#582 – A Decision Has Been Made

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I’ve been wrestling with this for some time now, and I’ve hinted at it once or twice in the past, but I think the time is right to actually make a few changes in things around here.

I haven’t mentioned my checklist system in quite some time beyond a passing mention here and there, and so for those that are reading my blog for the first time or have just joined recently, let me take a moment to explain. Three years ago, when I was in the middle of a serious bout of agoraphobia while on disability, I was diagnosed with diabetes and my lifestyle changed. I needed some way of tracking my vitals – I have high blood pressure as well, and check it three times daily – as well as whether I’d taken a dose of medication, whether I’d eaten, whether I’d gotten some exercise. I added a few other things to give my day some small semblance of structure and started logging these daily activities in a graph paper notebook. In addition, I started using a lined notebook – the two are a matched set – to record a master to-do list of all the things that I need to do during the day but that aren’t otherwise accounted for in the checklist. Keeping up with everything became a real challenge, and for over two years it was a rare thing for me to complete every check mark for a day. Starting in mid-January this year, however, I started putting together long strings of what I call full marks days. Right now I’m on a string that’s over six months long. My condition has improved, to the point that I’m out of the house more days than I spend all day at home, and with that I’ve added some new activities, the biggest of which is a return to school to get my degree.

Being a student has been a bit of a logistical challenge to complete the day’s check marks. There are often times that things are pushed off until the last possible minute, and I’m honestly not sure how much longer I can keep the checklists up in their current configuration, especially since next semester will be 14 credit hours as opposed to the six that I’m carrying this semester. I’m just not going to have time to do everything that I wanted to do, so I’ve reached a decision that will effect this blog.

Starting Sunday, I’m only going to post sporadically, maybe twice a week, so the check mark item for writing will be going away. Reading, too, will be cut. (Reading has been defined up to this point as a section in a self-help book a day, so I’m not eliminating reading for pleasure here – just the self-improvement aspect of my daily reading. Besides, getting my degree is plenty of self-improvement for right now.) I’m also going to remove the line item for socialization. That was established at a time when I was avoiding people altogether in person and mostly online as well. Now, though, I’m social every day as a function of being a student, and I don’t need to make that such a priority anymore.

I’m keeping my learning on the checklist, however, despite my formal education taking over my life for the next few years. Elevate is a nice brain game that I enjoy doing and Duolingo will continue to give me rudimentary language skills, something that will translate well to the job market once I’m done with school. Exercise needs to stay because that’s important for my health. All the other things on there will be staying as well – they’re all vital to my health and as such can’t be eliminated.

It will be a little bit of a change, and the first major change I’ll have made to that list in almost a year, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. As far as where you’ll see a difference, I will likely have longer posts detailing more of my life, but those posts will be fewer in number, and they won’t be every day anymore.

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A Change in Schedule

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Tonight is going to be an early night for the two of us. My wife’s schedule is shifting from 2pm-11pm to 10am-7pm starting tomorrow. It means a lot of things for us, almost all positive.

One, it means that we’re going to have a more traditional sleep schedule – midnight to 8am. Two, it means that in that part of the night that my brain tends to wander toward darker things, my wife will actually be here instead of at the other end of sporadic text messages. Three, it frees up our evenings to be able to actually get out and socialize with people again, which will be good for both of us. Finally, having our evenings free allows us greater flexibility with regard to attending SCA events in the future, although the obstacles of social anxiety and finances are still firmly in place. It’s one less thing to worry about when it comes to getting out to play.

There are a couple of negatives, both with silver linings. Because her lunch hour would have her returning to the office at the beginning of rush hour traffic, she will likely not be coming home for lunch every day like she does now, but that longer separation is likely going to be good for me in the long run. Also, doctors’ appointments will either be early morning or done on my own, which is not something that I’ve got much recent experience doing. This is going to force me to drive again, something that I’ve largely avoided for well over a year.

Overall, the positives of this change far outweigh the negatives, so we are both excited about it. Changes tend to throw me for a loop, however, so I’m curious how I’ll do, knowing that most everything about this change is for the better. Time will tell …