Monday, July 17, 2017

Taking It to the Next Level

Arbitrary life-stage benchmarks always struck me afterward as silly and ineffectual as those x-year production goals I used to hear poor Eastern European Soviet Bloc countries struggle to attain. Or even outright fascicle and sinister like the ones in Oceania that were destined for the memory hole. So, without further ado, here I am taking in a half-assed inventory of where I am and what all is happening; I've been indoors for a little over two years and seven months, am I worth taxpayer expense? lol Of course not! But I don't really care about that, anyway. I have at least gotten serious about quitting smoking and drinking, thanks to having suffered a couple serious injuries -- one of which I'm dealing with as I type. I've also managed to fuck off five jobs, but I take heart knowing that I can actually get a job when I need one and that I'm capable of keeping it for at least six months.

The result of my self-assessment is this: I need to both get a job before fall AND start taking it to the next level, this self-betterment business, now that I'm minimally functional enough to socialize a little and engage in prolonged damage control.

My diet can certainly use some help. And, unfortunately, this is a lifestyle problem that tends to bump itself up against the dirty glass ceiling of poverty, so this will probably where most of my creative work-arounds will be applied. Put simply, how much money will I be making next year, five years from now ... fifteen years from now? How much of that will be my cost of living? Will I need to settle for kazoo jam sessions and solitaire for amusement, to keep from killing myself on a diet of chili mac and red forty? As it is already, I hardly stand in any of the meal lines anymore, and the food boxes around here consist mostly of the same cheap filler I'm diligently avoiding offered at the bumfeeds ... so I'm pretty much shining the shit of a baloney sandwich diet with Centrum, home-brewed kombucha, and stuff like generic cereal and carrots and onions. I'll be more of a drain on the state if I get my food stamps back, but I'll be eating better. I'll also be eating better if I get a job, but that may well end up taking money away from my GTFOofPDX fund. I'll just have to figure it out: eat more pulses, aggressively seek out produce sales, and whatever else I can do to make eating at least some decent food somewhat affordable.

As difficult as worming myself out of the bottleneck of usuriously rising food costs will doubtless be, I wouldn't be surprised if I end up a poster child for Bragg's Aminos before I log the recommended nine(?!) hours of solid sleep a night. I was going to label this a lifestyle problem monopolized by the poor, but I know full well that plenty more affluent people work or play too much to sleep any better than I do frittering the wee hours away playing the MSU-1-hacked Chrono Trigger. I suppose I could twist my arm behind my back, force myself to bed at ten by taking a hot bath, drinking cocoa, meditating and reading ... maybe pop a couple benzos? lol No, not those. I never understood why I'm so sleep resistant; one of my few clear childhood memories is of me sitting in front of the TV at two in the morning watching re-runs, my dad passed out on the couch behind me, bathed in the light of a necromancer's wand. (Hot cocoa's one of those edibles that's VERY worthwhile to make at home, by the way. Milk's always on sale somewhere and bulk cocoa can be a deal) It can be done, of course, but it's the kind of axial change around which my entire life will revolve; the same zero-sum trade-offs pain in the ass quitting drinking and smoking still is. Maybe it'll get easier as the evenings darken earlier.

Another zero-sum game is the one pertaining to the hours alloted me any given day ... or, worse yet, likely to be remaining, overall. Fortunately I don't need to care too much about the latter; but peeing, bathing, noshing, an trying to get six hours of sleep every night shrink my available day to approximately thirteen hours by my reckoning. Even working part-time I'll probably end up with between six and seven hours a day on average to do whatever I please. Which brings me to the third matter to attend to, namely the cultivating of a stimulating, edifying, contributive, and even mildly social lifestyle; stuff like Tea Party crochet matches, Android app development, writing, you name it ... as opposed to getting blazed and playing video games, wondering why nobody cool is around to do anything better than relapsing on booze with. This is the easy one, even though yes indeed hobbies can cost money, because it's just about time management.

lol It's just never enough, is it? First it was brushing and flossing, then it was behaving myself with the bank; then I thought it was all about getting and keeping a part-time service job of some kind, and steering clear of my fave liquor store; but no, now I need to take up salads, Pilates, Kaiserspiel, and other stuff I don't even know yet. What further localized entropy-reduction demands will be made on my slacker person as I careen into the abyss? Or is that one of the darkly cool things about old age: I'll be too decrepit and there'll be too little time left to do anything worthwhile anyway, so I won't have the energy or feel the need to worry about this quasi-existential crap anymore.

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