Personal Failures and Resilience

Apologies for how rambly this post will likely be, but I’m resolved to try and write more and worry less about whether its good writing or not.  I’ve had a bit of a crash recently, and one of my realisations is that I essentially work at my job, do chores around the house and then “veg out” in front of TV or Xbox.  Thats it.  Just those three things.

I’m not sure when I stopped having hobbies, but it seems to me its been a while.

Actually I don’t even mean a hobby, I’m trying to call it creative relaxation instead of “hobby”, because a hobby seems to me a thing like building models, or playing golf, and those aren’t the kinds of thing I’m talking about. What I mean is that in my “time off” I am doing nothing creative or useful.  I’m not exercising, I’m not building or making or learning stuff, I’m simply vegetating in front of the TV.

This should be an easy problem to solve.  Go for a walk every saturday morning.  Sign up for a course every tuesday night.  But yet I find that I naturally rebel against structure and schedules.

Anything I decide to do on a scheduled basis I will find a way to screw up.  I have to skip this tuesday because Hope has a show or Jane has a class and so once I miss one, I have failed so I just give up.

It’s like giving up your web business the first time you have an outage instead of being proud of “4 9s” reliability.

Also, I realise I’m sort of blaming my family for making it difficult to carve out time for myself to do some creative relaxation, but in the end it’s nobody’s fault but mine.

When I used to travel I’d tell myself it will be nice to get away and have evenings to myself with nothing to do but work on some interesting coding project. Inevitably all I’d do is watch TV and sleep.

I think I hit rock bottom yesterday. Jane and Hope were in Edinburgh and Isaac was visiting a friend, I didn’t know for how long, all a bit vague. So I’m in the house, alone, with all the time to do something interesting. I told myself that I couldn’t start anything big or go anywhere cause Isaac could call for a lift home at any point. End result, between 2pm and 7pm I ate fried egg rolls for lunch, Domino’s for dinner and spent the rest of the time playing Xbox or watching Star Trek on Netflix. Thought about renting an actual interesting movie but decided not to as I was sure I’d just get interrupted.

I had 5 hours and I did nothing but burn time between eating bad food as some kind of “woo I’m alone!” treat. It wasn’t even a treat. The food didn’t make me feel happy, just the idea of eating bad food because nobody could stop me made me happy.

So what can I do? How can I motivate myself into a routine. How can I get a little exercise, or do something a little creative every day?

I don’t know any trick to it other than trying again and (most importantly) not getting discouraged if I miss a day.

So I’ve set up the Streaks app for the following:

1) complete my Apple Watch activity rings every day

2) 8000 steps a day, which is my current goal in Pedometer++ and I know I can hit it by doing an entirely reasonable amount of exercise.

3) don’t eat bad food.

4) write something every day.

I’m also trying to figure out whether to dust off my electric piano or get myself a guitar as both of those are things I have tried (and failed) to learn before. That will become number 5 once I figure out what I want to do.

2 exercise things, 2 creative things and 1 food reminder.

This is the first day (managed 12,000 steps) The key will be to see how resilient I will be in the face of inevitable failure.

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