Consistency isn’t working for me

Consistency is just another form of perfectionism. I have been trying to change my habits and the way I’m doing it is just not working. It’s supposed to be fun, enjoyable. I’m trying too hard. It’s not.

I have forgotten joy and fun and silliness.

Today I ate breakfast at 7pm. I slept all day. My body, mind and soul is having a rest. I am no longer going to try too hard at anything. I am bringing back silliness, fun and joy. Rules are out the door. Purpose, productivity and reason can just fire truck off. I’m done with it. Time for a reset.

I may teach myself to dance to Master KG’s Jerusalema Nomcebo’s voice is so beautiful. Love this song. Check out the dance challenge.

Against the wind

Self reflection and self improvement naturally follow after becoming sober. The thing I need to realise is to stop trying to do it all at once. To stop trying so hard. The process is a lifetime commitment. The mission does not finish on Tuesday next week. There is no endgame. It is not a race for perfection. It is not a race at all. If I try running for the rest of my life I will end up with stitch in my side and collapsed in a heap unable to breathe. I need to walk. I need to rest. I need to reflect. And then repeat in no particular order. It won’t be a straight path so there is no point in rushing ahead quickly. It might be the wrong path. If I were to compare anyone else with me it would only be with my former self and my current self and wonder about my future self. No one else needs to enter into the sphere and that is why it’s called self improvement.

I set myself a task for this month of June: To walk every day. I wasn’t very specific with the terms. I didn’t say how far I needed to walk. I didn’t say that it had to be outside but I implied that. The walk was to be outside, to get myself into fresh air and have a moment in nature. Again the nature part was implied. If I were to write the task now it would read as follows: To walk my Buddy every day outside to a park or a Pokestop. Who is Buddy and what is a Pokestop? Well my motivation to walk is the app PokemonGo and become Level 40. To do that I need to collect Pokemon, battle and evolve Pokemon. The entire game is designed around encouraging introverts to get outside and walk. It’s working. I don’t think the designer had fifty year olds in mind when he made the game. It was for youngsters. I’m still young at heart.

I missed a day walking because I was exhausted. The last day of May I walked a ridiculously long way and completely knackered myself. I didn’t give myself a rest. My body decided for me. I felt guilty for taking a day off after only a few days into the challenge. I felt like I had let myself down. For most of the day I kept wondering if I could go and do it and then deciding no. I wasted a lot of mind time on a decision that I didn’t take lightly. I gave myself a hard time because I had given myself a task and I had already broken my streak so soon. I was disappointed in myself.

Disappointment came because I was striving for the wrong thing. Disappointment came because I focused on the perfection of the perfectly crossed off days in a row. What I should have been focused on was the simple act of getting outside and walking. I missed a day. So what. Big deal. It happens. Get back out there and do it the next day. Keep trying. I am learning not to beat myself up with a gap in my habit tracker. It happened. I keep going.

My method up till now in life has been full speed ahead, a snail’s pace or stop. I haven’t managed to figure out that continuous regular pace or effort. Consistency. That’s the word I’m looking for, yes, consistency. To achieve this I must face boredom.

Before long with my walking challenge the walking route that I have chosen will become easy and I will become restless to change it up. If I continue with the route that becomes too easy I will become bored with it and that might cause me to stop walking completely. In order for the walking challenge to work I need to keep changing the route or location to relieve my boredom. For now I happy to continue the same route because i am getting my body used to this new shock of a routine, movement out in the fresh air. It is still a novelty for me. The boredom of the route hasn’t set in yet but I am almost there. After a few more days and I know I need to change it up. I know myself.

I used to make every excuse under the sun not to exercise. It’s too windy. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s too early. I can’t be bothered. I had associated the wind with excuses so much that I began to dislike the wind. Today I can say that I enjoy the wind on my face. I am embracing the wind. The wind doesn’t hold any excuse now for me not to go outside. I put on a hat, cover my ears and close the door behind me. I have a new relationship with the wind, a good one.

Back to boredom. Not every day that I walk will be wonderful. Some days I imagine it will be very ordinary, boring most likely. The role of the walk is as regular exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The long game is my good health. The walk is one part of it. I will find some parts of walking boring. I know I will. I need to be ready for that. I need to make walking more desirable or the reward more desirable. I don’t have all the answers yet but I am working on that. Exploring new places will make walking more desirable. What do I do when the weather turns nasty? What makes for a good reward when the end of June rolls around? No idea yet. I will ponder this on my next walk.

Sober as a double knotted shoelace.

No thanks. I’m not a drinker

I am at the year and a half sober mark today. It crept up on me. I feel amazed that I have been sober for this long and that I feel that it was an excellent decision. I don’t think too much now about whether I should drink or not. I originally thought I would go sober for a year and then see what happens. That decision to remain sober is strong. I like myself better this way. That is enough.

Words are important. How we word something can make a difference. I don’t like the term alcoholic. I believe the word chains alcohol to the person and focuses on the past rather than the future. It is not a positive word. It has so many negative connotations that it is whispered or spoken with shame most of the time. I really don’t like it. It’s not how I look at myself.

I drank. Now I don’t. I’m not a drinker.

Cleaner. Clearer. Simple. Positive.

Sober as a world of difference.

Hope

Thank you to all those you supported me with kind words. It means a lot. I’m coming out of my funk. It has been almost a month since I last posted anything. I see hope. I feel joy again.

I asked for books to read but it turned out I couldn’t read. I would get to the introduction and just not get any further. Yes, I am one of those people who read an introduction. I gave up and went visual and stuck to film, dramas, YouTube and documentaries. Swedish and Polish detective dramas were a hit. I discovered The Last Kingdom. Loved it. Highly recommend. I watched a lot of video. Wild bears in hammocks even. And I slept a lot. I do not exaggerate when I mean a lot. I didn’t worry when I slept. If I got up at seven in the evening that was acceptable too. Anything was acceptable. I am back to reading again. I have the joy of reading back again. Hallelujah.

I couldn’t write either. My morning three pages became three lines to none at all. I didn’t despair. I accepted that it wasn’t to be. Instead I went visual. I was writing five dreams daily. Not dreams as in while sleeping but dreams for the future. I couldn’t write as I mentioned. Writing down dreams was out of the question. Instead I continued with the dreams with five pictures daily of something to dream about. I started off with a photo of a woman climbing a wall. Rock climbing indoors. Literally climbing walls. Another was a cup of tea. Masala chai. A boat. A pool. A book. A woman reading. And so on. I wrote a few words of encouragement to myself and dated it. Five pictures a day. I started on 1 May 2020 and have managed to continue on up till today. I cut and pasted pictures from the internet and placed it on a page in a file. I saved a new page each day and kept adding another page and then another. Copying and pasting new pictures each day. It is enjoyable to look at. Visually beautiful and inspiring. I will continue with it.

Dreams are what they are. They are big and small. Nothing is too big or too small. Some are based in reality some seem impossible. Nothing can stop you from dreaming. They are yours to indulge in. Dreams come and go. Some remain steadfast. Others go poof and disappear as quickly as they arrived. What are yours?

Walking four times last week helped immeasurably. Not being able to get out of bed to going for a walk. From night to day. The power of movement is not to be taken lightly. All I can do now is to continue. One foot in front of the other. Fresh air. Sunshine. And repeat.

I lay in the park on the grass on a slight incline. Staring up at the sun with my eyes closed, worshiping that big ball of light. It felt good. It felt warm. The underside of my forearms hadn’t seen sunlight in forever. They soaked up Vitamin D hungrily. It was a small moment of joy. We have had a drought for months so the grass is dry and surprisingly still green. It is a wonderful sight looking out over wide open spaces of green grass and trees and big blue skies. I appreciate my local park. I am grateful.

Sober as a single blade of green grass.

No Joy

Wendy writes of JOY on untipsyteacher and I loved her description of joy. Me. I just can’t feel it right now.

I tried writing a post last week. I didn’t post it. It was too dark and depressing. That was my mood. It was the truth. I still feel the same. Depression is here. I cannot move forward or back or over. I try to make an effort and boy is it an effort. Life should be a joy. It is not at the moment.

I am joyless. I am depressed.

Coronavirus is creating a layer on our lives which we never would have imagined.

I went for a walk for the first time in ages. I didn’t like seeing people. I did and I didn’t. Just don’t come near me but acknowledge me. Prickly as a pineapple, is me. Not sure if the walk helped. It was nice to see the water and the sky. So yes. I didn’t prepare well, didn’t wear socks so go blisters on my heels. I tried my best but today my best is bit#hy. I am not pleasant to be around.

So very tired. Exhausted. Anxious. Snappy. Prickly. Don’t say anything kind to me. I don’t deserve it. I will take it the wrong way and that compliment you said will backfire like a turd in a catapult. Walk away. I just want a break from myself. Tired. So so sick of myself.

No desire to drink again. Luckily. But tell me what is the point if all I feel now is constantly depressed? Don’t answer that. Today I lack the concept of hope. There is no hope today.

Sober as a bitten fingernail.

A request though, do you have a book that you would recommend that would be helpful in dealing with depression?

Bra-less days

Carless days were a thing in New Zealand for a year back in 1979. You chose a day and your car had a sticker of that day and on that day you couldn’t drive the car. Why you may ask? There was an oil shock and it was one of the ideas of the ‘Think Big’ of the government.

Did it work? No. The idea was scraped after a year. Thursday was the most popular chosen day. Black market for stickers became a thing. For two car families they just chose the other car for the day. We only had one car. I don’t remember much about it apart from that.

This was my thought today as I dressed. Bra-less in a long sleeved polar neck black top and long comfortable pyjama bottoms and fluffy socks. Do I have a business online conference call planned you might wonder. No. I merely wish to make an attempt at normality. I made an effort. I haven’t brushed my hair in ages. All I do is run my fingers through and it’s done. I’m due for a bath. Life is not normal at the moment as you well know.

I made the decision to make our cats indoor cats for the duration of the lockdown. I decided this one week in after reports of the possibility of the COVID 19 being present in animal fur. It was a tough decision. Some might question whether it is a sensible one. It is done. It is not a popular decision. The cats are not impressed by this decision. I don’t particularly like it either. Our cats are ‘flu cats.’ What do I mean by that. Well, they fell ill with cat flu when they were kittens and that is how I began looking after them. They survived and recovered. However they are left with weak immune systems.

For cats to return to an indoor life after coming and going at all hours of the day whenever they felt like it, well it’s a huge adjustment. Every door and window has been checked and rechecked to see if the gap is big enough to escape. None so far. I have left the front door open by mistake when getting a delivery. No one escaped. Luckily. I have cats who dislike or distrust other humans. I hear a growl from one of them when a car passes the window, I hear scampering to the back of the house when a delivery van comes up the driveway. They are better than a watchdog or a goose. Sure they wouldn’t defend me but they’d give me a heads up and a fighting chance.

I cannot imagine my cats smooching with the neighbours begging for food and a belly rub but I just don’t know. What I do know is they sometimes fight with one of the neighbour’s cats and for that reason alone I decided to bring the cats indoors.

Call me ridiculous. Call me over-reacting. I really don’t care about opinions of others who mean me harm or ill will. I care about my cats and the human I live with. I don’t want to wake up and wonder could I have done better. Is it stressful for all involved? Sure. They know something is up. They know this is an unusual situation. I do too. Hell. I made coffee today with masala chai and milk. Just because. It tastes unusual. Not bad really at all. Will it become a trend. Unlikely. There is a milk tea coffee in Asia made with condensed milk. I’ve had it. It’s different. It’s super sweet. This is not like that. Better. So maybe it might become a trend. You read it here first. Remember that. My ridiculous thought might go viral. Ugggh. That word.

Train to Busan. I watched the film for the third time. Great Korean zombie horror by the way. Highly recommend it. Watching it for the first time under lockdown and the film has a weirdly documentary feel to it. Watch it and you’ll know what I mean. Society at it’s best and worst.
Other Korean films to watch:
Parasite
A Taxi Driver
Poetry
Looking forward to the day that Pachinko becomes a film.

I haven’t felt like writing lately. I haven’t felt like reading either. I am here today wishing you all the very best. A virtual hug from a distance of at least 2m using fake fur gorilla extending arms. If I haven’t commented or read your blog. Forgive me. I really thank God that I am sober at this time. The strength that I needed when I decided to become sober is still with me. It was always in me as it is always in you. Be strong when you need to be strong but don’t be afraid to be wimpy too have a good cry too. It’s hard to be brave when you are feeling scared. Stay sober with me.

Today like yesterday I stay home to save lives. Thank you to all the essential workers for our water, power, sanitation, health, medicine, factories, computer systems, internet, infrastructure, transportation, mental health, funeral services, food, deliveries. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Sober as a discarded plastic blue milk bottle top.

Ode to underpants, small u

I grew up with the fear of God in me. The spoken wisdom: Always leave the house with clean underwear. If you have an accident at least you will have clean underpants.

Wearing underpants began out of fear. Venturing outdoors past the gate meant underpants first. Exploring in trees in parks, hanging upside down on jungle gyms and looking for bugs: underpants first, safety second.

Underpants were exchanged daily. They were dropped onto the unclean laundry pile in the wash-house and they were hung on the line outside and brought indoors, folded and returned to the tallboy drawers, ready for another important mission.

From cotton practical basics to so-called attractive uncomfortable micro sized underpants, these were worn throughout my life. Yes, those ones which seem to serve no purpose, the ones which do not cover the back side2w, were tried in the past. The ones that were itchy and rode up the backseat throughout the entire journey. What is the point of them? Seriously. Today I am back in the realm of cotton comfortable underpants again.

Some days I go commando, some days I bother to change my underpants. Some days I don’t. I have even tried turning them inside out, just because I wondered what it would feel like. Not very different. I have even worn them damp because they hadn’t dried properly from washing them in the sink the night before while on holiday. I wouldn’t recommend that by the way. I have 0—-==] peed myself laughing and had to change them twice in one day. Haven’t laughed like that in a while. Today I don’t put on my underpants with the fear of God in me. I put them on when I feel like it. I choose to wear natural fabrics. I choose comfort. I choose whether to put them on and when to change them.

Thank you underpants. I know where you are when I need you.

Today I am sober as a pair of comfortable freshly laundered underpants.

-==[]

This post is a collaboration with my cat. The letter ‘w,’ ‘0—-==]’ and ‘-==[]’ was brought to you by my cat.

Coming up for air

Still here. Still sober. Haven’t had much to say. So much is happening in the world with regards to COVID-19 and I’m staying home, staying safe.

Haven’t been reading blogs. Apologies. Hoping that everyone is safe and well. For all the essential people and businesses that are keeping the world functioning as best you can, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I have moments of anxiousness. Followed of feelings of gratefulness. To have a roof over my head, no shortage of food, self isolating with someone I love, cats to cuddle with, plenty to occupy myself with till the end of time. Retired. Plenty of firewood to get us through the coming winter, power, internet, water, views of trees. Rubbish services are still running. And time. Learning to use time more wisely in among long stretches of sleeping, cooking, Netflix and YouTube.

I enjoy my own company and could happily spend everyday at home. I prefer to deal with people via email or text. Online shopping for groceries has been a great experience. However when I went out today to check out the supermarket situation I felt such elation to be outside. I felt like I had been holding my breath for weeks. Elation, tears of relief and a little less anxiety. In all honesty we were running the car around the block to keep the battery alive. It was just a car ride but so much more. I waved and smiled to a complete stranger and was greeted in return. A pleasant exchange. I will make the most of the garden, take the time to get outside in the fresh air and make a better effort to keep my fruit and vegetables healthy and edible. I have started coriander, ginger, turmeric and garlic inside.

Sanity toolkit for me consists of computer adventure games, sketching, writing, and organising the house. Currently in the kitchen. Part way through. Got side tracked and did the entrance way instead. Feel myself easily distracted, thoughts scattered. Listening to Billie Ellish while cleaning has been good. Taking time out to have a really good cup of tea or coffee in a chosen cup. A moment to saver the taste, notice the shape of the handle and how it allows me to hold the cup. Take in the colour of the tea, the smell. A moment of serenity. I seem to have collected demitasse cups. I have choices. I have a Turkish tea set too. I can travel the world with a cup of tea. Opting for tea these days because I made some wonderful cafe de olla, Mexican spiced coffee, and wow, fantastic but strong, made me wired till the wee hours. Love the flavour. Look it up if it peaks your interest. Used jaggery for the sweeter instead of panela.

Arts Live
Heard today that PBS is or is going to shoe online for free Broadway show of the past. And National Theatre is going to show on YouTube from 2 April.

Online education is coming cheaper or free
https://www.edx.org/
https://www.udemy.com/
https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
http://www.openuniversity.edu/
https://www.coursera.org/

Learn a language
https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/9-places-to-learn-a-new-language-online-for-fre.html

Reading
Despite the libraries being closed I can still access ebooks.
https://www.gutenberg.org/

Be well. Be distracted if that is the best way to get through this. Safety first.

Wash your hands. And put cream on afterwards. My hands feel raw from all this washing. I was even washing fruit in soapy water today. No complaining here.

COVID-19: Day 6 of Level 4 Lockdown here in New Zealand.
(Level 4 is the highest level.)
(Self Isolation – Essential services – Financial Support –
Be Kind – Wash Your Hands – Stay Home)

A change is afoot

Yesterday was a good day. From the outside looking in it was an ordinary day, just like any other. But it wasn’t. I felt different. I was active. I made healthy meals for brunch and dinner making sure I had vegetables. I chose soba noodles over fried eggs and bacon. Then I had more noodles for dinner with fried vegetables. Yes I like noodles.

I drank green tea throughout the day. And this is the weird part. I did not snack or have any desire to snack between or after meals. I drank tea instead. I had a bath and went to bed early. I planned my bullet journal, wrote and sketched. I exercised for twenty minutes while I read an Ebook. Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going To Need Some More Wine. Finished it. Well worth a read.

Depression was nowhere in sight. Not even on the horizon running towards me. No sign, nothing. It felt strange. It felt wonderful. I haven’t had a day like this in a long time. Everything clicked and I did normal things but it all felt, well, great. I even felt excited. I didn’t do anything special. I didn’t go anywhere. Yet, it was an extraordinary day. Today the feelings are still with me. Even DH remarked at the change.

What have I done differently? Nothing. That’s not true. It is an accumulation of daily morning pages written at anytime of day, treating myself with kind words like my new best friend, rather than the harsh words of the voice on the shoulder. I have been writing dreams mostly daily. By dreams, I mean wishes for the future, rather than the dreams when you sleep. And I am dreaming big. Letting go and writing things that dare to be written. It is freeing.

Daily rituals or routines that you enjoy or help with your day, your development, learning make the difference between disorder and order. Automatic actions make for less choices or decisions to be made. They have already been decided. There is less mental gymnastics to perform. You just do it.

I am my new project. I am determined to give my future self a healthier body, a more organised home, and a brighter future. I am looking at this with fun and enjoyment, not as a chore. If I mess up. So what. Tomorrow is a new day. I get up and try again.

My 2020 goal is the little goal. The goal where I build myself up and give myself a healthier lifestyle and build up stamina for the rest to come.

Best Decade Ever with Mel Robbins, if you follow along with the free course it really inspires you to dream. It’s not too late to join. Google it and discover for yourself.

Today is turning out like yesterday. Another extraordinary day.

Sober as. The turn of a bird’s head.

Dream challenge: Weigh 75kg(165lbs) and to go indoor rock climbing by 30 November 2020

Said it..My goal is to be 75kg (165lbs) so I can go indoor rock climbing!

My future self, my old me is my focus. I am doing this for my future me. I am looking after myself for my future self. I am imagining how I can make my life easier for my future self. Carry around less weight will make life easier, eating healthier will give me longer and a better state to be in. Exercising now will improve my moods for now and the future. Continuously learning something will stimulate my mind and hopefully prevent Alzheimer’s. Using my hands to create something will also reduce the chances. Learning a language will activate a part of my brain so it continues to be stimulated. Travel in the future will be enhanced by language skills learnt. If I can’t do it for the present me I will do it for future me.

Sometimes it’s hard to do something for oneself. We sacrifice ourselves by ignoring what needs to be done. For reasons unknown. I am quick to help someone else if they drop something, to open a door, or to return a shopping trolley for someone less able. It’s a given. I like to help everyone else except myself. I cannot explain it. I’m doing it for my future self. Whatever makes it happen. If it’s a mind game that works. I’ll take it.

Yesterday I added cycling to my habits. A stationary cycle. This is for my mental health. Yesterday I did 15 minutes. DH is doing it with me. I asked him to join me. He did.

The Minimal Mom from YouTube has a vlog about meal planning and what I took away from it was a sheet of paper for the fridge door.
Left hand column has the words USE UP.
Right hand column LEFTOVERS.

So before something in the fridge, freezer or cupboard goes to mush, expires or goes mouldy you have a second chance reminder. A back up. Today I wrote eggplant and tomatoes in my Use Up list. I tossed some mystery meat from the freezer. It had freezer burn and I cannot tell what it is because there is no label on it.

I mentioned I think in my last post about organising my kitchen cupboards. Well I have instead started cleaning the kitchen. It is a roundabout way of doing it but it will all benefit me down the line. Wiping kitchen cupboards. Wiping the kitchen floor. Wiping out the microwave. Leaving the oven for another day.

I am doing Mel Robbins #BestDecadeEver challenge. Look it up if you want to join. Completely free. My above dream is the first dream I am challenging myself with. I stopped drinking. I believe I can do anything.

Join me in voicing your dream and let’s help each other get there. Encourage me. Prod me. Call me out if I get off track. Join me.