Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Negative "Nah"

So I think I've already got two or three draft posts in the works referencing this concept...and I have yet to actually define it. Since I didn't make notes and can't remember what I had even intended on writing this week (amazing that I hold a job or remember to get up in the morning), I'll take some time to write about this little, nagging thing that plagues my productivity and sometimes my self worth.

My wife and I have this little joke, when we don't want to do something we say "nah". Can you do those dishes and then I'll make dinner in the clean kitchen tomorrow? "Nah." Can you take those instruments downstairs that have been in the hallway since you played two weeks ago? "Nah." I'm leaving for work, can you give me a kiss? "Nah." It's just a silly little thing we say to each other. But I say it a lot in my head, too.

You would feel better if you cleaned up your desk a bit. "Nah."

You really wanted to read that book, you should start. "Nah."

Grab that thing for tomorrow or you'll forget it in the morning. "Nah, I'll grab it before bed." (spoiler alert: I don't)

Sometimes it's pretty mundane...but sometimes it can get really damaging. Sometimes the word "nah" starts to bring this whole other meaning with it, that's when it becomes the "negative nah".

Nah, you won't get very far anyway.

Nah, you're too stupid for that anyway.

Nah, doesn't it feel better to feel awful about yourself then doing that thing?

Nah, fuck you you worthless piece of shit who should die.

It usually escalates like that over a week or two. Each time I say no to doing something I know would make me feel productive and accomplished, I dig a little deeper into myself. And the worst part is it becomes addictive. Like addictive distraction (probably haven't written about that one yet); each time I do it, the very act of diverting myself from positive actions or thoughts has a little attractive surge and I start to feed off doing this.

You can see how someone with a music degree has done little in the way of serious music work in 5 years since (barely) graduating. You can see how someone with a multitude of interests knows only a bit about each of them. Maybe only I can see those things? I feel like I've barely done anything in my life in the last decade or so besides get by. I haven't created anything big, I haven't finished a lot of the small things I've started creating, I haven't moved further in pursuing things that interest me. My old blog was full of promises to do so.

And a lot of it is due to the "negative nah".

So often saying no to progress and positivity creeps up...takes on an evil mind of it's own, and eventually consumes me in self-hatred.

This is where this post ends...because it's just meant as a definition of this idea for when I refer to it elsewhere. It feels a little down to end it without any resolution to this troubling thing...but rest assured I'm always trying to look for ways to be better...more on that later.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Make a Plan (that first step is a doozy)

So...I've done this one tons of times. Maybe this is neurological, maybe it's just bad habits or lack of good ones...maybe the "negative nah" is greatly involved in this process. You don't know what the "negative nah" is? Maybe that's because I'm so disorganized that all my posts about it are still drafts!! Well...we will have to link to more detailed posts about it later. What have I done tons of times?

I get wrapped up in the planning of much that it doesn't get done. No real work gets done, just lists and schedules or just OVERTHINKING to an absurd degree about how I will do something. 

I have set out to make myself a schedule or a new approach to doing things so many times. It was a once to twice a year occurrence in college. It did not help, I took time off and barely graduated! I've tried it at jobs and had shoddy results. I've tried it at home and had shoddy results. I do probably spend too much time making plans, but the real issue is that I don't stick to them at all. It comes to that first day to do the thing I put on the calendar...and "NAH". I just skip over it and carry all of the self loathing that comes with doing that. Those bad feels are still hanging around the next time I think about making plans or getting organized. It's awesome /s

I do have a sort of blank slate here though. I have a completely new environment and lifestyle for the next five months. There are literally no distractions around me. I have brought nothing with me but my laptop, bookmarked articles and a reading list for my kindle app. Today I made a detailed schedule of how to break up my free time and give regular attention to all of the topics I want to be more knowledgeable on. These include:

Philosophy: Cause you gotta know how to know stuff to know stuff
Statistics: Cause when people show you data on how they know stuff you should be able to judge for yourself
Climatology: Cause you shouldn't believe in it because your friends should know stuff
Economics: I make money, and also the impacts of climate change will cost money...I better start knowing stuff about money. 
Psychology/Sociology: How do we all together deal with knowing stuff?!?!
Theology/Scripture: I just want to be better read when I think about how we believe in stuff.

Additionally I want to get better at reading primary, peer-reviewed sources, and have consistent well-being practices. All of this is laid out in this schedule:

I am holding it loosely, as in I won't be stressed if I have to adjust it...but I am also hopeful that this quiet environment can allow me to hold to it and remain accountable to myself with these goals. 

The worst possible outcome would be to have misses, get negative about them...and the negativity bring me down so much that I lose all my time trying to get on the horse. 

Hoping for the best and I will keep up to date on this blog as I go through this time!