Recent Changes

Sunday
Aug202017

A bit of Sunday motivation

Sunday
Aug132017

Old School Music

Sunday
Aug132017

Keep On Keeping On.

My sleep schedule is so bad right now.  I woke up at like 3:30pm yesterday. But I didn’t actually get out of bed until 4:30. I woke up and just didn’t feel like doing anything.  I slept really well though.  I’ve been sleeping a lot better, and it seems to correlate with sleeping during the morning and into the afternoon.  I don’t know why I am sleeping better during those times. Because normally people sleep better at night, but I can’t deny what I have noticed in myself.  Falling asleep at 11pm is just such atoll task for me, even if I had been up for a long time.  And then once I fall asleep I wake up way too often.

My goals for the month are doing pretty well, well, at least the ones that I have made some effort on.  Some goals I have pretty much accepted there is no way I will accomplish.  Running just hasn’t happened at all.  I don’t think it’s going to happen either.  I’ve played a decent amount of hands though., been working out consistently, read 2 books and have saved money like I wanted.  If I can keep this line up, I am likely to get near 60%-70% goal completion done, with a much higher percentage of goals I really tried on.

I am going to write a thing on one of the books I recently read.  It’s not going to be a completely positive review, so that’s a bit disappointing.  I haven’t really read much fiction this month, as both books I have completed are non-fiction.  I want to get more fiction in and I have one book I have started, but I just haven’t had the desire to complete it like I did the non-fiction books.  I think that I am going to make more of an effort on that though here in the coming week.

One of the reasons I can make more of an effort on this, is because I have deleted my internet browser off my phone.  This isn’t the first time I have done this, but I like the results already.  I missed my goal of less than 7 hours on my phone last week.  The main culprit for this was the internet browner.  I just spent way too long looking at really stupid things.  After reading an interview with Aziz Ansari about how he did the same thing, it motivated me enough to give it another try.

Ansari actually went a step further and got rid of a lot of his social media stuff and pretty much gave up the internet.  It’s an interesting move for someone like him, because he makes his money off being known and getting in people’s minds.  I deleted my Facebook, but I am going to keep my Twitter and Instagram.  I need to figure out better ways to manage my Twitter usage though, as I find myself wasting too much time on their randomly, same with Reddit.  I think I am going to have to take a pretty aggressive stance towards spending my free time.  Not as fun, but useful.

My weight was back down today, but I am still eating a lot of food and working out, so it’s likely just random fluctuations.  I dropped 4 pounds, which might not sound like a lot, but is actually kind of a bit number, when you consider that is like 3% of my total body weight.  I think it’s really interesting how the body can just shed that much body weight in the course of 24 hours.  I’m not sure if I was just retaining a lot of water, or my body has seen an increase in metabolism.  It’s really pretty hard to tell.  I’ll be interested to keep an eye on it and see how my body reacts to different things as time moves on.

The insanity workouts are still really hard.  I thought might be getting used to them a bit more, and I am sure that my strength and conditioning as increased greatly since I began them, but they still kill me.  I have another two weeks on the beginner stuff and then a week of maintenance and then comes the hard stuff.  I have a lot of room to improve if I want any chance of not dying during the hard stuff.  Right now, I think I would just fall over in exhaustion from the sound of them.

I’ve also been lifting weight pretty consistently.  Today wasn’t the best day, as I had to add an extra insanity video.  While it was just ab work that I added, I could tell my body was just too tired to deal with it properly.  Since I did wake up so late, I didn’t have the normal time to rest between Insanity and weights that I normally do, and this also could have been a reason I struggled today.  I normally like to have about 6 or more hours between the two things, but today was maybe an hour, 2 at the most.

I think that is going to be it for now.  Just kind of keeping on keeping on.  Nothing wrong with that though, as I need to get way better at consistency anyway.  Tomorrow is going to be a fairly chill day, as I have no Insanity or weights to do.  Means likely a bit longer walk than normal, but not going to push my body at all really. I need that day to just relax and catchup up.

Friday
Aug112017

Lots of words....

I’m above 145 pounds!  I’m so happy about this. I’m still pretty light for my height, but I think I have put on about 10 pounds in the past month, maybe a tiny bit less.  I know that sounds like a lot, and it kind of is, but with the way I have been eating lately, I’m not terribly shocked about that.  I’ve been eaten like 4 or 5 meals a day when I have Insanity, especially if I also lift weights that day.  I would imagine I will plateau at some point fairly soon, but I am going to keep riding this wave as long as I can.

I’ve been eating pretty well lately too, more real meals and stuff and less processed food.  We just went to Wal-Mart today and I go pretty much no processed food.  I got some yogurt, veggies, big bags of chicken, brown rice and bread.  I have this desire to eat really healthy now.  A lot of it is definitely because I am actually gaining weight from this and feel like it’s paying off for sure. 

I’ve never really embraced the eating healthy in the past, because I just really felt like it wasn’t paying off.  I would eat healthier and just feel like I wasn’t gaining weight, I wasn’t happy and I didn’t feel any better about myself.  Something is different right now.  I’m not sure what it is, or if anything is different besides some mental change, but even if it is just mental, I am glad to have the feelings.

I’m not going to become some health food freak, because that’s just not who I am.  I went to an ice cream place last night and had a shake, because it sounded good.  I’d go eat Five Guys right now if it was open.  I’ve had no candy in over a week though, had no fast food in even longer and haven’t really craved either too much.  I’ve also cut down my snacks a ton.  I’m refocusing, but I’m only doing it, because I want to.  I’m not doing it because I have this grandiose idea that I am magically going to become awesome.  I guess in some ways it’s pretty tough to explain.

This week hasn’t been nearly as productive as I wanted it to be.  I feel pretty disappointed in myself, because I feel like I have really let things get away from where they were last week.  I’m just not able to string together good days and then the bad ones seem to grow on one another.  I did my workouts each day though, I read each day and I have made progress in different parts of my life.  I feel like they are kind of small and insignificant though.  Like I haven’t made as much progress as I wanted to.

I haven’t been writing as much as I wanted to this month.  I’ve tried writing some short stories and they are okay, but I haven’t really been saving any.  None of them are worth refining a little bit more.  I’m pretty sure I am trying way too hard to be perfectionist with them, and it’s kind of unreasonable, but I keep being disappointed with my efforts.

That’s part of the reason I decided I didn’t really want to take writing seriously and start a blog like I said I was going to try.   I started churning out a lot of different articles and really writing. A lot.  I felt like the content wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t make me happy.  Writing for me is such a personal thing, it’s an outlet that I can use to express myself in a way that I can’t seem to in words.  When I was writing for money or trying to make that a thing, I felt more boxed in with my emotions and felt like I had even less ability to really explore who I was as a person.

Writing is something I need in my life to get though my emotions or I will just explode.  My fiction writing has a lot to do with how I am feeling at the time.  While the characters are not me, the ideas they express are taken from some sort of tangency to what I am feeling or thinking.  This doesn’t mean that the characters in my book don’t do things that I always like, but I steer them in a certain direction.  I do have one short story with a character I hate.  Writing it was therapeutic though.

I won’t be a writer though for a newspaper or magazine anytime.  I don’t think I would even do a different kind of blog than what I do now in reality.  While I feel like I could provide good writing to them and I feel like I have some useful insights, I do not think that I could do it and be happy with myself.  I feel like I would be chasing that release I have right now, never being able to catch it.  It’s not a feeling I want.  If I get some other kind of outlet, then maybe things would change, but I have been creative in about 0 other ways during my life.  So not really expecting that any time soon.

On a different note, I have noticed that life has ground me down to a point that I lack the excitedness that I used to.  I don’t attack things like I used to.  It’s not something that has been sudden either.  Over the years and years, it has slowly eroded until the point I am at now.  There are some good things about this, but also some bad things.  I am very even keel for the most part.  I know my writing doesn’t seem like it to some, but even my writing is much more balanced.  My emotions just don’t come to the surface much.

I take things in stride and just kind of react in a less extreme way when things happen.  This allows me to make good decisions that are more thorough.  I think it’s a more adult way to approach life and is certainly a more Zen way of doing things.  I also realize though that it creates less overall enjoyment in my life.  It creates a lot less sadness though too, because I have a cap on both the good and bad things.

When I was in late high school and the beginning few years of college people used to come to me for advice a lot.  This is when I had a lot more friends.  They liked hearing from me, because I had this no-nonsense attitude when giving advice.  I told them like I saw it and didn’t let my emotions in the situation sway me.  People thought I had great insight into things, but reality is I could just look at things from the outside really easily and assess things from there. 

The issue I am having now though is that is how I am approaching my life.  I feel like I am just looking at my life from the outside.  I’m not as engaged with myself.  I am making much better decisions, but they are not having the same impact in the moment towards my emotions.  This of course causes problems when I am around people, because it’s hard to convince someone you are having a good time when your level happiness is much lower than normal people.  When a bad thing happens though I kind of shrug it off pretty easily though too.

I have zero idea what I would like to be like though.  Like, how can I get that excited behavior back while still being an adult?  I’m not completely sure.  Also, being less of an adult is maybe not the best thing?  I’m not completely sure, because I feel like I am a shell of my former self in some ways.  I used to come up with fun ideas and implement them.  The Pac-Man video, potato cannon and many other things. I wouldn’t come up with that stuff anymore.  I would let my inner-adult get the better of me and make the “smarter” choice.  It would be smarter too, there is no doubt about that.

I think in some ways though; the more fun result needs to be what you chose from time to time.  Being more even keel has a place, but being able to turn it off and on, that’s something you need to also have, because it’s pretty useful for enjoying life.  I would like to tell myself it’s a lack of money or something.  It’s not though, because when I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of money.  It’s a lack of imagination now.

I’m not sure I will do anything with what I just wrote.  I’m not sure if I can do anything with it.  It’s important to write it out though and be able to look at it.  It’s important to realize it and evaluate it.  I’m just not sure how to properly fix it.

Well, this ended up being pretty long.  I need to go sleep for a while so I can get stuff done tomorrow.

Saturday
Aug052017

This feels rather '80's punk. It's not perfect replication, but gives you that feeling for sure.

Saturday
Aug052017

It's been a good few days.

So, it’s been a while since I have done an actual blog.  I posted a goal list a few days ago and I have to say that I have been doing super well with them thus far.  I have been working really hard, harder than I have in the past year over the past week.  That’s not to say that I haven’t had some hiccups along the way, but overall, I can’t complain about the progress that I have been able to manage.  It feels great.

I started Insanity again. I had completely fallen off the boat earlier in July and knew that doing this was going to have to be something I really worked at if I wanted to feel good about myself.  I’ve learned a lot about my body doing this again and really seen how things affect me more so than ever.  When I did Insanity the first time, I did it in the middle of the day or a bit later.  So, if I ate badly or didn’t drink enough the day before I had more than enough time to recoup.  That’s not true now.  If I do something bad the day before, I notice it, because I am doing the workout when I first wake up.

I’m not doing the running I had planned on, and I don’t think that I am going to.  I’m just not enthused to run at all.  I’m enthused to lift weights and to do Insanity.  Sometimes I feel enthused to jump on the bike.  I don’t feel enthused to run though.  I don’t feel like it’s a good path to happiness for me.  So instead of trying to force it, I’m just going to drop it and not feel bad about it.  I’m still getting a ton of workouts in and still really helping my health, so it’s not really such a big deal.  I do need to get on the bike more though, because I know the slow burning workouts are better for my mental health and I just haven’t been doing those really.

Poker has also been going really well.  I’ve put in about 30 hours this week and it’s not even over yet.  That’s pretty awesome for me.  I’m likely going to fall short of this bet I have with Brett, but I am going to do my best to get as close as I can to it.  I’m 13,000 hands into the 90,000 I need to play to have the bet be a wash, if Brett gets in his 30,000 hands.  I have until August 27th, so it’s a pretty tall order.  Even if I fall short, but put in a solid 40 hours a week doing it, I am not going to be too sad.  I would realistically like to up that to 50 hours a week, but I am taking the steps small at this point.

I’ve really narrowed my focuses down a lot.  I have said in the past I needed to do that, but I kept such a wide array of interests that I just didn’t do a good job or really focusing on only 1 or 2 things.  I kept creating excuses to try different things and not focus.  Now, my life is very simple and I really enjoy it.  I’m meditating, reading, writing, playing poker and working out each day.  I’m really not doing anything more than that.  The results of each of those things has far exceeded my expectations even in this little bit of time, and I think a large part of that is because I have little else to distract me.  Even within that group of things I am doing, some of those are more important than others.

My better mindset has also been really good for my marriage.  It’s only been a bit over a week since I have really been focusing on things, but I think that I have been a much better person to be around.  I am not an easy person to get along with sometimes, and when I was as depressed as I was, I am really not a good person to be around.  Sure, things could go belly up at any point and this progress I have made could disappear, but at least I am giving it a try and really putting my heart into it.

I’m still remembering to have fun, and I have a huge date day planned on Sunday with Jess.  I’m hoping to get a ton of work done tomorrow so that I can do the date day without feeling any kind of regret.  It’s not that it would be bad to spend time with her, but I feel like if I haven’t put in the work to deserve the time off, then I will be thinking about what I could be doing instead of spending time with Jess.  I still may even get a few things done that night, but I am not planning on it, that’s for sure.  If it happens, then it happens.

Her and I have begun playing Pokémon GO again.  We might be some of the only people still playing it, but it’s been nice to at least get out a little bit and get some walking in during the night.  It’s been wonderful outside, so the 15-20 minutes we go for a walk, it’s been awesome.  It’s also nice to have something to play that is so simple and doesn’t really make me think or be competitive in any way.  I’ve been playing a lot of League of Legends, but that doesn’t have the same relaxing qualities as Pokémon GO.  Part of our date day is going to be going down to the Plaza before we catch a movie so we can get some Pokémon, because are cool like that.

I think that’s going to be it for now.  This ended up being a bit longer than I thought it was going to be.  I have a few other things I would like to get done before I turn in for the night.  Hopefully will have another big day tomorrow and will keep this positive momentum going!

Friday
Jul282017

I feel you little man, i feel you.

Thursday
Jun292017

Song is super whiny, but I like it for whatever reason....

Thursday
Jun292017

Maybe a Mongolia trip? 

I want to take a trip somewhere in the next few years, but not to a place that a lot of people have gone.  I know a fair number of people who have been to Europe or China or some parts of Africa.  It’s not that there is anything wrong with going to those places.  In fact, I have a wish to go back to China at some point in my life time.  I want to trek to a new place though that you don’t see a lot of people talk about all that much.

I think Mongolia is that place.  I was doing some research on it, and there is a lot there that is pretty enticing to me really.  Lots of nature, cool history with the Mongols and just a unique culture that we don’t see nearly as much today.  A large portion of their population is still nomads and they the lowest population density per square mile of any independent nation.  They have less people than Iowa does, but occupy the 5th most land mass of any country in the world.

I like the idea of going to a place that is safe, but also not as well traveled.  Of course, they still have a decent number of tourists, but many of those are from China or Russia.  A smaller amount is from Europe, but not a lot of Americans.  They have English speaking guides for a lot of the bigger tour companies around and the prices for tours are not terrible.  I wouldn’t classify them as cheap, exactly, but then again, I was looking at the more 10-day stuff, not the shorter trips.  If I am going to fly all the way to Mongolia, I’m going to make it worth my time.

I was thinking of this, because Jess and I have now been married for four years and next year it will be our 5th year anniversary.  We likely won’t have the money to be able to do something like that, but perhaps we will.  If we do, I want to something cool and unique.  I like the idea of different, because everything we have done up until now for trips has been much more typical.  We have been to Chicago and Vegas as our two major trips.  I love both of those cities, but they are not really unique.

Being married for 4 years has been something.  Not bad, just much different than a lot of people told me it would be when I was getting married.  I feel like we didn’t have much of a honeymoon phase because things didn’t start out very well for us.  We have settled into a much calmer situation at this point, and that’s wonderful.  That’s not how everyone said it would be though, because I think the hope if that you have that honeymoon phrase for at least a while when you get married.  I enjoy the calm, even if I think that most people would find it rather boring.  I find it comforting.

The other things that hasn’t changed for me is my desire to not have kids.  I had everyone tell me forever that as I got older I would want them more.  As I got more settled into my life and being married I would want them more.  I can tell you with confidence that I want the no more now than I did 4 years ago or 8 years ago.  I just don’t think that my attitude would mesh well with having them, nor do I think that I would be that good of a parent anyway.  Not being a good parent is a huge fear of mine and definitely makes it a hard no for having kids.

I have a lot of stuff I have to get done tomorrow, but it’s all kind of piddly stuff.  We must take the Jeep to get looked over before our trip to North Dakota, just to make sure it doesn’t fall apart and all.  I must do a lot of cleaning and laundry.  I’m not really looking forward to that, but I need to get it done, because I am pretty sure I have almost no clothes left at this point.  I somehow managed to run myself out of shirts really fast this time around.  I’m not sure if I just didn’t clean enough last time or what happened.

I’d also like to get a walk, workout and poker in as well.  Those are going to be a bit more on the backburner to make sure I get everything I need to get done for the trip first.  Jess also has some work stuff to get done, so she won’t be helping with the cleaning as much.  It’s not like our house is bad or anything, but it’s just stuff that takes a while, like dishes.  O, how I loathe doing dishes.  They are the bane of my existence.  I think it comes from washing dishes for a job for a few years.  You just learn to hate certain takes when doing them as a job.

How about this, two blogs in two nights.  Don’t see that too much anymore.  Also, both are well over 900 words on top of it all.  That’s pretty strange for me at this point.  It has made me a lot more tired to be writing though, which is kind of what I was hoping for.  Just wanted to dump a little bit out of my mind before I tried to go to sleep.

Wednesday
Jun282017

Well, that ended up being pretty long.

As expected, I have not been as good about doing things after getting back from Chicago as I wanted to be.  I’ve actually been pretty good about doing the big things on my list, but I have been letting the small things fall to the side and I have noticed some big changes in my mood.  They are not good changes either.  I haven’t been sitting outside in the afternoon, or going for walks or really working out.  I’ve been sitting in front of my computer way too much just doing things.  I need to do the small things.

I’ve fallen back into a pattern of taking sleeping pills as well and I am pretty disappointed in myself about that.  I got some, because of doing all the traveling we were doing and fearing not being able to sleep while doing said traveling.  As I guessed sleeping in different places has been hard so I have been taking sleeping pills.  The issue is that I don’t wake up feeling refreshed in the morning and I just end up being lethargic and slow to start the next day.  It lasts for like half the day too.  It’s not good.

I’ve said before that I am making things even more simple in some ways, because I am taking everything down to the basic tenants. I’m taking on less big goals, I’m having less really pie in the sky ideas and overall, I am just trying to do a lot more small things with one big goal in mind.  I really like this right now, because I feel like I am getting more out of my work.  I’m still doing some of the things I set out to do, but just at a less strenuous speed.

One thing that I have done is not write about politics lately, and I can’t tell you how happy that has made me feel.  While I did say my mood has been more of a rollercoaster, I feel more at peace overall.  If I can start doing the little things like I have been in the past, then I think I am going to be really happy.  Not reading about politics except maybe once every 3 or 4 days has just made my mind feel more free and creative to a degree I didn’t think it would.

I’ve gotten more creative writing done in the past week than I had done in the past month before that.  I feel like not reading about politics and just allowing myself to think in that creative space more has allowed me to get back into a groove.  I’ve written a few short stories and then worked on a few older book ideas I had.  I haven’t tried to really tackle my book that is about 95% done, because I haven’t felt good enough yet for it, but I think that getting any writing done is a good sign and will likely result in me getting there soon enough.

I also started watching some anime again.  It’s been pretty enjoyable, because anime has always been something that has captured my imagination.  When I spend less time on pie in the sky goals, I have more time to really just enjoy myself.  I have my main goal I am spending 40 hours a week on (or a bit more) and then I have a lot of hours left that I can tackle in any way that I feel like I should.  Lately, it’s been writing and watching anime.

I’ve been rewatching Phantom: Requiem for a Phantom, because one book idea I have had and worked on a few times has been an action based book.  It’s fun to see those scenes and think how I would write that scene.  A few scenes I have watched a few times and tried to describe everything I see to make it into a story.  I’ve never really heard anyone saying that doing this is useful, but I find it really useful to learn how to write action scenes.  The ones I have written still need a lot of work, but I feel like I am getting them much better than they would be without this exercise.

We leave for North Dakota in like 3 days now (Saturday) and will be gone until Thursday.  I’m not thrilled about going, but I am going to use the time of driving (24 hours in the car) to really work on plans for the upcoming 3 months, 1 year and 3 years.  I’ve done a small 3-year plan before and that didn’t go how I thought, because I didn’t plan for the loan forgiveness aspect of it.  Now that I know what at least the next 2.5 years of my life is going to entail in terms of what I can and can’t do legally, I feel like I can maybe start that plan a little bit more again.

The next 3 months is huge for me, and I am hoping that I can make it worth it.  I’m going to try my hardest to stick to my goals and stick to my plan.  I know things will come up, but I am going to do my best to make sure I keep it within reason.  I’m hoping that if I fail, then when I start working a normal job I can just insert the job into my life and continue all the small things that made me happy.

In the past, that is what has doomed me most.  When I worked for Jeremy Franklin I was working 70 hours a week, so having a life outside of work was so hard.  When I worked at HR Block, I allowed my sadness to control way too much of my mood and just didn’t try to do anything outside of work.  I could have been using my time so much better, but I just didn’t.  I need to have a good foundation setup so that if I must go to work for the next year, I will be able to just hot swap things much easier.

The good thing is I have a list of places I am going to apply to once I know if I need to get a job or not, and I think that I should be able to get hired on at least one of them.  They aren’t great jobs, but they will have a consistent paycheck and that is what I would be going for if I took on one of those jobs.  I would like to make my take home $2,000 a month and just bank money.  I would work for about 6 months in the year when taxes are taken into consideration, so at work, next June around this time I am going to be sitting here planning my next 6-months to a year of not working.  I would be most likely to take a year off at this point, because I could then start a good job if I decided to, because the loan forgiveness would be over.

It’s all stuff I need to put down in much more clear writing though, because I know that just talking about it isn’t going to be enough.  I can imagine what the next three years of my life would be like all I want, but reality is that I won’t see the full scope of it until after I get this stuff down in writing.  I will likely post what my goals and plans are for the future on here, because I might as well and see what people think.  If I am too embarrassed to post what my plans are, then perhaps my plans are not actually as good as I think.

I have some other things to write about, but this post is already longer than I was planning on.  I don’t think I have written anything this long in months for a blog post on here.  Maybe I really am tapping back into that creative mindset that had left me for a long time.