save money and stop trying to save the planet
consider living in a smaller place
walk don’t drive
drive something smaller
cheaper and more fuel efficient
stop driving like an idiot
too fast, breaking too hard and too late
quit your addictions
drinking, smoking, gambling, shopping, promiscuity
don’t buy stuff you don’t need
never, ever, go shopping without proper list
sell stuff you don’t use, wear, or has no purpose
turn your heating down and your AC thermostat up
learn to cook
love yourself enough to set boundaries
drinking, smoking, and not exercising will kill you
Most of us have our fare share of problems, and some of us have long-term health issues that we struggle with on a daily basis. Some call this having a dis-ease, meaning that we are not at rest, constantly worrying and fretting, in physical, mental, and / or spiritual pain. Addiction, anxiety and depression, personality disorders, and in my case a touch of OCD, means that we are seldom at ease.
Whatever your problem is, whatever your health issues are, no matter what your ambitions, goals, dreams and desires are, I firmly believe there is a lot we can do to help ourselves, to heal ourselves from what plagues us, to make ourselves a better life.
For me, that means first of all knowing myself, admitting to myself just who and what I am, and accepting that I have some physical, mental, and spiritual health issues. For example; I’m over my ideal weight, I’m no where near as fit as I’d like to be, and I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.
Some would go to doctors, and take medication, or seek therapy and counselling, or just ignore the whole health thing altogether.
However, I am self-motivated to heal myself and make a better life for myself and those I care for. I have a good daily routine, even if I don’t always stick to it. I keep myself and the garret clean, tidy, and smart. Getting enough rest and sleep is important, as is getting enough fresh air and exercise. I eat pretty well and healthily, and I don’t binge eat or eat late at night. Watching TV is not a big thing for me, instead I read and listen to music. The key is not getting side-tracked, staying focused, and not getting discouraged when things aren’t perfect. Most importantly for me ~ not drinking.
Some say that we need to live with a healthy mind in a healthy body. And that having a positive outlook goes a long way. All I know is that physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.
torment is not a happy state
it will kill you
OCD is not about being a ‘neat freak’
that is wrong on so many levels
Yesterday I came to the conclusion that I have fairly mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. There are a few obvious signs; for example I am always clean, neat, and tidy, always doing the very best I can in every situation. I think that everything is my fault and my problem to solve. My music is all sorted in alphabetical order, and I know where everything is, all the time. I also go back and check that I really have locked my door when I’ve left the garret. I know every detail of my finances, down to the last penny and I check my bank accounts on-line every damn day.
But the real give-away is counting. When my mind is doing nothing else I count, to no purpose whatsoever, and it’s a completely unconscious thing.
I’ve now read that there are 4 types of OCD; contamination, perfection, doubt/harm, forbidden thoughts. Or it might be that there are 7 types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, if you include; staring, relationship, and existential. I think I can identify perfectionism and a little of forbidden thoughts, (but who doesn’t have weird sexual fantasies). But none of it is ruining my life. What almost ruined my life was judgemental angry jealousy, (retroactive angry jealousy too), and some would say that is Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I would say that it was being in a toxic relationship with the wrong woman.
So how to ‘cure’ my OCD? Actually the only bit I want to cure is the counting thing.
Typically dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder involves drugs and therapy. I’m NOT having either of those, except the honest, open, down to earth therapy talking with my friends gives me. And writing this blog, of course.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. ~ Sun Tzu
Knowing that I have ‘a problem’ is more than half the battle.
The rest is down to me.
some say that mental illness is like a black dog
happiness consists of getting enough sleep
stop howling at the moon
If I remember correctly the header is a quote from R.A. Heinlein’s ‘Starship Troopers’, and reflects what it’s like to be pushed to the very limit, which I’m not, I live an almost idyllic life. I am getting my 7 hours a night, and yet lately I’ve been struggling to get out of bed in the morning. On top of that, for the first hour or so of the day I’ve been feeling groggy and listless.
That’s a very different issue to lack of sleep, and it’s called Dysania ~ trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
One reason for the feeling of just wanting to stay in bed is that there’s nothing worth getting up for. And I can’t be blamed for feeling a bit like that. Today is lockdown day 451, so for more than 16 lunar months I have been almost imprisoned at home, with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and nobody to see. All those of us who are independently wealthy, or laid off, or ‘working from home’, are entitled to have that feeling that we might as well just stay in bed. Worse when we do get up we might have the feeling that there’s nothing worth getting washed, shaved, and dressed in clean clothes for.
I have worked hard at not falling completely into that trap. I have some support, a person who I am accountable to, someone I go online with early every morning, and that ‘accountability partner’ does drag me out of bed. Another thing that gets me up and going is writing this blog, which is an almost every day thing for me. And, so help me God, I bought an Alexa which plays 70s and 80s hits every damn morning ~ until and unless I tell her to shut up.
I live in a small loft apartment, that has un-shaded skylights, so the dawn also helps me to wake up, although lately it’s still hard to get out of bed. The other thing I have is a daily plan, what’s on the agenda for today, and it does help if you know you have something you should be doing, maybe something that you really enjoy.
There’s a few damn good reasons it’s hard for me to get out of bed; anxiety, depression, stress, and poor physical fitness ~ all of which can be attributed to being locked up in solitary confinement for 451 days ~ by order of my own fucking stupid government.
But take heart, we can still be busy doing nothing.
it’s worth getting out of bed just to see the dawn
without struggle success has no value
Here in England normal life has been on hold for 438 days. With varying degrees of severity we have been prohibited from doing most things that make life worth living; from meeting family and friends, to going to any and all places of business, entertainment, and worship, and even following our chosen trade or profession. Face it ~ most of us have been locked down at home, suffering that most terrible of punishments; imprisonment and solitary confinement.
And personally, not much good has come from that. On the upside I haven’t been sick with the coronavirus. On the downside the list of bad and really bad things is long, pathetic, disturbing, injurious to my health, and life-threatening. All in all, I would say that the policy of shutting down the entire country for over a year is the worst thing supposedly civilised and ‘liberal’ governments have done since 1914.
The worst of it is that I haven’t lifted myself above the morass, the slough of despond, and done something useful with my time. I haven’t had a robust programme to improve my physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness. I haven’t written a book, taken up a new course of study, or routinely practiced something like meditation, tai chi, yoga, or even moon-walking. Basically I’ve felt sorry for myself, put on weight, got myself a prison pallor, and spent lots of time aimlessly staring at the TV. Some of the time I drank too much. I was utterly unmotivated.
BUT, now that there is a light at the end of the Stygian lockdown tunnel, I feel the need to get a hold of my life and make it better than it was before all this fucking coronavirus crap began. So what to do? Big, meaningful changes take a hell of a lot of effort.
Step One. Cut out all the bad things I’ve been doing just to fill in the empty hours.
Step Two. Get out of the garret into the fresh air and sunshine, lose the prison pallor, get some exercise. Yesterday I walked 8 miles, and meditative walking is really good for the body and soul.
Step Three. Make a plan, some lists, some aims, goals, targets, dreams and desires. Use all the skills and techniques I’ve learned about project planning and start a project to make myself and my life better than ever it was before.
travel and adventure are on the agenda
travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead
Here in England a most senior police officer has slammed the policy of only recruiting graduates into the police force, saying that; ‘they lack life experience’, and ‘they won’t commit to working unsocial hours’. He goes on to paint a picture of a graduate recruit as someone who believes they are invincible, know better than officers who have been on the force for years, and believes that policing is just an extension of university life.
I had to smile when I read this, as it agrees exactly with my experience of dealing with young graduate entrants into the far less stressful and much less dangerous business of banking. For a young person, banking involves a hell of a lot of routine drudgery, doing things the way they’ve always been done, and not going home until all the books are balanced at the end of the day. There’s also the whole drag of getting into the bank before 09:00, going to lunch when you are told you can, and not staying out at lunch for longer than an hour.
Some graduates of my experience also had problems with the dress code, which was a business suit for men, and smart sober attire for women. FFS, some male graduates didn’t even know how to tie a necktie, and had to have it done for them by a kindly person when they got into the office.
In my experience, new graduates tend to be idealists.
The world is more malleable than you think, and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape. ~ BONO
Actually, no it isn’t. The snag is; when you are working for someone else, you have to be prepared to put the ideals of the business ahead of your own. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.
Many graduates also believe that they’re done with formal education when they leave university ~ and that’s another no. There is the tiresome business of obtaining a qualification from the people who run the profession a graduate has chosen. And I kid you not, the studies and exams set by people such as The Law Society are a bit more difficult than the average degree. It would take most graduates 4 to 6 years to qualify as a ‘lawyer’, and cost at least £4,500. (Other professional qualifications are similar.) However really bright graduates may find that the firm / business helps out with costs and gives them a little time off work to study.
Being a graduate is not a passport to riches and fame, rather it’s just another step on the hard road of life.
Oxford University graduates
All I want is to live a normal life
the beach at Cancun
As we gradually come out of lockdown, some normal things I haven’t been able to do for months have become possible ~ like getting my hair cut, or even booking a vacation.
One of the good things about having been in self-isolation for over a year is that I haven’t spent much money, so now I am almost out of lockdown I can afford to take my friend to anywhere we would like to go.
Should be fun.
this might be the route to normality
first of all stop being a willing victim
if that’s you then perhaps you need to change
The first step in my total makeover plan New Age ~ New Me is giving up alcohol; or to say it a better way Living a Sober Life. If you misuse and abuse any substance; alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, over the counter medication, sugar, tobacco….. then your life revolves around that and it’s almost impossible to do anything else that matters a damn. And trust me, if you drink, smoke, or take drugs ~ then whatever you think or believe you are an addict. The same goes if you gamble, are promiscuous, steal, cheat, lie….. you are an addict and a victim of your own need for instant gratification.
If you ever want to be better, to become self-aware, self-controlled, self-disciplined, empowered, and truly happy, then first of all you have to give up your addictions. No that’s not true, first of all you truly have to admit to yourself that you have a problem. Only when you really believe that you need to give up hanging around in bars, or drinking a bottle of wine at home every night, or smoking a pack of cigarettes a day can you begin to become a better version of yourself.
And giving up isn’t easy. For years I was a binge-drinker ~ every time I got upset, unhappy, or dissatisfied I would retreat into a bottle of booze to make myself feel better. It never worked. And yet I haven’t touched a drop since Christmas last year.
Here’s how did I did that;
- I came to believe that booze was ruining my life.
- I made a decision to stop drinking alcohol.
- I stopped buying and drinking booze.
It was an instant decision followed by instant action; and I believe that it has to be that way. There has been no help, no 12 step group, no counselors, no complicated programs, no tricks, no searching the internet to find an easy way to be sober, no anything ~ just me and some self-discipline. It’s easy; decide to stop whatever destructive behaviour gives you instant gratification, and then stop.
Except we know that it isn’t easy at all ~ it’s fucking hard.
But what would I rather become? A drooling incontinent who lives just for the next drink? Or a self-aware Renaissance Man who lives a very full and rewarding life?
So, every hour of every day I stay away from that first drink.
the things you think you like the most
are the things that will ruin your life
and then kill you