Saturday, 28 March 2015

From Monumental to Mundane, It's All In Your Mindset

As I sit here writing on a sunny Saturday morning, the house is quiet, the dog is chewing a bone, I'm embracing my morning coffee and thinking all is right with the world.

There are problems around me, ISIS is still killing innocent people, politicians are making asinine decisions for "our own good", corporations are taking over any hint of freedom we have, people are killing, robbing and raping each other, and some guy with a mental illness decided it was a good idea to crash a plane and kill himself and 150 other people. Bank fees are going up again, taxes are going up in the next budget, food prices rise while product gets smaller, and the list goes on. But for once, that's all i've got to worry about. Weirdly enough, that feels good.

2014 sucked. Huge. It was the year from hell and the year I'd like stripped from the record. Financially, mentally, physically, it just sucked. I vowed that this year would be a change for the better. I've taken steps in that direction, but it's a long hard road upwards. It's a hell of a lot easier to fall into a hole than to climb out of it.

Most of what happened was due to my illness, my depression followed by ridiculous manic states found me curling up on the couch ignoring the world and hoping everything would just go away, to wanting to fix everything and do everything at once. I took to writing lists for myself just to keep my days straight. Mundane things that we take for granted had to be written down to remind me to do them, and if I missed looking at the list one day I ended up on the couch. Then I found that the lists themselves caused panic attacks. Once I wrote them I perused them, and cursed them. But in the end, it was the only way to compete with the inner demons. Systematically striking off the said demons one by one. Then adding more. I still write my lists, but today they've changed.

I am refocussing in here. Lately I've looked around this place and wondered why I've left things that should be done, like fixing the back fence, the back door, the junk in the basement. I've walked past these issues too many times lately, they weren't top of mind. Functioning was top of mind, things like taking a bath and combing my hair were chores. The house and the family suffered. I need to fix that now.

I don't do well on my own without some sort of goal. Without a firm grasp on what's got to be done as opposed to what I want to do, I will be content to sit on the computer all day searching for stupid things on Wikipedia or watching dumb YouTube videos. Useless endeavours to say the least. So on top of the list, I've taken to one other insightful philosophy. An old base Commander years ago, Colonel West, had a simple ideology he often passed on much to the annoyance of anyone in earshot; "Never Pass A Fault". A simple rule really, one which he pontificated to the point of your ears bleeding, but now years later I find that philosophy helpful. I walk through my house now everyday and simply pick things up, sweep this, wash that, move this to where it's supposed to be. I am no longer tied to the couch or the computer. Now I'm getting the shoe on the other foot - I'm constantly moving and tidying things. And by doing just that I'm becoming painfully aware of how much I've left off my lists. So yes, I wrote another list. This one dealing with the home repairs I've ignored for the past years.

Even the computer has changed it's purpose for me. Instead of whiling the time away uselessly I've taken to opening up old design software, learning to build websites, writing, positive things. Now YouTube is used for tutorials. I just had to refocus. I even spent one evening (three hours of it) re-writing the house budget. Something that surely would have tossed me into bed for days last year. It needed to be done and I finally just kicked myself in the ass. It ended up being a positive thing - an eye-opener, and something that kick-started my mood. I just had to start it. That was the hard part.

The obvious argument here is that I'm simply in a manic state again, and it won't be long until I crash. While that may be true, there's a huge difference. A person's actions while manic usually aren't focused and the person is doing things compulsively, without knowing or without caring. For example, I found myself packing a bag one day with the intention of hiking out of town for parts unknown. I also wanted to sell the house out from under the family and move to Scotland. Today, I am very aware of my actions, they're meticulously intentional. Manic has no part in this, the goal is to be etheric (stable mindset) and keep depression at bay. So I stick to my list.

I'm going to finish my coffee, read the news, play with the dog, then get something done around here. Things that "normal people" take for granted, but for me they're a monumental undertaking. This year I will strive to change that mindset and make this a good year. This year I will get off my depressed angry self-pittying ass and be normal. 

I'm going to start by getting rid of the business card on my desk that's been staring me in the face for days. It doesn't need to be there.

Cheers, enjoy your Saturday.

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