4 Guaranteed Ways to Fail

Being out of college has left me feeling restless. I miss the constant sense of forward movement and a long-term goal. Even better was the feeling at the start of every semester that I could wipe away the last few months and start fresh.

Now I feel stuck, repeating the same cycles over and over again in my flailing attempts at self improvement.

But, to paraphrase Thomas Edison, I have not failed but simply learned many ways that don’t work. Here’s the cycle I’ve found myself stuck in, in the hopes that maybe by writing it down I can start to get out of it and that it might help someone else get out of their own rut.

Make a ton of goals

It’s so easy to start with one goal (i.e. “I’m gonna get in shape and lose a few pounds!”) and quickly get derailed. I should clean the house more. I really ought to make more of my own food and clothes. Oooh, I really want to get started on Etsy and the craft show circuit. Hm, and my blog’s been dead for like a month.

Have high expectations

Then comes the daydreaming.

As someone that’s way out of shape, fitspiration is merely thinly veiled daydreaming.

Suddenly I’m imagining myself next summer with a super model body, a financially sustainable handmade store,  a closet full of clothes I made by myself, and a spotless, minimalist apartment. Never mind that each of those by themselves would take months of focused effort to complete.

Work hard at all of them

Willpower’s a muscle, so I need to exercise it a ton. Except that this is the exercise equivalent of trying to bench press a car when I’ve only been able to lift fifty pounds.

After burning out, vow never to fail again and repeat the process

The self-hate is vital here. Really pound in that I suck, that I just need to try harder. Come up with a slightly tweaked but equally difficult version of the previous list of goals and repeat it all over again.

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Hey, they say to write what you know, and you have to admit this is much better than a “so sorry it’s been awhile, life got in the way” post. If you’re looking for something a little more uplifting, I’d direct you to:

/r/GetMotivated – an active, friendly community that’s happy to offer advice and support alike

/r/ZenHabits – similar to GetMotivated with happiness and meditation advice as well

Nerd Fitness – whether your goals are fitness related or not, the six week challenges are an excellent format for goal setting

You Can’t Pick Your Family, But…

You can pick the friends that become your family.

I don’t mean to get super melodramatic here, since from the title you may be under the impression that I have some horrible family. I don’t. They are all good, generally well-meaning people and I do love them. However, particularly with my parents, I’ve been feeling a growing rift between us since they’ve discovered that I do not have any religious beliefs and neither does The Geek.

It’s a little hard to believe “Oh, we’ll always love you sweetie”, when it comes directly after, “we will never condone you being with this person that you love.” That was the conversation that left me so desperate for some form of maternal approval I just about called up The Geek’s mom (hello, second mother figure!) to get some, any, affirmation.

Rather than dwelling on the sad side of things, today I’d like to talk about the positive – the people in my life that lift me up and are family regardless of bloodline.
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The Rule of “F&*% Yea or No”

As I was puttering around the blogosphere, I came across a post called “Fuck Yes or No” (sorry, I censored it in the title, but I’m just not going to do that for this entire post). Essentially, if you or the person involved does not say “fuck yes”, then consider it a no.

Its original context is sex and dating, and in that arena it’s a genius rule; why would you want to be with someone who isn’t actively excited about being with you? Forget all of the “is s/he into me, why haven’t they called/etc” and just move on.

I read that earlier this week, and I keep coming back to it throughout my day.

While trying on clothes. Wellllll, this dress is okay. The top is weird, but I guess I could rip it out or something and…

Is it a fuck yea? It’s not? Okay, then that’s a no. Move on.

Then as I was working on some earrings, but not feeling particularly inspired I found myself thinking,

Does the thought of making these make you say fuck yea? Oh, you’re just doing this out of guilt that you have unused craft supplies? Go do something you’re actually excited about!

Or when I woke up at the crack of dawn and proceeded to waste time on some funny story websites, but wasn’t even cracking a smile.

I’m not even really enjoying this am I? This is just autopilot. Let’s go find something to say fuck yea about.

Yes, of course this can’t always be the case. Sometimes at work, as I stare at my overflowing to do list, I am definitely not cheering fuck yea. But. Of course I need a paycheck. And those time of stress are evened out by the funny moments with my clients and coworkers, and the feeling of accomplishment and making a difference I get from this job.

Not every moment is going to be a fuck yea moment, but I can make choices that give me a lot more of those moments instead of comfortable apathy.

Welp, I just broke my record for number of swear words in a post. I’m now going to go make sure my mom never reads this.

I’m Such a Wuss

I have issues with calling out sick. I spend the whole day wondering if maybe I should’ve gone. But this morning, after getting little sleep all night and feeling awful, as I faced the prospect of having someone observe me with a rather difficult client (with this observation determining whether I get a pay raise), I went

NOPE-NOPE-NOPE

Drawn by The Oatmeal

Once I feel fully justified in being sick, I get whiny. Really whiny.

“I’m boooooooored”

“Everything hurts

“Ugh I’m so tired”

And my favorite, “It’s like being on Jupiter with super heavy gravity pulling me down, and the only way to get it to stop is to sit or lie down.” At which point The Geek calmly said, “I understand the feeling.”

I realized that saying that to someone who has clinical depression is like whining about being assigned a one page paper to a master’s candidate whose thesis is due the next morning; at best blindly unaware and at worst downright selfish.

So I’m just gonna shut up a bit until I feel better. Besides, no one likes a whiner!

Just when I think I’m out… Steam has a sale.

As someone who is into, but not super into, video games, the Steam Summer Sale is a weird feeling.

I feel about video games approximately how I feel about my YouTube subscription feed; I started off being super into it and keeping up with it, but now that I have work and am trying to level up in real life it’s harder to keep up with it.

Then my weird completion guilt kicks in and I feel too overwhelmed to try to catch up and… well, vicious cycle.

I already have plenty of games to play. But… but… but…

There’s so many games for, like, $3! I don’t stay up to date enough to know if they are actually any good, or what their metacritic score really means. So then I stop checking.

But then I think… what if a newer Assassin’s Creed or Knights of the Old Republic goes on sale? Sure I’m still on the first game in both franchises but theoretically at some point I will come up to date with these series and then I’ll be kicking myself for paying full price for these games.

(I wanted to insert a picture here of my OnLive games, but it’s being a pain in the ass and refusing to do anything more than give me a black screen. But I’m sure you can picture my sad, lonely two games, one played for 10 hours two years ago and the other literally never touched. I’ll… get to them?)

The running in circles is tiring me. Time to turn off the computer.

I Am/Have Been Old

Recently I caught an article about early vs late twenties, and I suddenly realized that I have never been that early twenties chick, running around clubs and getting drunk.

In fact, neither The Geek or I have never been big fans of getting drunk. We decided to remedy that over a weekend, buying rum and mixers and getting ready and..

Both of us went to sleep after two drinks. Man, I’m an old 22 year old.

The (Less Obvious) Downside of Living Forever

I’ve often found myself doing a quick Facebook check on people I used to know. Not (usually) in the I-hope-they’re-ugly-and-working-a-dead-end-job way, generally just to see where they’ve ended up and what they’re doing. Sure, I could friend them, but we’d never talk after our initial catch up and then it’s just kind of awkward.

But of course, to look someone up, you have to remember their names.

I found myself trying to look up a friend of the family, but blanking on their last name.

Sssss…..
Ooh, it definitely had a sh sound!
Sh….aver? No, that’s a coworker’s name.
Sha…..damn it, now all I can think of is Shaver!

It came to me an hour later; Shafer!

Everyone else talks about how cool it would be to live forever, but I can’t even remember people from five years ago; I can just imagine myself at 200, struggling to remember my mom’s name. Reese? Ida? Olga? Bugger, I’ll just call her mom.

Unless uploading my mind to a robot comes with a serious memory upgrade, I think I’ll stick to a normal lifespan and only forget most of it, thanks.

A Geek Dream Come True

It looks like I’ve found it. The one thing in real life that gives me that same “just one more quest…” feeling of an MMO.

Swimming.

No, seriously.

Stop laughing!

I even wear a swim cap, googles, earplugs and a nose plug. Now you can laugh.

An accurate visual, but you’ll have to imagine all the splashing and gasping for yourself.

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Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Crafts

Is it weird that I'm really amused at their various facial expressions?

I’m very amused at their variety of facial expressions.

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about my not-so-awesome experience selling crafts and what I’d learned, and now I get to show you some of the fruits of that labor.

Up first are the bookmarks. Cute and fun and…

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Apparently hungry. O-Kay, looks like the hearts and monsters need to be separated. Or I’ll just give the monsters some books to munch on.

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There we go.

I made some earring cards out of cardboard and some stamps. It’s amazing what a difference a little branding makes!

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And finally, I’m just finishing up these cute little stud earrings. Someone specifically requested them (in a rather disappointing exchange where I kept thinking, “yes! I’ll finally get my first sale of the night!” right up until she abruptly walked away).

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So what do you think – am I going to be desperately trying to sell all of this off on Etsy at summer’s end?