Insidiousness creeps in quicker than I realize. I could be having a nice, calm day when something causes me to enjoy less of about reality. I get more impatient. I care less about my surroundings and what happens. I can usually notice this reckless behavior after I have exhibited trace behaviors that might not even be noticeable for most. That’s when I have to face myself in the mirror most and face down this beast:
“If you cannot measure it, you cannot change it!” For years, I just casually monitored my calorie intake, and did decently… until recently. Investing the time in learning how to work with numbers in spreadsheets, even rudimentarily like tracking calories, has paid off substantially for me. Seeing objective examples is helping me understand my subjective reality. Once I start rowing again, we’ll see more substantial changes, although these spreadsheets are also reminders to be careful.
If life is a highway, the until recently, I’ve been driving in the faster lanes for years. I won’t reveal the exact date and time that thought went off in my head, which said “you will die if you keep driving like this,” but I can assure you that it was within the last six months. I’ve seen too many figurative car wrecks, stalls, and clear collisions to want any of that for myself, thanks.
“I’m an emotional eater, too.” If I couldn’t find a good rowing option for the short-term, I needed to address my fitness from the weight loss perspective rather than purely the aerobic perspective. Ideally, I like rowing twice daily. Until then, I must eat under 2000 calories daily, because even after I find a rower quiet enough for my oddball hours, I will have to learn to restrict my diet to prevent long-term obesity-related health issues.
It’s taken years for me to develop a sort of hardened empathy for drivers. I’ve always understood when people would drive erratically because of mistakes, but ohhhh those people… the ones that cut you off! Surely, they are the most terrible of people! The thing is, though, driving is actually dangerous even when there aren’t other drivers around. Crashes, mechanical failures… anything. Why, then, focus on them? Shouldn’t we rather focus on driving safe ourselves?
Until recently, sugary snacks seduced me before doing any big task, even writing essays. After last week’s realization that I must moderate my caloric intake if I can’t exercise frequently, I started counting calories again, which is more useful for me keeping a rigorous structure to my eating habits than numbers-based metrics. Until I find a good way to quickly and accurately track my calories, I’m borrowing an accountability idea from my daily writing schedule.
My writing desk is a rickety end table, partially because when I bring my laptop somewhere for a day, all I really need to feel comfortable is my mousepad and mouse. In life, we tend to rely too much on many objects to make us feel at home, where, really, we just need a few casual creature comforts. Too much just gets in the way. The more we have, unintentionally, the less we overall value.
I have many excuses that impede my ability to row. Some are excusable; most are not. An acceptable excuse is “I don’t have the time to row before going somewhere with a short timeframe.” “Not feeling like it” is not. Even on days when I have had abundant time, I have not been consistently going to the gym, so even though I enjoy rowing, I shouldn’t berate myself for not going. What can I control?
I hate being the buzz kill of parties, where people will openly talk about getting high or drinking, and having to excuse myself from the situation. I hate that sort of awkwardness because although it’s my right to live without people being inebriated in various states of consciousness all around me, really, it’s more of a weakness that others can and have exploited. It’s just unfortunate that I can’t live in a calm, serene moderation.
I have two ways of expressing my stress in positive ways: writing to deal with the subconscious feelings that weigh me down and rowing to deal with the physical sensations that weigh me down. Writing only helps so much. There is something amazing that happens during the rowing process where my mind clears, my empathy resets, and I am awoken to a profound sense of wonder and curiosity about the world. I am otherwise curmudgeonly.