Day 2

I thought that the realization from Day 1 that all these tasks were do-able would put some momentum into Day 2.  I was fantastically mistaken.  Today was much harder.  I woke up resentful that not only did I have to get things done for work today, I had these added tasks I had to complete on a day where everyone is out eating grilled things and laughing.

Not that I would have been doing those things even if my calendar had been totally free.  During this Era of the Funk, I spend weekends and holidays avoiding all plans and tasks so I can embrace the sofa.  This “new way” forced me to instead avoid the sofa so I could (begrudgingly) embrace plans and tasks.  I was not happy about it.  Crazy irony, right?  Not being happy about taking efforts to be happy.  But tenacity was the key to the day.

Meditation

This was the antagonist in the story of Day 2.  I was actually angry having to sit down and do this, and the anger did not unclench until about 12 minutes into the promised 15.  Until then, I was counting huffs and sighs over calm breaths, but then all of a sudden I guess my psyche just made peace with the fact that we weren’t getting out of it, and everything just sort of relaxed.  That last three minutes were actually pretty—I was going to say ‘amazing,’ but that would be a gross lie—they were actually pretty okay.

Reflecting on something good that happened

It’s interesting to me this pattern I’ve cultivated on weekend days when I successfully get out of obligations, and today I really noticed it.  I intentionally do whatever I can to actually prevent myself from feeling good.  I stay in bed too long, knowing that it will make me sluggish.  I don’t shower, knowing that showering will make feel better and ready for the day.  I avoid chores or tasks because I don’t want the sense of accomplishment.  What is this—this wallowing?  This intentional effort to make oneself unhappy?  It’s nuts.

So today I didn’t do it.  I got up and showered, cleaned and de-cluttered my desk (a task I’ve put off for months), did laundry, cleaned up.  But I fought myself the entire time.  Everything in me said to give up.  I’m fighting it now as I write this.  But whatever voice that is isn’t winning today, which shows me that it’s possible to fight it.  Hard as hell and stone, but possible.

Random Act of Kindness.

As I mentioned before, my father’s parents raised me since the age of nine.  So as I get older, I find that I’m not turning into my parents (thank all that is good and holy for that one), I’m turning into my grandparents, especially my grandfather.  One of the ways this manifests itself is my love for grocery shopping and my instinct to show affection through cooking.

I’ve gotten into the habit of cooking a big pot of something on Mondays, so I don’t have to worry about dinner for the rest of the week.  Since I’m making mass quantities, my roommate asked if he could get in on it and we’d split the grocery costs.  This filled me with terror because my roommate is one of the pickiest eaters on the planet, so it turned something that was supposed to relieve anxiety into something that caused it.  But he promised he’d eat anything I made and wouldn’t complain.

He loves artichokes.  Like LOVES them.  I feel like they’re a pain in the ass to prepare for very little reward.  So my kindness for the day was incorporating artichokes into our dinner for the week.  I feel like this is the most pathetic act of kindness of all time and I’m probably the only one who will notice, but it’s all I got today folks.

Exercise

The hill almost beat me today.  I walked half way up, and my Day 2 mood looked up at the top and said, “Ummmm….no.”  So I walked back down to find another route to the market.  But the hill taunted me as it followed me on my right.  Finally the hill turned itself into a steep but manageable flight of stairs a quarter mile long, as if the hill dared me to try it again.  So I took the dare, each huff telling the hill to shove it up its pavement cracks.

3 things I’m grateful for:

1)   (through clenched teeth) A job that pays me and gives me the chance to do something good in the world, even though it’s a lot of hours and I’m working all afternoon when everyone else is off and I really, really don’t want to.

2)   My friend Sara Elizabeth Janzen who is a constant source of encouragement and cheerleading.

3)   My bed.  My nice, fluffy, feathery bed that loves me like no one can.

Day 2

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14 comments

  1. jdkcubed

    Buddhists (which I pretend to be LOL) have this concept called keeping your seat. Which you embodied perfectly on day two. You knew you didn’t want to, but did anyway you kept your seat. There are no lame “acts of kindness” and no one but you has to know really!! ROCK ON unhappy/happy man!

  2. tinycookba

    Hey Randy, This is Tracy (Slavinsky) Carpenter, I used to work with you at CHLA many moons ago (very short girl). Anyway, I saw that Linda posted this on FB and upon checking it out, I have to say I am drawn in to your experiment. I lost a good friend and our beloved dog to cancer within the last six months and it’s been rough. Like, really rough. I relate to what you have been feeling in so many ways, including the wine and the Real Housewives. You have balls to put yourself out there with this blog and I admire you for doing so. You’ve already opened up my mind, and I can’t imagine how many people you will help through this blog. Thank you!

      • tinycookba

        I should say that we got rid of cable a few months ago, which has helped with the Real Housewives watching/wallowing. I have toned down the wine a bit and starting exercising a couple times a week, but I really need to work on both of those things much more:) Here I go, too! And good luck to you!

  3. Becky

    I think that your random act of kindness was wonderful. Two reasons: 1. You thought of someone else and something that was important to you and 2. Acts of kindness don’t need to be grand gestures. It is often the small things that mean the most.
    Keep up the great work.

  4. k

    There’s nothing quite like reading this

    “What is this—this wallowing? This intentional effort to make oneself unhappy? It’s nuts.”

    at 12:50 when I’m still in bed, near tears, the blinds are closed and my hair is dirty and I’m getting more and more anxious about all the things I’m not doing. Jeez.

    Thank you.

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