Happy 2015. I was hoping that I would have something amazing to write for my first post of the year. Something contemplative and reflective, something about all the lessons I learned last year, or all my plans for this year. But the truth is that I don’t really have either of that right now, and the amount of effort it would take me to do justice to either of those things is painfully overwhelming. At the same time, I’ve been cramping up because I’ve been struggling with a project at work, struggling to manage my time and my consciousness, and all of it has been really anxiety-inducing and painful- and to all of that I have to say, fuck you. I am done. I am done with feeling shitty because I’m bad at managing my time. I’m done with feeling shitty because of useless perfectionism. I’m done with trying to bite off more than I can chew, and then end up with neither amazing nor good. I’m going to just start shipping good-enough as regularly as possible and not hurt myself with unnecessary… expectations? Even expectations isn’t the right word. With unhealthy projections.
I was talking to some of my colleagues about this. I am basically terrible at project management, because I don’t know how to write minimum requirements. I wrote a couple of posts about the importance of writing minimum requirements, and I wrote a post about the importance of being succinct. I wrote those things in moments of clarity. But while I appreciate these things intellectually, when I’m extra-conscious, I lose all of those insights and perspectives when I’m sleep-deprived, punch-drunk, tired.
So the first and most important thing for me this year is to respect my sleep. I quit smoking last year and that was great. Now I just need to respect my sleep. Because I make better decisions when I’m well-rested. I need to meditate everyday, just 5-10 minutes here and there, and maybe take a nap here and there, because these things give me clarity, and clarity is power. I’ve been writing about this for years. But I’ve also written about quitting smoking for years, and I finally quit. The next thing is sleep.
Why don’t I respect my sleep? Short-termism, fogginess, blah blah. Habit. I like the freedom and quiet I get at night, which I actually also get in the morning if I wake up early. I like the implied soft deadline of the night, where you can keep going for as long as you like until you’re done or you drop. In the morning, the rest of the day lies ahead of you. If I were a responsible, reliable person, it wouldn’t actually matter if I used the morning or night. But I used to use the night primarily because it felt like I didn’t have to care so much about other people, about obligations and responsbilities. But it’s not like those things go away- it’s just that they’re less obvious at night when sleep is just next door. They’re hell of a lot more obvious in the morning, which can be intimidating and overwhelming for a person who never learned how to be responsible.
All of that is tedious and tiresome. I’m tired of talking about how tired I am of talking about how tired. It gets to the point where it’s far less tiring to shut the fuck up and just fix the problem which had seemed so daunting and scary before. And I guess when you finally do it, you realize it’s not that big a deal. You died a hundred deaths because you were afraid that you might get hurt- when statistically it’s unlikely. It’s all one big unnecessary clusterfuck, and I’d like to rise above it. I recognize that getting angry is just recursion- using primal emotions to avoid primal emotions might be a losing game. Maybe a little bit of it is fine. But whatever.
I’ve been pondering the idea that the most important thing I might need is to figure out my story. Figure out the narrative that makes sense for me- the vast immensity of the sea that I need to be thinking about so that I can motivate myself to build the ship, or at least motivate myself to get around to improving my fuel efficiency. (I have this whole side-thought about how motivation is fuel, but what most procrastinators need isn’t more fuel but better fuel efficiency. I wonder how all of that maps out to the expectancy/value/impulsiveness/delay formula. (I had to google that again… which shows that I haven’t fully, properly internalized it as much as I had hoped I would’ve. Which is a little painful, but also a great sign- it means that there is room for me to get better at thinking and learning about myself.)
I’m going to solve my procrastination problem. I already quit smoking. The next thing is to fix my sleep, to exercise regularly, to meditate regularly (just a little bit), to eat healthier, and to write these vomits without perfectionism. It’s been annoying me that I’ve had to go 2-3 weeks without publishing a single vomit. I have a chart on my refridgerator with 1000 boxes, and I’ve filled out 205 of them. This will be 206. Will this be one of the vomits that I look back on and go “whoa, that was awesome”? Probably not. But there’s something to the idea that when you’re going through hell, you gotta keep going. So this is me, going and going and going.
My brain keeps telling me that I have all these amazing ideas that I need to execute on right now otherwise I’ll forget about them. But that’s bullshit. What I need to know/remember is that if the ideas are good, they do tend to come back. And even if they don’t, fuck it. It’s not like I have a limited number of ideas. I’ll find something else. I need to have faith in that process. There’s no point in me being this crippled anxious wreck all the time. This changes now, it has been on the cards for some time but it changes now.
I’m done with this vomit. Did it say anything important? Probably not. Do I feel better? Yes. That’s all that really counts. I can check a box now. (Do these boxes matter? To me, for this experiment, yes. If I have to write this everyday, so be it. But I imagine I’ll do better.) Let’s go.