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[personal profile] primaleph
Lately my life has begun to feel like an endless string of work and television. Work I haven't been appropriately withholding tax money from, that is, and television that in many cases I've seen before. This is a symptom of a larger problem, namely indulging addictive behavior to distract myself from the fact that I'm not really very happy with how my life is.

These days, my life pretty much lacks an element of accomplishment or spiritual fulfillment. Watching TV, smoking, spending money, overeating, surfing the web, etc., can all help to distract me for a while, but I've had to be high or watching TV pretty much all the time I'm not working in order to maintain the illusion that I'm actually happy. For all my high-minded rhetoric about how all people choose to value either truth or comfort - with the implication that those who value truth are somehow better or more noble - I come down pretty squarely in the comfort camp the vast majority of the time.

This disturbs me greatly. What disturbs me more is that even at such a young age, I worry that this pattern might be so pervasive and well-established that I may not be able to break it. It's been years since I've even been successful at sticking to a diet.

I don't think that cold turkey is the solution, either. I need to be able to develop the willpower to be around things I enjoy without overindulging, or demonizing the thing rather than my lack of self-control. So here is a draft of some new personal rules. Please comment if you feel so moved.

1. No old TV shows, except when entertaining friends, and even then in moderation. It's okay to watch things that are currently on the air, but if I've already seen it, I will Just Say No.

2. I will smoke no more than three times a week. If I'm high, drinks are okay, but absolutely no food unless I was already hungry for a meal before smoking.

3. Every hour of TV I watch must be matched with either an hour of reading or half an hour of writing. This can be either before or after, but the debt has to be paid each week before I can watch next week's new episodes.

4. The projector screen always goes up when I'm done using it. Having to pull it down makes watching TV more of a conscious choice.

5. Video and computer games count as TV for the purposes of other rules, unless I'm playing them with friends who don't live here.

6. Go to bed by 2 AM at the very latest. By midnight or 1 is better. Otherwise I'm useless / cranky / irritable / late for work the next day, and probably won't end up taking a shower before work either.

7. No lying down on the couch. I never want to get up again. Seriously.

I'm really not sure what to do about exercise... I know I need it, but I lack the motivation to actually do it. Suggestions would be very welcome. I should probably also meditate or do magic or pray or something. Suggestions also welcome there.

Date: 2010-05-05 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grizzlywoman.livejournal.com

Awesome Jason! Cessation is hard but worth it if you're feeling too dependent. I promise to smoke your share;-)

Date: 2010-05-05 01:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sleepsong.livejournal.com
Exercize buddy! I need one of those, too...

If I have people over for movies at my place in the next couple of weeks you should come. I haven't seen you in forever and I think getting out and meeting new people might do you some good.

Date: 2010-05-05 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] primaleph.livejournal.com
I completely agree. Let me know when you're doing this.

Date: 2010-05-06 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ainulindale.livejournal.com
It looks to be a solid plan in response to what I see as an accurate diagnosis. You're not the only one falling into complacency. I'm there, too, and a number of others I know are as well.

I've been coping with it in little ways: getting involved in things that require me to leave the house, being more social overall, and indulging in personal research projects. I was really bad last year until I remembered how much I love Ren faire, so now May through October is full of it. I'm still not exactly where I want to be with my life yet, but I'm enjoying the journey there a hell of a lot more.

For exercise that's productive and meditative, I recommend yoga and pilates. Seriously. It kills two birds with one stone and takes up maybe 20 minutes of your time. Best before work for a clearer head.

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