I’m on day 4 of no television. I think this is the third time in my life that I’ve seriously attempted it.
No YouTube, unless it is for instructions or work;
That’s pretty much it.
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 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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
For many people who live in the same part of the world as I, the Christmas season is a time of plenty. We eat, drink, and give and receive stuff that isn’t needed.
After the fog of alcohol, turkey, and presents passes, we make New Year’s resolutions.
What if we all made our resolutions now? Start working out before Christmas. Start that new business. Get back in touch with that sister you don’t talk to anymore. You could even try to be that great person that you were going to try to be last year.
It seems that making the change now would be more difficult, but if you can manage a resolution through the Christmas season, you can manage it forever.
I might just start that new business I’ve been mulling over.
Many years ago, due to a very sad series of events, I lost touch with my sister, Mandy. She wasn’t more than a few years old, and I was barely legal to drink in all of North America. I got married young, moved away, went to university, graduated from university, moved further away, had a child, then started a career. Yes, it was in that order, and it all happened between 1999 and 2002.
In that time, I lost touch with my father’s daughter (my sister). As it turns out, he decided his days as a father were over, so he abandoned his little girl, leaving Mandy with her mother. Recently, I was able to find Mandy’s mother, Natasha. I was eager to connect with Mandy again, even though we haven’t seen each other in 14 years. To her, I wouldn’t even be a memory, only a stranger that she has heard about once in a while.
It saddens me that I let this time pass, but I’m not the kind of person to keep regrets. I’m the kind of person to fix the mistakes of my past. Although I let my father bully me into not seeing Mandy for all these years, deep down, I feel that it’s my fault. I’ve always known that my father is a bad person. I knew he had his best interests in mind, but I kept doing what he said.
From this experience, I now know that regardless of the cost, regardless of what I could lose, there are certain things that aren’t negotiable in life. A relationship with my sister is not negotiable. It had to exist. If I lost my father because of it, that would be his fault. Now, I’m struggling to start a relationship with my sister, and my father stopped talking to me years ago because he got everything he wanted from me.
The common terms that I thought of when deciding how I really want to live my life were these.
Live in the moment
Live everyday like it were your last
I would like to break each one of these terms down, just a bit.
YOLO is You Only Live Once. This is a common expression that encourages a person to go out and experience life. Since it comes with no specific guidelines, you can apply it to anything you want to try. This is really about enjoying your life through short-term goals and quick pays offs. The good: sometimes you have to get out of your house, stop watching TV and playing video games. That is a YOLO moment.
Live in the moment is also mindfulness or right mindedness. This terms isn’t at all what many people think it is. Going to a bar and having shot number ten while spewing out “live in the moment” doesn’t actually make sense. Living in the moment means being present for whatever you’re doing. If a friend is talking to you, you are truly listening. You aren’t thinking of anything else, and you aren’t texting anyone. You’re just listening. That is living in the moment. It just means that to truly enjoy what you’re doing and be happy, you have to actively take part in that and nothing else. Count how many times a day you actually live uninterrupted in a specific moment. I’ll bet you don’t even need all the fingers on one hand. The good: if you’re using this term the right way, it’s basically all good.
Live everyday like it were your last is probably the easiest to understand. This is a guideline for life that suggests you live everyday as though you would die within 24 hours. Although it seems to make sense and many people agree with it, it’s actually a fools concept. If you were to truly live everyday like it were your last, you would surround yourself with all of your family and friends while they cried uncontrollably and said goodbye. Instead, people use it as more of a YOLO. The good: same as YOLO’s good.
Carpe diem is seize the day. This is more of a business executive approach to YOLO. People tend to say this term more about accomplishing something. However, the term is still for short-term goals, and it was originally meant as enjoy the day, which is basically just YOLO. The good: this gets people away from the routine of their day-to-day and makes them do something different.
Bucket list is a list of things you will do before you “kick the bucket” (die). Some people make this list when faced with terminal illness. Other people just make this list because they want to accomplish everything they want in life. A bucket list is as selfless or selfish as a person makes it. The good: Although many items are short term goals on a bucket list, the bucket list itself is about accomplishing goals, wants, and needs over a long-term period.
1 year list
A 1 year list is my concept, based on the bucket list. The 1 year list is a list of 10 goals. I have 1 year to complete a goal from the time it goes on my list. Anytime I complete a goal, I add another goal, so the list always has 10 goals. My goals are selfish, selfless, long-term, and short-term. The only rule is that a goal isn’t a dream. It’s something that is obtainable through normal circumstances. In other words, if you want to make $1,000,000 in the next year, that is not obtainable for most people. Unless you’re already making close to $80,000 a month and can work harder to increase your earnings, it isn’t a goal. My list is below.
200 lbs Dumbbell Press: I’m currently pressing 160 lbs, and my body weight is between 185 lbs and 190 lbs, so this is easy enough to do within the next year. Occurrence: never accomplished before.
Write 36,500 words: in the past, I’ve tried to write everyday. It doesn’t always workout, and then I end up with a defeatist attitude. I can’t write everyday, so why bother. This way, I never get defeated, since I can always catch up. I’m counting all writing that is for the public. This means that anything I write for money, this website, or future publications will count. Occurrence: I might have done this while in school. This was more than a decade ago.
Run 520km: before you laugh, remember this is not all at once, this is over the course of a year. It works out to 10km a week. This is a reasonable and conservative goal, but it means running every week, which I don’t do now. Occurrence: never accomplished before.
Complete French lessons: this is something I do in my free time. I learn French. I’m able to do it, but language is the one area where I’m a slow learner. I often put off lessons to do something else. Occurrence: never accomplished before.
Visit my mom: she lives almost 4000km away, so it’s financially difficult to see her often. Occurrence:she moved several years ago, and I’ve only been to see her once.
Family charity event: simply take my wife and kids and take part in a fund-raising charity event. Occurrence: never accomplished before.
Get below 185 lbs: my current weight is about 187 lbs. I know this sounds easy, but I’m muscular and 6′ 2″. Losing a few pounds of body weight when you’re slender is actually quite difficult. Occurrence: I’ve only been under 185 lbs when I wasn’t lifting weights.
Make a new friend: I know how this sounds, but most people who I truly call friends, I met when I was 19 or younger. I’m now 36. This might be my most difficult goal. I consider someone a friend when the two of us can hang out without anyone else there, and there is no business relationship. Occurrence: it’s happens, but hardly ever, definitely not yearly.
Reunite with an old friend or family member: this is just reconnecting, in person, with someone I haven’t seen in a long time. Occurrence: it’s happens, but hardly ever, definitely not yearly.
Help a stranger in need: this might be anything from helping a lost child find a parent to pushing someone’s car out of the snow in the winter. Occurrence: this probably happens more than I think it does. I never take note of helping someone, so I have no idea how long this will take.
That is my list. Judge it how you will, and feel free to write your own 1 year list. I’ve written a list of very achievable goals, most of which I’ve never accomplished before. I believe this type of long-term thinking is a better and happier way of living your life, and anything I write after the list is pretty much just a way of me getting my word count closer to 36,500.