat the high I got when I finished that cigar box guitar and plugged it into an amp and let it rip.
5. Analogue Photography. Unlike most of my other hobbies, this one is one that I already know most of the technical ins and outs of. I was raised on wetlab photography and spent time hanging out in my grandfather’s darkroom as a teen. I used to be big into photography, even placing a photo in a “Best of College Photography” book back in the late 90s. The big thing here is again, cost. I have the cameras and can easily borrow scanners and development and enlargement equipment. However the cost of both film and chemicals is extremely high. Some may say I should just do digital photography. I say to them, “then why don’t I go learn how to cook French Cuisine using a microwave?” The appeal of analogue photography comes in the limitations, randomness and difficulty of doing it, as well as in the joys of working with light and chemicals.
6. Writing, in all of its forms. Right now I’m trying to blog twice a week and keeping a dream journal. I’d like to start doing poetry and fiction again, but my bane has always been writing more than 20 pages without getting bored or frustrated. Also I hate editing and would rather just rewrite from scratch over and over again. I believe that writing is what I am best at doing, but unfortunately it gives me the least amount of pleasure in doing so. Still it would be nice to finish *something*, be it a novel or song or collection of themed poetry or short stories.
7. Various other things like learned how to fix and repair my car, do basic fixing and building of things around the house, i.e. all the sort of things men used to do before they outsourced it to specialists who charge an arm and a leg to change the oil in your car or repair an electrical outlet.
8. Learn Game/social skills enough to get a decent long term relationship. This is hampered by my deep introversion, the fact I live in a bedroom community away from Honolulu, and a whole host of other personal issues, the main one being lack of patience with others and lack of interpersonal confidence.
As you can see, I need to give up or pare down my aspirations a good deal if I’m ever to reach my goals in any one of them. There simply isn’t enough time in the day even if I didn’t have to work and I didn’t have multiple bad habits which impede my motivation and waste my time. I’m definitely *trying*, though.
1. One big thing has been trying to get rid of my gaming habit. Old super-nintendo fighting games and bash-em ups and the X-Com and Civilization series have eaten *years* of my life. They’re how I get all the aggro vibes that build up in me out. By beating the shit out of M. Bison for the umpty-millionth time, or by wonder-whoring my way to a cultural victory in civilization. I’ve gotten better at not losing so much time to it, but still, I need to cut it out completely.
2. My addiction to porn and all that entails. There is nothing so destructive to one’s energy level, creativity and sociability than looking at porn nightly and rubbing one out, not to mention the time it wastes in doing so and the fucked up mentality that comes out of it. I’ve been trying to do the no-fap challenge, with some success and some failure. I need to avoid the triggers that are ALL OVER the goddamn web in order to last longer than seven days, as well as not to resort to video games which is what I tend to do with the pent up energy and emotion instead of doing something constructive with it.
3. My use of alcohol, kava and cannabis. I’m not really addicted to this stuff, but I use it as a crutch to socialize. Anytime I do use, I end up writing off anything constructive that night and most of the following day due to the physical and/or psychological hangovers it entails. Not to mention there are far better uses for my money.
4. The biggest one, and perhaps the most difficult one to overcome is my usage of the internet and social media. I realize I use it so much since it allows me to express myself in ways I can’t in the real world. Still, it eats up so much of the spare time I have in my day. Compared to quitting cigarettes, quitting the time-wasting parts of the net is much much more difficult for me. I have to learn to filter better and to not use the net as a substitute for actual socialization and mental stimulation. If I could kick this habit, I could easily free up about 4 hours a day at work to use on bettering myself rather than trolling the web at work (yeah, my work has a shit ton of rarely monitored downtime, which makes up for the lousy pay), and another two or three hours at home. It is so hard to cut myself off from that tap of endless information that makes neurons spark, but doesn’t contribute anything useful.
5. I need to balance my fiction reading with non-fiction. When it comes down to it, I’d rather read a story than a book on schematics or musical theory. I need to be more disciplined there.
I guess this really isn’t a short interlude anymore, but I felt I needed to write it out to better get my head in order. Any of you got suggestions?