My blog posts have been very inconsistent over the last several months. I was giving this some thought this morning, though my actual thoughts on it aren't all that clear to me. That's one of the reasons why I'm writing about it, because that always helps me to compartmentalize my thoughts and put them in order. As with everything, the reasons for my erratic posts are complicated and multi-layered. The reason "I just haven't been inspired to write anything." is not a reason at all, but a symptom of other things.
Lack of time is always the first reason most people give for no longer partaking in an extra-curricular activity, but I see it as more of a scapegoat. Or an escapegoat if you're my boss. It doesn't take long to write a blog post. If I've got a good topic that I'm really interested in discussing, I can knock out several good paragraphs in a very modest amount of time. The actual issue that a lot of the time, there are simply other things that I would rather be doing. I see this as different and separate from just not having the time to write, and more of a window into what I'm currently prioritizing. I could write something, or I could play Fallout 4 for an hour. As they say, decisions were made here.
Let's get to the heart of the matter though, shall we? Simply put, my life has felt like an exercise in futility and exasperation lately. I'll refrain from saying that things haven't been all that great, even though it would be well within my rights to do so. I don't want to label things as bad because nothing catastrophically terrible has happened. It's just been many annoying, frustrating, frightening, or stupid things, one right after another. A steady chain of suck that has sapped the life out of me for the greater part of six months or longer. When I'm dealing with things like a cat with diabetes, a husband with IBS, a father with cancer, a flooded basement, an internet service that won't work correctly even after doubling the cost of our service in order to fix the problem, a drive to work that has doubled in length and will be so for two whole years at least, or moles in the house, it's pretty fucking difficult to see the point in talking about video games, or anything else.
The bad thing about lifesuck (that's totally what we're going to call it now) is that it affects everything. It exacerbates other minor, pointless annoyances in your life that wouldn't otherwise bother you. It drains you of enthusiasm for the things that bring you joy. It makes getting up for work in the mornings more difficult than it used to be. It makes things like missing a light, getting cut-off, losing a match of Overwatch, or reading a negative news article piss you off way more than it should. And, yes, it makes you sit in front of your computer thinking about that new video game that you love, open up a blank blog post because you want to talk about it, and then pausing to say, "What's the point?"
That is a terrible place to be, and I would not recommend it.
Therefore, I'm going to share the things that I've been doing to try and lower my lifesuck quotient, in the hopes that anyone who reads my whiny ramblings may find some inspiration to do the same. Some of these I have been actively pursuing, others I am still in the process of taking the time to think through and implement. But, I think they all have important points to make in the grand scheme of things.
The first thing I've been doing is taking the time to consider all the things that are going right. It's very easy to get into that rut of constantly agonizing over all of the things that are going wrong, and that's unhealthy. So, I make sure that I put all of those worries aside as often as I can and take enjoyment out of the things that are good. It's hard to do sometimes, but it really does help.
Next, I've found it extremely important to focus on the things that I can change or improve, and try to let go of the things that I cannot. For example, I cannot change the fact that my father has cancer. So, while I worry about him and try to help him out in any way that I can, I also do not let it consume my life. Alternatively, there was something I could do about the annoying, fat fucking mole that decided to use the inside of my drop-ceiling as a racetrack. I caught that little fucker and caved his little annoying head in. A bit extreme? Certainly. But it was a problem that I was able to solve and remove from my lifesuck quotient.
This next one totally sounds cliched, but I assure you that it works. Spend a bit of time with nature. I'm fortunate in that I have a very large yard that is overflowing with wildlife. We have many trees where birds make their home, along with a few bird feeders that attract them out into the open. Hummingbirds buzz around constantly. Bees and butterflies dart along the flowers. Squirrels run around and sometimes annoy us. There's the occasional rabbit. I'm pretty sure a deer was snooping around the vegetable garden. I also maintain both a vegetable garden, and several flower beds all around the house. With all of that coming into full swing, with the advent of summer, I've been spending more time outside. It makes me feel better. Whether it be the calming presence of nature, the feeling of accomplishment at growing flowers and vegetables, the fresh air, or whatever, the reason doesn't really matter. It makes me feel better, and that's important.
Segueing from this, another important thing is to surround yourself with positivity. (Interesting note, positivity isn't in google's spellcheck dictionary.) For me, this one is a bit more difficult for a number of reasons, lifesuck quotient not withstanding. The main problem is that a lot of people around me are being very, very negative right now. I can't blame them for this, because their lifesuck quotient is just as high as mine. I counter this with being positive myself, as difficult as that is to do sometimes. I also try to watch positive things, read stories that are inspiring and hopeful instead of dark and grim, and rely upon my husband, who is the greatest source of joy in my life.
Finally, within the category of things that I'm working on, I'm trying to be a nicer person. It's difficult on a normal day, and even more so when lifesuck is reaching new heights. Sometimes you just want to lash out. When I sit in not-moving traffic every day, I wish Satan was real so I could sell my soul for the ability to pick up cars with my mind and hurl them into the sun. But, you've probably heard people say that you get out of life what you put into it, and that's very true. Putting a little bit of positivity (damn you squiggly red lines!) into the world will not only make the world a little bit better, but will also help YOU more than it will help anyone else. So, while difficult to remember that sometimes, especially when it's just a really bad day or just feeling really angry, it's very important that I try.
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