I just finished meditating and am feeling super groovy, so I figured it was about time to stop ignoring this blog.
I’ve been struggling for months with the notion of writing on here (which I fully anticipated when I started). What I assumed I would be filling these pages with, I’ve instead been throwing up on Instagram, because I waste all my time on there, and it is just SO much more shiny and convenient to post or re-share a quick something on social media than travel to Ye Olde WordPress blog, where I feel like I’m just farting useless words into the wind where no one sees or cares, like the high school days of LiveJournal/DeadJournal.
But I wouldn’t say I’ve been completely “wasting” my time. In the same spirit of my long-winded February rant, I’ve been continuing to seek out the happiness in my days, and thankfully have found myself in a much less manic state as of late. (Yeah, I thought I was over that whole Early Midlife Crisis bit. Nah, I still had some work to do)
And we always still have some work to do. That’s the point. This is all one big ongoing process until we’re in the damn grave, so we better get comfortable with being a work in progress. (Oh! Look! He said the name of the title! Just like they do in the movies sometimes!)
I was just speaking with a writing buddy this morning about re-learning to appreciate the now whilst still having goals and consistently working toward them. It’s a tricky thing. It’s human nature to get overly excited about new things, especially new ventures in self-improvement. Whether it’s health and wellness, finances, getting more involved with politics (God, probably not the best thing for your mental health), etc, etc. There’s that initial period of time when you get all hyped up about something you learned or a thing that’s making your days a little brighter. Like that jolt of energy or quick 5 pound drop someone may experience at the start of a fitness journey, for example.
You get that little taste, and suddenly, *GASP* , YOU FEEL A POWERFUL NEED TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL! MY GOD, THIS IS THE ANSWER! WHY ISN’T EVERYONE DOING THIS?! EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS! I NEED TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS AND INJECT IT INTO EVERY CONVERSATION WITH MY FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND COWORKERS UNTIL EVERYONE AVOIDS ME AT PARTIES AND THE BREAK ROOM BECAUSE THEY KNOW I’LL NEVER SHUT UP ABOUT IT! It leads to tired jokes like “How can you tell if someone is a vegan, crossfitter, or atheist? Because they never STFU about it.”
Positive energy is good. But obsessing over your goals, if you’re not careful, can lead you to a less than ideal head space. Once your thoughts start to dwell around the notion of “I’ll never be happy until I accomplish [this], or weigh [this much], or have [this much money],” etc, etc, you’ve begun to filter out the positives that surround you today. Yes, yes, have those goals. Crush ’em. Work on them constantly if they’re important to you. Determination and drive are essential to reaching for those stars. But when you’re hyper-focusing on those things that are important in your life, remember to include what you can appreciate about the present.
“Be present”. If you’ve ever even glanced at a self-help book, or heard some wellness guru speak for 5 seconds, or ever looked at a fucking decorative throw pillow on Pinterest, you’ve probably heard or seen that cheesy-ass phrase. Be present, or “be mindful”. Despite the reflexive cringe you may feel regarding those words (probably because you’ve heard them a hundred times, just like an overplayed pop song in a department store elevator makes you want to flip a table), there’s some really truth in that message.
That’s why I’m on Day 2 of meditating. Along with a healthier mindset I’ve been building on for a while now, I’m adding daily meditation to my repertoire. I actually mentioned this in an Instagram story the other day, in which I shared my August goals and asked people to chime in with their own.
So here’s my list (Tony’s August Fuck Yeah List):
-Financial: Save $1K in the Emergency Fund
Did okay with the July budget, but not as well as I’d hoped. Going to do better this time!
–Physical: Exercise. Put in some decent work at least 3 times a week
Been lagging here hard, but I’ve at least been eating healthy AF!
-Mental: Meditation, once or twice daily
On Day 2 today, using the Waking Up app. I’ve heard it recommended a few times. I’ll let you know how it goes.
-Creative: Write something. You know, like that 2nd book I’ve been talking about for almost 2 years now.
Still lagging here, but I at least wrote in this blog today!
The wife and I are also planning a TV cleanse. No TV for a month. That is, AFTER finishing this last season of The Magicians on the DVR. She has art projects, and I have writing to do. This will hopefully boost our productivity. Worst case, we can at least break the monotony, the bad habit of being a TV zombie. We’re nerds. We enjoy our shows. But if we keep going the way we’re going, we’ll risk spending too much of our lives staring at screens instead of each other, or watching other people’s awesome works instead of creating awesome shit of our own.
I encourage you to find where you might be defaulting into zombie mode in your own life, and shake things up a little. You never know. You might learn an instrument, or end up reading more, or get down and dirty with the Mr or Mrs some more.
(Snooty voice) “Just remember guys: Be present.” 😉
And seriously though, I’d love to hear your goals! I got some awesome replies on IG. “Lose some pounds”, “Get back in my Marine Corps shape”, “Take a solo roadtrip”, “Move out on my own for the first time ever”, “Just remember to have fun everyday”, and more! I guess that’s what I’ve been enjoying on social media, especially Instagram. The community. Hopefully I can wrangle some of you over here. You are the company you keep, so let’s keep lifting each other up. Tell me your goals in the comments. Other than that, I’ll catch you next time!