I don’t tend to think of myself as a very motivated person, and that’s terrible. However, when I think about it a little further, I realize that everyone is motivated; it’s just a matter of what they’re motivated to do. For myself, I am clearly motivated to spend a lot of time on the internet. But what motivated me to do that? What do I get out of avoiding daily life and staring at a screen all evening?
It’s a good question, and one I don’t have a clear answer to.
Obviously, I like what I see and read. I mostly go to interactive communities like Reddit, Metafilter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. Oh and Skillshare. I’m addicted to Skillshare. The good thing about that is that it gets me doing things like drawing and painting and writing. But I digress. I like reading what other people have to say about things. It doesn’t even matter what it is, usually.
The closest thing I can come to is that spending so much time on the internet keeps me occupied and prevents me from feeling lonely. It also helps me procrastinate, but that’s a different issue. There’s something about the “interactive” aspect that really does it for me. I mean, I could do any number of things to spend my time. I could read, I could write, I COULD FRIGGING CLEAN, I could paint or I could draw. But I don’t.
I need to work on myself and at coming to terms with the fact that I have no partner in life. I need to accept that I am alone (in a romantic sense) and I have to learn to be okay with that. If I’m truly honest, I know that I’m not ok with it. At all. I fill all the empty space with things that are bad or unproductive, when I could be filling that empty space with good things like art or exercise. I could do so much if I just stopped trying to distract myself from the lonely parts of my life. If I faced the loneliness head on and did good things anyway.
But knowing that I do what I do in a misguided attempt to cope is a new revelation for me. This is a good first step, I think.
I need to learn to stop procrastinating. It’s terrible. I could have a nice apartment if I cleaned it up every once and a while. However, I tend to avoid doing that. Instead, I paint, or draw, or surf the internet. Mostly I surf the internet, let’s be honest. It’s like the famous Allie Brosh comic Why I Will Never Be an Adult. I try and I try. Then I give up. I lack the self-discipline and self-motivation to keep my home the way I want it kept. I would love to have it be this clean, cozy refuge from the world. It’s my relaxation place, or it’s supposed to be.
So I have started forcing myself to clean in 5-minute bursts. Once every hour or so that I’m at home, trying to time that 5 minutes to coincide with the stand nag on my Apple Watch. I know that sounds incredibly lame, but it’s amazing what you can do with 5 minutes. But oh man, I have so much recycling to take out? Why does that stuff have to go to the basement 20 floors away?
I am a lazy, lazy person.
I’ve come to accept that.
However, I recently read some advice on reddit by user ryans01 that was super bloody amazing. Really. You should read it. Now. It covers four basic things.
- No more zero days. Meaning there are no more days where you do nothing towards your goal. My goal? A clean, relaxed apartment. I’m serious. That is my current life goal. They key is, it doesn’t matter how much you do, as long as you do something. 5 minutes counts.
- Be grateful to the three yous. The three yous are Past You, Present You, and Future You. Be grateful to past you for positive things you did in the past, and do favours for future you like they are your best friend. You exercised for 10 minutes yesterday? Thanks past me! Did you make a healthy lunch for tomorrow? That’s for future you! Always think of the three yous.
- Forgive yourself for not doing something. That’s right. If you don’t do what you’re supposed to that day, forgive yourself. Being disappointed in yourself doesn’t help.
- Exercise and books, self-explanatory.
I did not come up with any of this, just to reiterate. I found it on Reddit. It has really made an impact on me. So I set my No Zero Days goal to have a clean apartment. Not necessarily instantly clean in one day, but in little bits over time. It’s been working so far. Nothing is sparkling but it’s getting there. Once I manage this goal, I’ll set another one.
What will be your No Zero Days goal?
It doesn’t seem like a very long time, and yet it seems like an eternity.
It’s been one whole year since my mother died. I can’t really believe that. It seems like just yesterday my sister and I were talking about it being one whole month since she’d passed.
The pain isn’t as raw anymore. Instead of a sharp stabbing kind of pain, it’s settled into a throbbing ache that’s sort of always in the back of my mind. I miss her incredibly. I miss that I can no longer talk to her, except when I dream about her. And I do dream about her. The funny thing about these dreams is that usually she has a limited time to be with us before she disappears, or she’s back from the dead, but no one else believes me that she died. Weird right?
I often think about how she would react to things. Like my brother getting married. She would have stressed out about finding the money to get there, but I’m sure between the four of us we would have gotten her there. I don’t know whether she would have come on vacation with us. Half of me thinks she wouldn’t want to, but the other half thinks I could be very wrong about that. Would we all have gone on vacation if she hadn’t died? Did her death somehow teach us that our ties to each other are important but tenuous? I don’t know.
I do know that she’d be horrified at the state of my apartment. She’d be constantly worried about me losing my job. She’d be worried about my falling too much, but I’m also sure she would think a rollator a silly idea at this stage in my life. I’m sure she’d be proud of me too, although I haven’t done much in the last year to be proud of. Just kept moving forward. Maybe that is enough.
365 days without her. One is too many.
So, here’s the deal. As most of you know, I have Cerebral Palsy. It’s a “mild” form of it, but it’s certainly had an impact on my daily life, and more so as I grow older. I have difficulty with a lot of things. Even the simple act of bending over to tie my shoes is really hard for me. I need to sit down to deal with shoes. I fall and I fall often enough that it worries me. Walking has become painful.
I had a cane, and then I broke it, but I’m not sure it was really helping me. Sure, it was like having a third leg, so I suppose there was some help with balance. However, it was also like having only one hand, because one hand was always holding the cane. It could be a giant pain in the ass that way. Moreover, in the end, it didn’t stop me from falling. Falling while holding a cane sucks more than falling without one.
Winter is my enemy. It’s horrible and I fall all the time. Summer is better, but there are still moments when I hit the pavement. It gets frustrating.
That’s why I’ve started to think about alternatives to canes. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be researching rollators on Amazon, but here we are. A rollator is on my mind. However, there are pros and cons.
- Has a seat so I can sit when I’m tired
- Will help prevent me from falling
- It can carry my things when my hands are otherwise occupied
- Is (relatively) cheap
- Can’t get over the giant snowbanks after a storm/before the city ploughs
- Don’t need one all the time
- Will be another thing I need to store when not using
I don’t know what to do. There’s nothing pushing me in one direction or the other really. I just know I need help. Losing weight probably would help too, but one thing at a time.