Level Up

Just read my summary of 2019 from a few posts down and how it was a “surreal” year. lol

I didn’t even know what that meant. Just clueless as to what was to come, and kept on coming into 2021. In retrospect, 2019 was the last year containing anything of what, in my life, I had considered to be normal. That was a more innocent time, when you were likely more able to tell from an article’s headline that it was from The Onion. However, as much as 2020 was a mind-effer, a horrible time in many people’s lives, it was a bit of a smashing year for me. The first half was a bit shaky, for reasons described two posts ago. After I went all in with my pregnancy, everything became exciting and rather interesting. After my 28th birthday in late June is, I’d say, when life itself seemed to bloom and glow. It’s a time forever seared in my memory as sunshine and rainbows. Potentially traumatic things occurred, particularly during the birth, and I just merrily hopped my way through them.

Then here comes 2021 all, “Here, have some fascists reaching a breaking point, and a snowpocalypse, and a bunch of people refusing to do their part to protect the public health, prolonging this pandemic situation. Oh, and a bunch of other people thinking it will be okay because Trump is no longer president. This is the world your child lives in.” These types of things give me anxiety, and that’s not the type of response that I want to be typical for Lucy. If I’m going to teach her healthy habits and great coping skills, obviously I need to be modeling that to the best of my ability. So that’s something I just have to work on figuring out for myself. Reducing social media use is a good start. My mind isn’t that different from Lucy’s. Just a little redirection helps.

Another source of anxiety is the whole, “I’m about to turn 30, where has time gone, didn’t think I’d make it this far, etc.” Imagine what 15-year-old me would think if I knew that there I would be, at 30, still on my same bullshit. Surely I’d have figured it all out by now? At the very least, I’d have wanted to roll into 30 with the ability to say, “I’m super happy with how far I’ve come, especially in the last nine months during which I became committed to making better choices in my day-to-day life.” No previous-aged me would want to wake up on my 30th birthday and think, “Damn it. Back on my bullshit.”

So that’s one source of intrinsic motivation: wanting to wake up on my 30th birthday not feeling like a piece of shit.

That’s up to the choices I make in any given moment. “Oh, there’s a muffin sitting on the counter. I am not hungry, but I am a little bored. It looks good. Well, go for it.” That’s a common thought process. But it’s evolving into, “Muffins, irrelevant. Anything on the countertops, irrelevant. What am I here for? Oh, I’m filling up my water bottle. Let’s do that.”

If I’m being honest with myself, though, my approach will need to be more disciplined. I can’t keep coasting on tiny improvements. I’m holding back when I know I’m capable of more. In a manner of speaking, it’s time to throw another bowling pin into my juggling routine.

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