April 26, 2004

Sense of Doom Life

Don has a link to an excellent 2002 speech written by Matt of Minority of One. I haven't read the whole thing yet because I was stopped cold at this paragraph:

The second effect of a sense of life pertains to action. Being your basic emotion, it is also your basic driving force; it gives you that immediate inclination toward activity. A person with a positive sense of life will feel efficacious, and so will be more inclined toward activity than somebody who feels that the world is against them.

I stopped there because it's a lesson that I had learned 20 years ago and seem to have forgotten until this morning.

Last night was a typical evening for me, like most of my evenings the past few months. I sat at the computer with the 24-hour news channels playing in the background.

Now, if I have any beer in the fridge, my usual plan to start early (about 4:30 OR 5:00) and get in about 8-10 beers by midnight or 1am. But, at about 5pm last night I wanted a beer, but I knew that I only had 6 cans in the fridge. Usually I wouldn't even bother openning that first one -- especially that early -- if I knew I only had six. But, I decided to anyway.

By 11:30 I was forcing down that 6th beer and I felt dead tired. My eyes were stinging as I tried to read what was on my monitor screen, so I decided to hit the hay.
But, I couldn't fall asleep. I was coming back up from the extremely mild buzz that the six-pack had provided and by 2am I was wide awake. At about 3am I sat up, turned on the Nintendo and played a game of RBI Baseball. By the time I (The Mets) had beaten the NL All-Stars I was dead tired again. So I turned off the TV and laid back down, but, I couldn't fall asleep.
I finally dosed off some time after 5am.

I awoke again at 9:03. I could have put my head back down and easily slept 'til noon. But, this being the final day of my 4-day weekend, I knew that I had to get to bed early tonight to get up for work tomorrow.
I forced myself out of bed and staggered to the shower.

After my shower I felt refreshed, though still a bit cloudy. Then I remembered something: For some reason a song I'd written in 1985 popped into my head that had the refrain, "get active! get active!".
I wrote it after my first long bout of catatonia of '83-'84, having realized that making yourself DO something will bring about the very change you need to keep yourself from NOT doing anything.

Something as simple as doing a load of laundry followed by walking the dog and then cleaning a window or two will change the entire experience of the day because it changes, obviously, the experience of every moment of that day.
So that's what I did.

Then, even though I've got food in the house for a few days, I went grocery shopping. Driving back from the store I realized that I'd forgotten the get a pack of cigarettes. I could have parked at the variety store around the corner from my house, gotten the smokes, then driven around the corner. But, instead, I decided to park the car at home and then walk back to the store. Why? Because it was raining!
Yep, walking in the rain is good for feeling something other than nothing, even if it's only raindrops on your hat and coat. (Rainy day walks smell good, too. mheh.)

After I returned home and got dinner started I went online and found an email of a Comment to by post of 2 entries ago by Bloodthirsty Warmonger. He wrote, in part:

I am no stranger to depression, and for me responsibility has been very therapeutic...
...What keeps me going is the knowledge that readers with mental disorders and others seeking facts to counter Idiotarian drivel are counting on me to provide reasoned, professionally-researched information. It's out of the question to let them down.

And that's definately in line with what I've been thinking about and experiencing today. And assuming a responsibility to others is a great excuse to fullfill your responsibility to yourself!

So, when Matt wrote that "A person with a positive sense of life will feel efficacious, and so will be more inclined toward activity than somebody who feels that the world is against them", I just wanted to add that the cause and effect of that can be reversed, too. A person who instigates their own activity will end up with a more positive sense of life than someone who slouches into a sedentary lifestyle.
Just as remembering that the pain of staggering out of bed, when you're tired, will only last a few minutes: the hardest part of getting active is remembering that -- once you get started -- the benefit of doing so will feed on and slap up itself so much that soon you'll wonder how you ever forgot to remember it in the first place.

Now I'll go back and read the rest of Matt's post....

Posted by Tuning Spork at April 26, 2004 04:56 PM

"Now I'll go back and read the rest of Matt's post...."

Well, you just summarized it. :-)

Posted by: Matt at April 26, 2004 05:08 PM

It really makes my day to know that the words I wrote earlier had such a positive effect!:=)

Posted by: Bloodthirsty Warmonger at April 27, 2004 10:26 AM

Thanks for sharing that. It makes an extraordinary amount of sense. I'm gonna try to find the energy and desire to actually get up and do something other than grab another beer, and see how it works for me.

Posted by: rick at April 27, 2004 03:53 PM
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