Adulthood sucks.

Straight up, being an adult sucks.

Sucks Less with Kevin Smith

Sucks Less with Kevin Smith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There isn’t much that adequately prepares you for the royal pain in the ass being an adult is. People think that they can go out of their way to “prepare you for the real world” but mostly it’s all crap. It just isn’t possible to simulate the flurry of shit that comes towards you on a daily basis.

School doesn’t prepare you for work. Summer jobs don’t really give you a sense of what will be expected of you later. It’s really a trial by fire kind of situation. Some of us are really pretty terrible at it.

Some of us just aren’t all that capable of handling the multiple stressors of all the things that happen in everyday life.  Some of us get to a point, far sooner than everyone else, and we just kind of shut down. It becomes hard to do anything because all of our energy got used up just trying to keep our heads on straight long enough to make it though part of the day.

Some of us end up spending more than half of the day walking around like a zombie because we’re just done. The only energy we have left is being used to keep us upright and functional. That’s it. that’s all we’ve got left.

Sorry if that means we look sad. Maybe you think we’re in a bad mood. Maybe we just don’t engage the way you’d like. Well, there’s not always anything that can be done about that. I’d say you’re lucky we’re able to move around in the world and not just crumble into a heap on the floor.

Sorry to vent, but at the moment there isn’t a lot of fire left in this boiler room. There’s a lot of treading water going on right now. You know it’s bad when you can’t make it to lunch time before you’re done for the day. I suppose we just keep trudging through, right?

Average: It’s better than bad

Today has the very real possibility of being an average day. This is an improvement.

Today could be good. Relatively speaking. If the trend has been operating at an overall lower average for a somewhat extended period of time, then the true average becomes positive!

Today might work out. I have a fair amount of work to do. It’s repetitive, mostly mindless work. I’m actually pretty good at this portion of my job, so it will not require excess concentration. I will likely be able to lose myself in this project for the day. There’s even the possibility I could spend a portion of the day with headphones in, blissfully ignoring other people and things.

Earbuds

Earbuds (Photo credit: StevenW.)

I’m actually able to listen to pretty much any music I want at work, as long as no one complains and I keep it at a reasonable volume. I typically have something playing all the time. I like to have the music, it helps me focus. Sometimes, there’s just too much other stuff going on though.

I really like to be able to put in noise cancelling headphones and just do what I have to do. That’s one of the only pluses to having to mow the lawn; I get to just listen to whatever I want for an hour. I might be able to pull that off today.

My overall patience level right now is pretty low, so being able to avoid some of the less important stressors and focus on some work ought to let me clear my head a bit. I might even be able to turn the repetitive work into a kind of meditation. We’ll just have to see.

A man can dream, right?

I’m Baaaack!

English: US Capitol at night. A mosaic image o...

English: US Capitol at night. A mosaic image of around 10 segments taken with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. Español: El Capitolio de noche. Русский: Американский Капитолий ночью Српски / Srpski: Амерички Капитолиј ноћу Українська: Американський Капітолій уночі (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello Ladies and Germs.

I can now tell you where I scampered off to for the last 5 days or so. Vacation!

As a vacation/5 year anniversary trip The Wife and I went to Washington DC. I didn’t really want to tell all of you ahead of time, in case one of you had any inclination to steal all my stuff. Well, not so much those of you who stop by on the regular, but this is the Interweb and anything can happen. Better safe than sorry.

I won’t give you the play by play, but I can give you the quick itinerary:

Friday: Fly out at 6:25 am (too early), museums during the day, monuments at dusk/night.

Saturday: Sleep in, Museum, walk around the White House, relatively nice dinner(it was awesome. Hollandaise sauce should be on everything. Everything.) Ghost tour, drinks at a couple of the fancy hotel bars.

Sunday: Museum, pictures, Surprise for Anniversary, Super Fancy Anniversary Dinner(Out of this world. We won’t talk about the bill, but I would venture to say, Worth it!), Capitol building night pictures.

Monday: Capitol tour, Library of Congress, Supreme Court, Kill time until flight at 9:15 10:15 because it was delayed(too late)

My feet hurt, my legs hurt, I’m still tired and one day off work when I got back wasn’t enough but here we are! It was a lot of fun. If I get some good stories after I process I’ll make sure to relate them.

So what all did I miss? Anything?

I have to say that I think we all deserve more vacations. We all need some time to recharge the batteries. If we had more opportunities to do that, whatever you choose to do, I think we would all be a little less stressed out. It’s all cumulative, so not being able to take that time out and step back just gets more detrimental the longer we go without it.

I’m pretty guilty of never finding any time to decompress. There are lots of ways I could in my everyday life without having to go on vacation, I just don’t make the best use of my time some days.

I could disconnect from the digital world and just sit and read for fun, instead of to finish a book. I could sit on my porch with some music and a beverage(adult or otherwise) and just enjoy the fresh air. I’m sure there are more of you who don’t take time to get everything back in order.

It’s much easier to just keep pressing on. Keep moving through your day and going from one item to the next on the never ending list we all have. It’s even sometimes easier to do something mindless like flip on the television or video games, simply because stopping and thinking hat would really let you relax is too much out of the ordinary.

Just think about that the next time you feel wiped out but still find yourself doing something mindless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Do you think we need more vacations? Or do you find enough time to get your head clear?

Looking Forward

I’m looking forward to being a corpse.

Yoga postures Shavasana

Yoga postures Shavasana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Corpse pose that is. (HA!)

I know I’ve talked about yoga before, and I’m trying not to make this blog all about my adventures at yoga class, but I felt like today it was particularly apropos.

The last thing that we do in yoga class is called Shavasana. It translates roughly to “Corpse Pose.” We do it to be able to relax all the muscles we’ve been using, to practice our focusing, and practice breathing. It’s typically my favorite part.

Yes, go ahead and laugh about the irony of the lazy kid’s favorite part being the part where I lay there and do nothing for 10-15 minutes. <pause for laughter> Honestly, though, what I like about it is when I am really able to focus on letting things go, fully relax my body, focus on my breathing and really find a place of peace. It’s a very centering experience.

I know at least one of you is dismissing me as being a new age hippie weirdo. I promise it’s not like that. I find that when I’m able to do what I’m supposed to do; relax my body and mind, and focus on watching those anxious thoughts flit by instead of dwelling on them, I really leave class feeling refreshed, relaxed and energized.

I’ve mentioned that I get over-anxious about my schedule. I dwell on things I have no control over. Generally the cause of most of my anxiety is inside my own head. I’ve tried meditation before, and it typically results in me falling asleep. Working out does not remove my stress because I spend the whole time thinking in silence and sweating. Which makes me anxious and sweaty. So yoga is the first thing that has really given me something that allows me to let go.

I’m not always able to get myself focused on my breathing and get as deeply relaxed as I would like to, but I’ve been doing better. I’m really trying to make the effort to do this correctly. So for those of you keeping track, I have stuck with this for nearly a month(freaking unheard of), I’m putting effort into doing it properly(generally I just keep doing it however I usually do it), and I’m enjoying the time I spend doing these.

I’m telling you, if you have trouble finding something to help you shake off the troubles of the everyday grind, yoga or meditation might work out for you. Not trying to force anyone, but It has made a difference for me, and I’m not known for making big changes. I’m a Taurus after all.

Well, after all that, I’ve had a shitty couple days, so I’m really looking forward to spending 10 minutes or so acting like a corpse. If this turns into a zombie movie, I am going to be highly disappointed.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Are you looking forward to anything relaxing? Got anything to help you decompress on the horizon?

 

Under Pressure…

I owe a certain artist an apology.

Back when I did my other post based on his artwork, he was working on a piece based on a prompt that I gave him. After completing this, I was then to take the prompt and his work based on it and write another post. This was supposed to be an awesome collaboration that produced fun and unexpected results. Right about the time he finished, my story posts started. Here we are way later than it should be.

 

You’re gunna want to be more careful with those things! Copyright Eric Meister 2013

The prompt was ‘Tension’.

The first thing that came to mind here was the overwhelming amount of pressure that exists for most of us on a daily basis. It’s almost too much when you really take the time to lay it all out. Especially when you consider that most of these things are continuous and they overlap.

For instance, say you’re talking about someone working as a waiter in a casual dining restaurant, with a long term significant other, that lives in an apartment. That certainly doesn’t seem like an overly complicated existence. Let’s look deeper: Pressure to perform at work, to be accurate, quick, and friendly, all while getting paid not enough and dealing with difficult patrons. There’s pressure to make enough money to afford rent, and other assorted bills. To make enough to have spending money, but you shouldn’t be working too many hours. You have to leave time for that significant other. You also have to leave time for yourself to be able to recharge.

Without adding in any sort of grand life plans, or internalized pressure, it’s beginning to look a little daunting. I know what some of you are thinking, “That’s nothing. Life is just like that. We’ve all got to juggle lots of balls and we make it work. That doesn’t seem like that much. Don’t complain.” That’s not the point.

The point is, should it be that way? It really does take a lot to survive the overly pressurized society that we all live in. Most of us are taking on to many things, while also expecting results of a level we may not be capable of. That doesn’t matter. If it’s not right, we’re a failure. So we take on more to prove to someone, maybe ourselves, that we can handle it all. Wouldn’t it be nicer if that wasn’t how it had to be though?

I wasn’t thinking about this because I’m especially stressed or anything. This is just a long-standing query of mine. What are we all working so hard for? Most of us work so hard or so long that we are actually inefficient. As a society, we don’t get enough sleep or relaxation time. We plan every minute and we organize ourselves to structure our stress.

I’m not trying to tell everyone to slow down and take more vacation days. I was just noticing the culture that has been created. Wouldn’t we all be happier, and therefore more productive, with less stress, less pressure, and less tension?

Sometimes that much tension causes you to drop something…

 

[HEADDESK]

It has been one of those days.

One of those days where every time you turn around, something else pops up for you to do. You know, before you finished that last thing?

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “So? Sounds like a nice busy day to make work go quickly. I don’t see the issue here.” To this I respond: HORSEAPPLES!

Actually, I’m pretty jealous of people that can just handle every new thing that flies at them with grace, style and aplomb. I am not one of those people. The time something requires to be completed does not directly correspond with the amount of time it occupies my capacity for working effectively.

Imagine an old computer that you’re trying to print from: You click Print, and the little progress bar pops up. Then you wait for it to scroll across, which takes forever, and when it’s almost done the printer spits out your document. The thing is, the little progress bar never quite finished, and now the computer is locked up and you can’t get it to do anything. This is how my brain works.

A new progress bar 90%

A new progress bar 90% (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I get a lot of things that get thrown at me, without the ability/time to think and prioritize I kind of shut down a little. It ends up being a bit worse because I tend to have a pretty short temper. Oops. I should meditate or something. Get centered, Zen like.

All that aside, I REFUSED to let that be something that would keep me from writing/chatting with all of you today. That’s what this is for me; It’s an open conversation with wonderful people. So y’all are making me feel better. Even though I technically have my part of the conversation by myself and there’s no way for any of you to answer until I click ‘Publish’. Well this just got awkward, I just pointed out to myself and you, that I’m basically taking to myself and pretending you can hear me right now. I know you can hear me later, but not while I’m actually typing… Ok and now we’re in another weird time-stream thing where the reality of what I’m saying exists in present for me, and in my future it will exist in your present. I should stop I’m starting to get vertigo.

Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays, huh? I vote we make Monday the official start of the week, but it’s totally cool if you want to treat it like an extra weekend day. Then if you have stuff to do or need the cash, you can come to work and get paid. If you just need one more day, no one is gonna call and give you crap over it.

If only I were in charge of everything….  I’d probably spaz out and not be able to handle the responsibility.

How much better than me do you handle multiple responsibilities flying at your head?

High Ate Us

Get it?

I took a bit of an unexpected hiatus when I found myself getting relatively busy with things at home and my Day Job. I shouldn’t have ever let that happen, and here’s why: This is supposed to be fun.

When I get busy, I tend to cut out all responsibilities that I feel I can reasonably do without and shutdown. I end up doing nothing but the basics like, go to work, cook and clean when required, mow the lawn, shovel the driveway, eat, breathe, and sleep. IT’s my way of simplifying. The trouble is, it’s not particularly effective.

I don’t handle future obligations particularly well. I tend to dread anything I don’t really, really, want to do to such a point that I develop anxiety over whatever it is. An example would be when I get asked to work on the weekend at my Day Job. Happens on average, about 12 times a year. Not the end of the world. Yet I somehow manage to develop serious anxiety in the weeks leading up to the requested weekend. It’s almost like I think I’m going to die that weekend or something.

The point is, when I start to get busy in both the present and future tense, I shutdown. I crawl in my metaphorical turtle shell and hide, hoping no one will find me there, and maybe after I have to do all the things required of me, I can add back in a few of the things that I want to do.

What I ought to be doing is using things that I enjoy to breakup those feelings of anxiety and stress. I think we have all established by now though, I’m very adept at determining what needs to be done in any given circumstance, while being nearly incapable of actually accomplishing those things.

I guess I’m trying to say I shouldn’t have let my tippy-typing here become like a chore, so that I felt I had to let it go when I holed up in my turtle shell. This is generally pretty entertaining, in one way or another for me, so I should probably not let the entertainment seep out of it.