May 12

Day 3 Without TV

Fat Boy

I’ve gone through 2 days without television. Overall, my happiness level has improved, although I’m a bit more irritable, and I find myself wanting to be more productive, which is difficult when you have children of any age, as they are constantly pressing you to do simple tasks for them. I truly love them though. The increased irritability is just speaking right now.

A notable change is that I’ve gone from 201 pounds to 199 pounds. This might not be significant, but I’m not purposely doing anything differently. I’ve just quit TV.

Memory: 5

Physical fitness: 7.2

Focus: 5

Happiness: 5

Fulfilled: 3

Due to the slight weight loss, I’m counting that as a physical fitness gain. Focus has also increased, while everything else remains the same.

What are your thoughts on TV? Do you watch a lot? Do you never watch it?

May 11

No #TV – but for real this time…

I sit quietly in an empty waiting room, waiting for my daughter to finish her therapy session, not wanting to leave and go shopping, just in case I’m needed, just in case she needs to leave.

I was recently asked how my life changed after my teenaged niece died. I ponder that even more, in this vacant space. I want to truly live my best life now. I don’t want to waste a single moment.

The rules are a bit different than the last time I tried. I can’t watch TV alone, and I can’t suggest to anyone that we watch TV together. If someone wants to watch TV with me, that’s OK.

I don’t have to be productive in the time that I take back from the gods of television, but during a lot of that time I naturally will be.

TV is about the only thing at home that makes me want to sit still. Although I enjoy reading well enough, I’m the kind of person who needs movement, so I would rather listen to an audio book or podcast while doing something physical, even if it’s going for a walk or doing some chores around the house.

TV takes me out of my natural self. It makes me sit still and be someone I’m not. I forget that I need to move. When I’m reading a book, that doesn’t happen. I’ll get anxious waiting for a chapter to end so I can go and do something.

I imagine this first half of my life and how it might have been different if I didn’t give 20 to 40 hours a week away to watching someone else’s story. I could have created more of my story. I could be more me.

I plan on writing a daily follow up piece to let the world know how the last half of my life goes with all this extra free time.

Today, I’m a muscular, not cut in anyway, 201 pounds, nearly 6 feet and two inches. Out of 10, 10 being the best, here is how I would describe myself.

Memory: 5

Physical fitness: 7

Focus: 4

Happiness: 5

Fulfilled: 3

Usually, my memory, physical fitness, and focus will improve without television, while my happiness will decrease. The happiness is a big one for me. It’s what drives me to wake up in the morning, and it’s why I self medicate with the TV pill. I’ll have to find new ways to stay happy.

What do you do to stay happy?

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April 13

The inspiration of death

Ambulance

On a lovely summer night, three days after I moved into my beautiful new house, back in July of 2018, the most wonderful soul left this earth. After that, I drank more alcohol, smoked more weed (it’s cool – totally legal here), watched more TV, and ate more junk food. My niece overdosed on Aleve, but she realized she had made a mistake. She wanted to live, and held onto life the best should could, but a paramedic accidentally gave her morphine, instead of the life saving drug he meant to give her, twice!

She was the kind of person who would make fun of you then snuggle right up into you, the marshmallow with barbed wire on the outside. She seemed tough, but she just loved you completely, and that was all she needed. Close your eyes for minute, actually close them and imagine how you would feel.

Although I would do anything to take her death back, it has given me a lot of perspective, changed me. I don’t turn into a giant ball of stress when work piles up, and I know that every moment counts. I’ve been given purpose by her mother, my sister. We are starting an amazing organization together to help children and prevent future deaths. The weird thing is, I don’t even want to watch TV anymore. I don’t want to smoke weed or drink. I love junk food though, but hopefully that will decrease as well.

I want to work on being the best person I can be. I want a life of purpose and meaning. I want everyone in my life to know that I fucking love them so damn much, and the people I don’t love and don’t care about – well you’re probably assholes. You know who the fuck you are, so GFY.

So what will the last half of my life look like? I don’t really know, but I’m excited to find out. I’m helping to start an organization that will improve the lives of people, especially children. I’m writing, which is something I’m very passionate about, and I’m getting a lot of very cool technology projects for my day job.

People often ask: “if you could go back and give advice to yourself as child, what would say?” That child and the young adult who came after that, they taught me everything I know. There is no bit of wisdom that I’ve gained that wasn’t because of them. I’m nothing more than the sum of their knowledge. I should be asking myself: “what can I teach my future self?” The answer is everything. If I realize that I’m the teacher, and I’m responsible for who I’ll be, it makes me think in a very different way. My future self isn’t going to just bail me out of a miserable existence; he’s just going to keep doing whatever I’m doing.

My niece’s death was a clear sign that everything changes. I won’t let circumstance change me in an uncontrollable way. I’ll change how I want to change.

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December 23

No TV – Attempt #3?

TV

I’m on day 4 of no television. I think this is the third time in my life that I’ve seriously attempted it.

The Rules

  1. No Netflix;
  2. No YouTube, unless it is for instructions or work;

That’s pretty much it.

Exceptions

I can watch Netflix if I’m with people who have for whatever reason chosen to watch Netflix, and I can’t really get out of it or find anything else to do, but in good faith, I have to try to avoid those situations.

Why?

Why the hell would anyone ever want to give up TV? I had successfully given it up in the past, and the other two times I did, I wrote novellas. They were highly productive times for me. The longer I give it up the more things I’m able to achieve. I even had a budding, paid, fiction writing career.

What Happened Before?

The reasons I failed to stay away from TV in the past are pretty much the same reasons that people get back to alcohol or heroin. I just wanted to be happy again. I get out of my own head – don’t have to think, feel, and do. I can just checkout at the end of the day.

What’s different?

I guess I will find that out in the days, weeks, and months to come. I’m getting a lot more done now, and it’s only been 4 days. Let’s see what happens!

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October 22

Suicide Fucking Sucks!!!

TV

My youngest daughter is suicidal. I’m managing it well, and I think she’ll be all right, but this is easily the worst time in my entire life, likely hers too.

It makes me wonder about how I spend my time though. Is there any value in watching TV or porn or whatever other bullshit ways I spend my time? Hell no! I’ve never given up TV for more than a year, but every time I give up TV, amazing things happen in my life. I make new friends, write a book, change careers. Why am I watching TV? Why am I doing half of the stupid things I’m doing. I don’t have free time, nobody does. All you have is time and how that time is spent.

I love you youngest daughter. You know this already, and I will make significant changes in my life because of you and because of my niece who ended her life earlier this year. I want every minute of the next 40 years to mean something, and it starts right fucking now!

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July 26

My Only Niece

My only niece, who was wonderful, kind, caring, good to her family, and loved horses, took her own life recently. It’s the only death I’ve experienced that has impacted my life in a very negative way. Other people I cared about have died, but they were older, and I was prepared for it. Suicide isn’t an act of selfishness. It isn’t a crime. It’s something that happens to a desperately sad person who just can’t continue on living. They don’t understand how much everyone aches after they are gone.

To my niece, I would like to say that I love you, and I forgive you for all of the pain I feel right now. To anyone else who is contemplating suicide, you don’t know it now, but people will hurt for the rest of their lives the moment you die. The pain you feel as someone who is suicidal is the pain that people who knew you feel after you die, except it doesn’t go away for them.

The words that I write are coming from a person who has been suicidal, has had a father attempt suicide, has had a friend attempt suicide, and has had a niece kill herself. In every single case, they were sure that death is what they wanted, but after the attempt, every person, even my niece, decided they wanted to live.

In the end, everyone wants to live. That’s the strange thing about suicide. You can never be successful in completing suicide because all people truly want to live. For those who do complete suicide, they just died before they got a chance to come back from near death. My niece, in the end, wanted to live. She, like every other suicidal person I’ve known, begged for her life to be saved. She went from being sure she wanted to die to sure she wanted to live, but it was too late for her. Her family and an excellent medical team couldn’t save her life, even though they did everything right.

Her parents had recognized the signs and were doing absolutely everything they could to improve the situation. Everyone did everything they could, but in the end, it is the suicidal person who makes the decision. If anyone who is suicidal reads this, please know that there is a better way out than ending your life. Realize that, although you don’t feel it now, you do want to live.

Now, I try everyday not to cry, but the tears keep falling.

To my only niece, I love you, goodbye forever.

Suicide Prevention

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May 10

Juggling Expired Yogurt

Expired Yogurt

Yesterday, I had this magically funny moment where I was with my daughter, and I was juggling three small containers of expired yogurt. One of the containers had slightly opened a bit. My daughter was nervous that the expired yogurt would open or splash everywhere if I dropped it, but we shared a moment that was fun and kind of hilarious.

Life is juggling expired yogurt. Once in a while a bit of bad will leak out. You’re definitely going to drop something every now and then and have a big mess to clean up, but if you never take chances, you’ll never have fun. You’ll never live life!

Leave a comment then go juggle some expired yogurt.

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May 6

Profound Fucking Sadness

Profound Sadness

What man needs to cry? Maybe all men need to cry. I’m going through couching right now, a type of couching that looks inward. It can be a bit like therapy at times. Other times, it can look like business coaching. My coach tore open an old wound. The years of stress and unexplained anxiety that I feel everyday was washed away with sadness and tears, just like that. Instead of being stressed and a little bit angry all of the time, I’m just very sad now. Maybe I’ve always been sad. Not maybe, definitely. I’ve always been sad. At least now I can deal with that sadness, instead of the unexplained stress.

I suffered from childhood trauma, and all of my life I just seemed like I was a little bit angry and maybe a little bit dead inside. I’m just as emotional as anyone around me. I have the soul of a poet, and I’ve finally realized that while I’m rough and strong on the outside, I’m still gooey and mushy emotionally.

I know I’ll come out the other side as a better more enlightened person, but this is really fucking difficult and strange. Luckily, the sadness makes me want to write more.

Has anyone else out there gone through emotional transformation?

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August 14

Half Way There

I’ve made it to the half way point of life, and yeah, I might have a couple of things to show for it, but I’m not what everyone would call successful.

I’m alive, happy, healthy, and running my own business. I haven’t been writing though. That needs to change.

Forget the distractions of social media that nobody cares about anyway; I’m just going to write. Everytime I poop, wait in a doctor’s office, or stand in line for anything. I’m never going to feel bored again, and I’m going to stop caring what someone’s alt right cousin said about how much better Trump is than Trudeau.

I’m going to be the most prolific me that I can be.

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May 16

Take What They Will Give

It seems that when people want something that isn’t material (like the kind of sex you don’t pay for or even the kind of friendship you don’t pay for) they want the other person to want it too. I fully understand this. I don’t want to have sex or be friends with people who don’t like me. I also don’t want to try to talk anyone into liking me.

Here is the issue I see. If someone wants something from you, they might try to recruit you into something. Think of the asshole boyfriend who tells his girl that he loves her just so she’ll have sex with him. He gets her to consent and feel good about it. He feels good about it because in that moment, she wants him. If he truly loved her, he would tell her without making any connection to sex. Even if the guy isn’t such an asshole after all, he might say the words because he feels a desperation, he wants it, maybe he feels like he could love her.

Now, I find myself evaluating every relationship and every interaction in every relationship I’ve ever had. Friendships, love, sex, business, whatever. It’s true that in a friendship or closer relationship, each person should get something from it. I’m not arguing against that. I’m only suggesting that the thing you should always get from a person is the thing that they want to give you. No method of force, coercion, or bad spirited convincing should ever go into any relationship, even business.

I’m not against negotiation. I’m against lies and coercion. The asshole boyfriend thinks that he is negotiating with his girlfriend. I’ll offer you love for sex in return. It’s not a negotiation though if you go into it knowing that you’re not delivering on your part of the bargain. It’s just a lie.

People lie, and they use each other, and at times it occurs so often that it’s difficult to see when its not happening. Sometimes people just misrepresent themselves because they really want you to like them. It’s difficult not to fall into this social trap. It can also be difficult to be a good person and still get what you want out of life, but I do think if you speak your mind and tell people what you want, the good people in your life (some of whom are liars) will help you get there from time to time.

There are different reasons to lie, and although I don’t like it when people lie, I do it sometimes. I want to get to a place where I never do it again. If you lie to get what you want, I think that’s terrible. I don’t do this. If you lie because you don’t want to hurt a person’s feelings or you don’t want to have an awkward conversation that is going to hurt you, I understand this. I do this. I wish I wouldn’t, but when I lie, I don’t ever gain anything from it. I also, almost always, end up telling the person the truth later on.

I’m going to commit, from this moment on, to never lie, ever again, about anything.

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