Forcing Self Improvement
Tuesday Weigh In: I am down 1.4 pounds since i quit drinking wine. Yes, this is up from the last time I weighed myself. I don’t seem to care very much. Which is probably why the number is not changing even when i claim that i want to lose weight. I clearly want to eat chocolate cream roll MORE than i want to lose weight. And in these early days of no-booze, I know that sugar is a darn good replacement strategy. Clearly it’s not a permanent option. i will eventually blimp out and my long-sleeved shirt will become a billowing sail in a strong wind.
Otherwise, all is well. nothing new over here.
Over at Abstaining in August, there’s a thoughtful post about what else we could do for 30 days, if we were to extend this sobriety thing into other self-help-y topics in our lives.
I commented with a lovely list of things I’d like to try to do for 30 days. Some typical stuff (run more, lose weight, read more) and some minor but important bits (very clean house, empty inbox every day).
So since it’s nearly September 1 and that seems like a good day to start a 30 day trial, this morning I opened up MS Word, turned on the auto number feature, and put in my list of things i’d like to do for 30 days:
- run 5 days a week including one long run
- lose 1-2 pounds a week
- make 30 new recipes in 30 days day
- write 30 minutes a day (for work) for 30 days
- read an hour a day (or read at least one book per week)
- empty inbox every night before bed
- run + read in the mornings before checking my email
- Set email checking to download new messages every 60 minutes (instead of every 1 minute).
And then I used the magic random number generator to make my selection for me.
It came up with #4.
Now let’s clarify a few things. Firstly, I don’t like this choice. I even considered pressing random again, to see what else it gave me. Which is kind of silly since i’m the one who put #4 on my list in the first place.
Also, to be super clear here, i’ve been writing on this blog at least 30 minutes a day for almost two months, and i have more than 60 posts, cuz some days i’ve written more than once. So we can argue that i have the time and the ability. I have a degree in writing.
I’m mad at this random number generator thing, even though i picked the 8 items myself, knowing that each one would improve my life and stretch me in some way.
and before we say “just don’t write,” i should say that I really do have to do it, because i’m behind on a deadline that i’ve already been paid for, and i still cannot seem to make myself do it.
i think the biggest difference between blog writing and professional writing is … audience. I get no feedback when i do the professional writing. the client hardly ever says anything, ever, though they continue to pay the invoices. The topics i have to write about are self-generated, so i get to pick how interesting they are — and they are interesting in a technical kind of way — but i just hate it. Really hate it. Cannot make myself do it. Which is why i put it on the list in the first place.
All the normal resistance voices start up, just like with giving up booze: “how can i start September 1st? i’m going to be on vacation. How can I write every day while i’m on vacation?”
Sound familiar? Not long ago i was thinking “i can’t quit drinking now, i’m going to be on vacation in X days.” Or I can’t quit now because of this wedding coming up, or until I move, or whatever. There’s always some imaginary better time to do the thing that we’re avoiding.
and if writing every day for 30 days is like early sobriety, then i’ll hate mostly every minute of it in the beginning, and then it’ll get easier. i’ll reward myself, and then i’ll forget the rewards. I’ll count days, and then i’ll lose track.
Fuck, i can hear myself talking myself into this 30 day trial, even as i’m writing this post. Which i didn’t want to do. Honestly i thought i was going to write something about quitting the professional writing gig and just refunding their money.
I wish i had this sober community support for the rest of my life, and i could post my stoopid professional writing and get thoughtful feedback from you-all.
i wish that there were easier ways towards self-improvement that didn’t feel like forcing myself to do something i don’t want to do.
anyone got a genius idea about forcing self-improvement? blech. double blech.