Day 691: The Last Six Weeks (Resolution Time)

My wife sent me a neat link yesterday — an article about making a resolution for the last six weeks of the year, as opposed to waiting until January 1. It’s a good idea!

Off the top of my head, and this has been on my mind since I ran through the Perfect Me thing (although I’ve been bad about implementing it), it’s that motivational idea of “make the decisions of a 175-pound man.” It’s a reasonable weight to shoot for, and it’s an easy way to do a quick head check on things. I haven’t been great about it for the last couple of weeks, but there’s been a rough start to the whole enterprise with being sick and all.

It’s served me well the last couple of days in resisting snacks and getting up and exercising. It’s not about huge change, or getting dramatic about stuff; it’s about just asking yourself what that ideal-state version of you would be doing, and then doing what that guy does. Imaginary person behaviour modeling.

So maybe that’s my jam for the next six weeks! Try to live in the skin of the better version of myself. See how that guy exists. Fake it til you make it, is I guess the angle I’m leaning toward here.

Six weeks til the end of the year — let’s give this a shot.

Day 676: That Water Thing Seems To Work, Dammit

Ugh. I hate water! I hate admitting this. But it was a rough night of sleep and the cats — still think 3 a.m. is get-up time, due to a combination of my wife often getting up at 4 for shift work, and Daylight Saving, which is an archaic abomination that must be destroyed.

So I was in full “go back to bed” mode, but wanted to feed the cats at five. Went downstairs, saw my silly Perfect Me sign on the fridge, and chugged my 16 oz of morning water. It woke me RIGHT THE HELL UP.

In, like, a good way — it was a shock to the system, but energized me and got me goin’.

And then, on with my day! I’ll probably be tired later, but that water thing really did get me going. I don’t know if it’s a long-term thing that will always work, or if it’s just the newness of it all, but I have to admit it really did the trick.

Day 673: I Don’t Like Water

Doing well with the Perfect Me / Visualization stuff — not perfect (go figure), but man, that first thing on the list? “Drink a big glass of water first thing every morning.” It’s been recommended for years, I believe it’s a good idea, but here’s the deal: I do not like drinking water.

I’m’a do it. Of course. But man, I am not enjoying it!

I’ve never liked water. I like flavour. I used to make a Stevia and Kool-Aid Powder thing that my wife called “dazzle water” for hydration. I have cases and cases of club soda or naturally flavoured carbonated water in the house.

But I’m committed! I’m going to drink that glass of water every morning, because that’s what the 175-pound, healthy, energetic, forward-moving me would do.


Day 670: Implementing…

I have this plan, now I just need to do the plan. I’ve been good about the exercise, pretty good about food (post-Hallowe’en means a lotta loose candy floating around).

Print the thing! Post the thing! Read the thing every morning!

That’s… it, really. Stick to this plan, see results, be motivated to stick to it more.


Day 668: Hallowe’en!

Halllowe’eeeeen! Bop bop. Here’s the thing: Hallowe’en candy has been on sale for a while so my wife and I got our shameful candy ya-yas out like a week ago, and I think we’ll be in a strong position to resist now. No kids, so there are no inbound candy vectors, and a healthy number of trick-or-treaters, so we’ll be candy free by night’s end.

Hallowe’en also means it’s the last day of October! So it’s a good day for a fresh start with Perfect Me tomorrow, which means I guess this visualization experiment is OVER, and it’s time to put it into action. We got exercise, we got food, we got sleep, we got sobriety, we got work, we got hobbies. We got it all, baby!

Here’s the sheet, for the curious: Perfect Me List

Perfect Me List




Day 667: Perfect Pastimes

Discussed a bit on Sunday, but what are perfect hobbies? I find it hard to draw the line between work, semi-work and pure fun.

Work is easy! I have to be there. I do some things I enjoy and a lot of stuff I don’t particularly enjoy, but that has to get done.

Pure fun is easy! I play video games, I watch dumb crap. I’m distracted and I’d imagine recharging while I do it.

Then there’s the middle stuff.

Learning to play an instrument. Building furniture. Taking courses. They’re all in a continuum between “work” and “fun”; they take mental effort, they’re not enjoyable in the sense that it’s frequently frustrating, if I mess up it has consequences (with the furniture and the courses, at least).

So there’s kind of, I don’t know, candy hobbies and vegetable hobbies.  I like the candy hobbies! Netflix, games, naps. Is napping a hobby?

And I like the end result of the vegetable hobbies, but I don’t always want to do them. Because it takes more mental energy, and my work that I get paid to do and have to do already takes a lot of that.

There’s a whole nest of stuff underneath this — a need to define myself and accomplish things beyond my work, the need to recharge versus the satisfaction of growth, we can probably get all the way down to a decision not to have kids if we want to take a whack at it.

I suppose Perfect Me would have some sort of mix of the two; we’ll continue to call them candy and vegetable hobbies. Alternating time between the two. Continuing to take courses for brain growth (and the courses are good because they force me to stay on the rails), and make time for the improvement hobbies while still letting myself dip into the candy hobbies. By the hour, or by the evening.



Day 666: Perfect Spirtuality

I guess I’m an atheist? I’m not an anti-theist; people are welcome to believe what they believe, as long as they keep it about making people’s lives better across the board and not about making other people’s lives worse (either overtly or through omission).

But, in a discussion with a religious friend of mine a few years back, the essential question was “do you believe there’s a central organizing intelligence to the universe?” Some do. I don’t.

This could be its own podcast! I even had an online comic for a while back in the early ’00s called God Is My Roommate with an obvious premise but got into theism / atheism / anti-theism a fair bit.

How does this fold into the Perfect Me thing? Well, as the old saying goes, if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. I think Rage Against The Machine said that. I think, even if you’re not on team Central Organizing Intelligence, you have to believe in something to keep you getting up in the morning and rolling through life.

In my case, it’s a belief in the human experiment. I think people are, at the end of the day, pretty groovy. I want us to do well. I know that there’s a lot of variance in there that includes a lot of, well, arseholes, but I’m still on team People Are Basically Good.

But if we’re going to get anywhere, we’ve all got to be pulling in the same direction. Now more than ever we need people to be banding together to row this boat. And if people are being marginalized and shut out because of their race or gender or beliefs, they just can’t row.

And that’s where my progressive atheism comes from. I don’t believe in a brain at the center of the universe, but I do believe in us. And I believe in removing the barriers that keep people from contributing fully.

Perfect Me, then, I see staying this course. Gently pushing back against foolishness online and off, sticking to my guns, advancing the idea that we’re all in this together.


Day 665: Perfect Sunday

Those ol’ religious folks had it right: you need a break. Sunday, Saturday, whatever day you want — it’s good to have a day off. Sunday’s where that falls for me.

This gets a bit complicated from here.

I like getting things done. I also like dumb stuff. And I have a genuinely hard time discerning “work” from “play” when it comes to the broad category of things that are supposed to be hobbies and fun, but are also work. Building some furniture for the house, studying for a part-time course, gardening — all things that some people do for fun, and I think are sort of fun, but also… work?

Compared to watching dumb crap on Netflix and playing video games, for instance.

There’s something somewhere that probably unpacks this for me. The difference between fun with no outcome, things that create lasting work, and things that are done for maintenance.

So Perfect Me has great Sundays! No work obligations, and some sort of mix of pure fun and productive hobbies. I’m going to have to put a bit of a TBD on what that mix is, and how it works, though.


Day 664: Perfect Drinking

All right, I’ll cop to this being a pretty easy one; I’ve been up and have a big day ahead of me, so I kind of want to knock out an entry and get some sleep!

Aside from a brief experiment a while back in which I quickly learned that no, I can’t “wait out” my dimmer switch problems and start drinking again, I’ve been rocking sobriety for, well, 664 days. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s been sustainable, and the key there always comes back to the question “am I happier when I’m drinking, or when I’m not drinking?”

The answer is “neither.” It’s about the same. I can’t say I’m happier, on balance, as a non-drinker than a drinker. It’s an even hand.

With that in mind, if I’m equally happy either way, why not go with the cheaper, healthier option? I’m just as happy, I’m saving money, and am making better choices for my wellbeing and longevity.

So yeah. Perfect Me is sober. That’s… pretty much it, I guess.

Day 663: Perfect Sleep

A bit under the weather; a bug going around the office I thought I’d avoided but seem to have caught; I’ve been feeling logey since yesterday afternoon.

At any rate, sleep! I slept in this morning because I feel kind of rotten, and I don’t know if there’s much to say about Perfect Me that I’m not already implementing, or trying to:

Eight hours of sleep a night;

If I get up, get my business done and right back to bed, or if I don’t have business to do, Operation Don’t Get Up. I can lie there and think.

That’s about it!