Gloom Busters


Eh. My life isn’t terrible. It’s just terminally boring now and for a while to come, and wall-to-wall unproductive, uncreative tasks from eyesopen to overtireddrop. This is about as close as I want to get to being the Living Dead. Not counting my undead warlock ofc. Occasionally I hit a patch like this, as everyone does. This one is bad in that it leaves near zero time within my control and is probably going to last for some 12 years, by which time dementia or another infirmity will have set in. Yep, this makes me gloomy, you can tell. Anyway I have hauled out these dusty things and shaken them in the wind and given them a wash to keep me going. In order of ineffectiveness:

Looking forward to the end.  Around here we retire at 65 (and rising… moving goalpost!). The house renovations rely on other people doing their bit and other people have no intention whatsoever of doing their bits. They can’t even manage a quote. Will go on for many years at this rate. Not much I can do with this strategy, really, except look forward to exchanging one tedium for another. End of work=commute. End of commute=housework. Enough housework done=house renovation. I do have “It’s the weekend, children and young people about!” And of course there’s always death. That’ll put a stop to this nonsense! (I don’t bother with this strategy much – the end of it all is too far away to provide any boost.)

Make it fun. Works as long as fatigue hasn’t set in, and is marginally creative. I usually do this for as long as I can manage. Works for a while anyway. You need to use what you have, count green cars or evaluate people’s shoes from 0-10, make your toes do pressups. Whatever. Or make up other stuff. It’s a waste of time, deliberately – it gets through the dead minutes, which is the point.

Pretend to be somewhere else. Most used. I’m off somewhere in the Bahamas most of the time, you need a decent autopilot but I can get pretty happy doing this. You need quite good ignore muscles too. Because there is a lot to ignore in order to sustain the daydream. I once read that your brain can’t tell the difference – if you imagine you’re in the Bahamas it thinks you are and directs your body to respond with relaxation and happiness. In my experience this is true, but I know people who it doesn’t work for too.

Focus down until it disintegrates. This is a heavy meditative skill, and very effective indeed. As with all of these can only describe a kind of “map”. The basic mental stance is “what is this?” a sort of listening. Attention is brought back to the subject at hand/ irritant/set of actions as in normal contemplation, when it strays. If you achieve listening to what is there as if experiencing it for the first time with your attention engaged, your experience of it completely disintegrates. Magic. In extreme situations, such as pain, it is difficult to achieve, what with the mind screaming its head of every few seconds. But for little things like treadmill and  busywork it is a win button. When tired, your brain tends to slide more though. Words and meditation dont mix too well – you end up with showy gnomic pronouncements. But I have to add that the purpose of meditation is itself, and disintegration of experience is like a by-product. not a purpose. I am happy to meditate at any time, and this particular by-product is fitting for many circumstances. Meh. Word fail. I’m trying to say doing it for a desired by-product doesn’t work, because judgement and desire are obstacles to clarity… I give up, move along folks I’m definitely not the reincarnation of anyone remotely important.  Or articulate.

Stealth Mode. Just now, for me, any initiative or independent action or goal would be heavily discouraged. But your head is your own private space, nobody has any rights in there. Whatever other people want me to be doing with my life is totally invalid. I know this. So… when I reasonably can, I ninja time to do creative stuff. And I just don’t tell anyone, since – really – it is none of their business and – really – others may be able to force my bodily actions and some thinking, but they don’t automatically get all of me. Or anywhere near it. Things like changing job fit in here too. Doesn’t your employer love it when the mechanisms of competition are applied to them?? Hahahaha, yah, I bet they do. Actually that’s a strategy in it’s own right.

Change Controllers. And use one to invalidate the other. In my case my time is eaten by 3 separate things, so I will absolutely inform each controller that I don’t have time to do whatever extra they come up with. And change when I can too. I should eventually find ones that allow me room to breathe again. This has the advantage of being a pretty permanent and effective solution.

Blog. Every pressure cooker needs a release valve. I found this WordPress blog very easy to set up and use. In happier times it served to keep me motivated. Now I use it more to let off steam.

Edit: I forgot Granny’s Way, which is the short-term big guns and conjures up terrific energy. My Gran used to get through amazing amounts of work. We lived in Africa and it was her mission to get rid of dust. What you do is rant internally and rage, and be angry and shout at people (all in your head), and transmute the energy into furious action. You need a nice, sunny nature to counterract the waspishness this causes, and it gives a short-term adrenaline rush, which can be quite fun.

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