Reality check

Sorry kid. There’s no going back. Once the party’s over, its over.

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I mean in a Freudian sense you spend at least some portion of your adult life trying get back to that point… but really its all simulacrum.

Its even worse when you yourself have your own kids and you’re suddenly smacked about the face with the reality of mammary glands and their (purely) utilitarian function as a source of nutrition for the progeny you helped create. (for me anyways) Procreation meant getting dealt a massive hand of creep factor and I suddenly felt a lot less inclined to put mouth to nipple. I feel like something has shifted now (in my brain) and that, that particular life goal has been irrevocably taken off the menu.

Reality sucks.

4am

Productivity stroke life hacking. It’s supposedly a thing. You know, where you take on the the stellar habits of ‘successful’ people. I think how it works is that you’re supposed to carefully graft this patchwork of heavily curated and apparently desirable traits onto your personage so that you can be less like you… and more like… Frankensteins monster.

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Being efficient at life is an important skillset, if you cultivate the ability to cram more of it in there… following the trusted maxim of ‘more is always better’, you should definitely be getting up earlier.

I wake up every morning at 4am. Because… well.. I also want to be a winner and be elevated up to a paragon of my kind. In fact ‘Be more like Joey’ should be the mantra on the lips of every neophyte ready to take their first step on their journey to… well  probably damnation (if we are going to be completely honest) but let’s pretend our end point is going to be somewhere nice.

People often ask me how I manage this seemingly near impossible feat of will so consistently. (no one really asks me this, but I’m going to blog about it anyway, because every action requires some sort of societal justification)

The secret to waking up early is easy. Go to bed earlier. I know. Dramatic reveal right there. Of course early evenings come with opportunity cost. I have a threenager and an infant, but I’ve heard some people like to go out for dinner at night to restaurants and do stuff outside of the domicile that doesn’t involve cleaning up after the localised hurricane that passes through on a daily basis. I vaguely remember what that was like.

4am to 6am is my time. I mean it could also be 8pm to 10pm. But I found that ‘me time’ tacked onto the end of my day when I was already tired, like some sort of after thought wasn’t very fulfilling.

Pay yourself first. I think this is actually one of the better aphorisms that gets bandied about and one that I find works for me. I’ve found that I’m a better person (to those around me) when I’ve taken care of my own needs first.

Virtue through selfishness.

Maybe it will catch on.

 

Fake it till you make it

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Ha ha. No, (usually) not when I’m walking. But a few kilometers into a run when someone comes gliding past me at an easy canter and I’m wheezing like an asthmatic and perspiring like someone pouring water through a colander, I briefly manage to pull it together. That is until I feel enough distance has materialized between us that I can go back to my steam-engine shunting yard noises and general slouched over leakiness.

For some reason I want the person passing me to imagine that I’m three quarters of the way through a half marathon… and if you consider that… I’m doing pretty well. The fact that I’m almost home after my 5mi tour-de-neighborhood, makes it altogether less impressive.

Also this person has likely heard the panting (that approximates a death rattle… and probably also heard me talking to myself) for at least the last hundred meters… so really this is a pretty dumb charade.

Also I will likely continue to feign running prowess. Because this is how I roll.

Headgames

I suffer from depression (apparently). I know, what an incredibly passe condition.

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My head-doc tells me I’m genetically disposed towards this kind of chemical imbalance. I try argue with her that depression is symptomatic of something else and that anti-depressants are simply treating the manifestation of the cause. She counters that seizures are symptomatic for an epileptic and that some people are genetically disposed towards epilepsy, would I therefore argue that an epileptic forgo his medication and reduce their stress levels as a form of treatment.

I slump back down into my high back wing chair, momentarily defeated. I point out that a real psychiatrist should have a chaise longue or a settee instead of wing chairs. She says settees are for psychologists. I laugh. I tried Cognitive behavioral therapy once. It didn’t do much for me. Well… that’s not entirely true. Cognitive behavioral therapy is actually a lot like stoicism actually. You re-frame your problems, changing the way you think about them. I don’t really have any ‘real’ problems… other than I think life is pointless. (some might call that a biggie) That is to say I appreciate our complete and utter insignificance in the grand scheme of the universe. I find that annoying.

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I decided (on my own volition) to go off my meds. And had a massive relapse as a result. Which is why I’m back at the head-doc. Even though I think life is generally futile I prefer to be functional while I’m acting out my futility. The drugs don’t change your subjective feelings about the world, but you don’t mind it so much.

I used to judge people who were ‘depressed’. Toughen up. Or get over it. But if you’ve never experienced the crushing lethargy your brain can inflict on you it’s a difficult thing to appreciate.

Interestingly whenever they change your medication they ask you if you’re having suicidal thoughts or think about death. As a stoic I find I have to answer that question carefully. Eventually I went with, ‘Academically I think about death ALL the time’. But no, I don’t think about suicide, ever.

Except for the poisoned cupcake. Which is really more about euthanasia than suicide.

You should keep a poisoned cupcake in your fridge. The day you forget that the cupcake is poisoned and eat the cupcake is indicative that dementia or Alzheimer’s is now firmly entrenched in your mind… and things are going downhill from there anyway. Might as well end it (by accident).

I obviously don’t mention my poisoned cupcake theory. Most people I mention this to tend to look at me askance. I don’t really have a poisoned cupcake in my fridge. Probably because cupcakes don’t last very long in the domicile of the Jo. Poisoned or otherwise.

I ask how long before I can try go off my meds again. ‘Two years’ she says. I stare at her unconvinced. That’s a really long time I mumble. But the alternative is just barely utilitarian life where I struggle with the most basic tasks. So for the time being I will stick with the program. Annoying.

Monstrous Jellyfish

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I’ve never really thought of myself as a monstrous jellyfish… but then again maybe I have a self-awareness problem? (to go with all my other problems)

*thinks*

I’m adding it to the list of things I need to discuss with my therapist. We’re going to CBT the hell out of this in our next session.

Marketing

Marketing is the process by which a state of felt deprivation of some basic satisfaction is communicated to you… and then something is offered to you to correct that perceived deficiency.

For example…

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I had NO IDEA gluten free parking even existed. But now that I know… CLEARLY this is something that I NEED!!

But now that I know… What if they run out of gluten free parking bays? I think I’m (already) starting to develop some anxiety about all of this. Will I just be able to switch back to regular?

I’m starting to think this sort of thing should probably be mandated by the state. And maybe a professional body should be set up, for monitoring and control purposes. There are a lot of shysters out there (look at me getting my Yiddish on) and we need to safeguard our society against these unscrupulous operators. Maybe set up a license fee structure?

Anyway, I think the important take away here is that education is KEY.

Good luck out there people. Stay frosty!!