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Ikar

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Posts posted by Ikar

  1. 3 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

    Thanks! I think I like the “gamification” aspect of the measurements. It keeps me motivated to improve the scores, whether that is through doing better in general or redefining what success means (ex. Next Actions has changed a lot because it is a bit difficult to define what constitutes success there, and that’s okay; I’ll continue refining it until I understand what I need). 

    I saw the following in the journals somewhere and also in a book; many things are defined as habits rather than goals. My "family" monthly section hardly ever has any specific goals I could tick off, so I have "directions" there rather than "goals". I still think I can do better defining longer-term goals, as some things just take months to complete.

    4 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

    Yeah, I wanted to redefine my relationship with alcohol. I wasn’t dependent on it, but also felt I drank well above what is the recommended limit. I do feel much better, and I wake up with much less anxiety; my mood has significantly improved upon rising. 
     

    Whenever I gathered with friends, I would drink the whole night (and they sorta did too) because I believed that I would no longer have fun if I stopped drinking. I think this was a subconscious thought that, after digging, I was able to bring to the surface. Twice now on this journey, I have proven to myself that I can have a great time and consume no alcohol. This allows me to redefine my limits. Moving forward, I know I can have one or two at a gathering, then stop, and still have an amazing time. I think this was a subtle but powerful experience for me. 

    In the dorm group (I lived at the dorm for about three and a half years and only moved this June), I go by the nick "Non-Alc" 😄

    Anyhow, 2020 and 2021 were kinda special at the dorm. The pubs were closed due to corona, so the meetings obviously moved to the dorms themselves. But I gradually moved from consuming alcohol on a daily basis, simply due to the fact I had to be ready at 7 or 8 in the morning for my English lessons. The in-dorm partying/meeting stopped in autumn 2021, as the pubs opened again. I didn't feel like hitting the student's pub every other day was a good idea, plus I got a girlfriend at the start of 2022, so my consumption went down even more.

    I second the thought that meetings can be fun without alcohol. I have done it multiple times. My country (Czechia) is unfortunately known for cheap alcohol and I really believe we have an alcohol culture, without any exaggeration. Alcohol is a slow and vicious killer of whole communities; in my opinion, cocaine, meth or heroine are more merciful to the addict's family or friends in aggregate.

    4 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

    I think it’s less about the tea and more the caffeine. Tea is quite healthy, so I imagine the limit would surround how much caffeinated tea you can tolerate. I used to drink a ton of tea when I was younger. In school, I would bring a liter of tea in one of those pop-top thermoses. My teacher asked once if anyone smelled a campfire when I brought in some Lapsang Suchong 😂.

    Sounds good! A bit of a shame that tea colors my teeth brown 😄

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  2. I like the graphs and scores! It's been a long time since I stopped journaling every day, but I always evaluate and "score" things once a month and once a year. I don't normally go back to my monthly reports, but I believe it's always in the back of my mind, helping me to be grounded and to have some perspective.

    I noticed you also have a "no drinking" streak. I can relate to being in a pub with friends, wanting to have something good to drink... I think I would have stopped drinking regular beer altogether, if pubs had draft non-alcoholic beer. They normally don't and all the alternatives are kinda sucky: drinking sodas hurts my teeth and buying bottled non-alcoholic beer or water for 2x-4x the price in a shop just makes me want to invite my friends to a picnic or to my flat 😄

    Regardless, I noticed that even having/not having one beer has an effect on me. I don't know when I've become so sensitive, but I can feel it. That's why I have a beer maybe two times a month now and I prefer to grab the non-alcoholic/radler one whenever I'm in the mood for it at home.

    I also love tea as you do! I think the average is above a liter a day for me. I prefer a strong black tea, but I also got some green tea to change things up. I normally use the same teabag two or three times during the day, as I intentionally want to make the tea weaker; I'm not sure if it's too healthy to take in so much of it and it's also just about the ritual.

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  3. 29th September - 7th October:

    I can say I was productive this week, as well as somewhat out of my comfort zone.

    I specified the topic of my diploma thesis and worked on the questionnaire. It's the first thing I want to get done before working on anything else, as it's gonna take some time to get the respondents and it will also help me refine the topic/aim of the thesis even further.

    I also went to a business conference on Thursday. I had a short five minute presentation and it was a good experience.

    This week was also tougher in regards to my mood. I studied a lot for my professional development as an English lecturer and I became more bashful regarding my abilities and partly my knowledge. I also decided to step up my publicity locally by throwing small flyers into mailboxes; it could help my business, doesn't cost much and I can use the exercise.

    As for today, I'm feeling off. I've had headaches, I feel cold and I even took a nap during the afternoon. I hope it'll be better tomorrow.

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  4. On 10/3/2023 at 7:46 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    Again I don't expect overnight success and I know very well that this may all be for nothing, but I'm willing to give this a shot if she's willing to fight to save herself. Lord knows she's stuck with me through some shit I didn't deserve to be stuck with through... I wasn't always the person I am today. And I still have plenty to work on myself, no delusions about that!

    I hope it goes well!

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  5. 19 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    It's definitely the stagnation. We were a lot more compatible when we first met, a suicidal drug addict (me) and a suicidal extreme depressive hermit (her.)

    I feel you. I think that's how my relationship ended 5 years ago as well. My X got just tired of me not getting a job and gaming all day. I think she wanted to improve her life, but it's hard to do that if you have a partner who is just stagnant and perhaps even sabotaging your process. 

    19 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    I have grown and changed SO much in the last 6 years (our anniversary is on the 25th of this month...) But she is more or less the same person I got together with. She's had better times and we've had hard times, this probably isn't even the hardest time we've had, I'm just EXHAUSTED.

    I am literally her only friend, besides our daughter. It's exhausting to be her lover, friend, therapist, mommy, maid... etc blah blah blah all at the same time.

    She's actually a really good mom though. That's part of why I left my daughter with her for the weekend, I can at least trust her to take care of our child.

    But she almost feels like my teenage child. She feels like my Responsibility, even though she's not supposed to be.

    I get a feeling that stagnation (for sure over 6 years) in other people means they are fairly happy with how things are. Her mental issues suck, but you can't let that hold you hostage, much less your daughter. My girlfriend depends on me as well, but not in a way that an addict would be on their drug. I hope you can take that into account while searching for a solution.

    19 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    But the way our daughter cried for me when I left, the way she desperately banged on the door... I'm not ready to rip our daughter's life in half...

    Can you mobilize someone to help you out? It's sad when kids get caught up in the middle by no fault of their own 😞

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  6. 5 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    My partner and I are having a like... separation? or something. I don't know if it'll last only a few days, a week, weeks, indefinitely...

    It's too exhausting to retell everything that happened but to put it in a metaphor like... she always has a cloud over her head... sometimes it's just cloudy other times it's a thunderstorm. I'm tired of being wet all the time and afraid of when the lightning strikes

    I'm just so tired. I have made myself sick with stress lately too. It's hard to eat even 1000 calories because I have no appetite. Fasting on Yom Kippur had come as a relief, no obligation to eat food I don't even want to eat.

    I'm currently staying with my mom across town, and I left my daughter with my partner for the weekend. I'll collect her from school on Monday. I miss my daughter a lot. The way she cried when I left made me feel like "oh okay I'm stuck here forever then."

    In times/cases like yours I wonder: What has changed in the relationship? How does one go from being happily pregnant with a partner to this situation? What are the factors that contributed to this? I know that these don't only have to be negative; maybe you grew in your life so much over the past few years while your partner stagnated and that created a big rift, as you could relate to each other less.

    Whatever the result is, I hope you'll be able to remain strong through this and work out a solution with your partner.

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  7. 20 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

    Which blocker do you use for your phone? I have Freedom, but I feel it's a bit redundant now with screentime. Additionally, there's nothing to stop you from deleting the app, which is why my wife holds the screentime passcode. With Cold Turkey on my computer, once a block is initiated, you cannot remove the program. That's an awesome feature. It also has a setting where you can lock yourself out of your computer completely (that feature is called Frozen Turkey). I haven't used that feature yet as I'm a little scared of it 😅

    I have some hard-to-remove software called LeechBlock on my computer and it works well. I always have to deactivate/reactivate it every 30 minutes on YT and I perma-blocked the various news websites. That YT block there is more of a reminder that I shouldn't spend too much time on it, but it's quite rare I watch a video longer than 20 minutes. I get too bored with longer videos.

    I found out that I found the small screen of the phone too annoying to read too much news, so I don't abuse the fact I don't have any blocks for it there. News has always been a distraction for me for just five or ten minutes maximum. Porn turned out to be much harder to deal with. The idea here is that I'd have to block out half the internet at a specific time for some period of time. If there was some app that would hard-immobilize the access to it, together with Chrome and YT for 3-6 hours at the push of a button (I watch porn basically only before sleeping), that'd be amazing, but I don't know if there's one. I'll look into Freedom and Screentime both though, thanks for the suggestion 🙂

    It turns out locking myself out of my phone wasn't a big deal. Luckily, it was Saturday and I'm more reliant on my desktop than my phone historically. But it makes sense with all my gaming history and student calls though 🙂

     

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  8. On 9/27/2023 at 12:01 AM, Vee said:

    Most of today I've spent daydreaming/napping. I had energy, but I chose to daydream instead of engaging with the real world. I'm not specifically craving gaming, but I am craving that feeling of losing myself in something. It does sort of happen with watching TV, although the lack of interaction doesn't make it the same quality. It can happen with writing, and with reading, but it's rare enough, or else takes long enough to get into the flow, that I'm not driven to seek those pursuits out. 

    It's been four years since I quit and I don't think I've experienced what you're describing as often as when I gamed. Regardless, an emotional high of immersion for, well... having a normal life is a tradeoff I'll gladly make.

    On 9/27/2023 at 12:01 AM, Vee said:

    I've now brushed my teeth for ten days in a row! It still doesn't come naturally to me (I remember specifically because I have a habit tracker), but I no longer get that weird resistance to the concept that I usually do.

    Good job! I had issues with my brushing when I was a teenager, so I know it's hard to get back on track or even start anew. It kind of helps that I have sensitive teeth; if I go without brushing for a few days, I get toothaches whenever I eat. Nowadays I can confidently say I brush 6/7 nights of the week 😄

    22 hours ago, Vee said:

    Writing: I need to do a little research for the next (chunky) scene, but I should be able to do some actual writing on top of that. I don't want to lose the momentum here. At this pace, it won't be long until I'm out of planned scenes and will need another pure planning session. Next month I want to start thinking about returning to short stories, alongside the novel.

    I'm writing my master's thesis at the moment. I can say is that I need to worry less about how much time (or how many days) it will take me to move to the next stage. It's because the next stage (or even multiple stages) pops up during the process from the unknown. I know that if I put in two three quality hours of work in every day, I'm going to finish it, just like other students before me did. I promised my tutor a concept of a questionnaire at the end of the weekend and that's what he and I shall have.

    6 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

    I think you're right; the ritual of focus is definitely part of it. This particular music works for me due to something about the repetitive rhythmic nature of it (I end up syncing my fidgeting to it haha). The intention of focus is what matters most because even when I use this music, sometimes if I am really distracted and throw it on hoping for a magic pill, it doesn't work. It helps, but I still need to stop and make sure I'm intending to focus. 

    Yes! I found out that many of the games I played in the past have several tracks or even whole soundtracks I can listen to indefinitely and which can serve as great background/time stamps for me. The genre is generally classical voiceless (as many of the games of the 00s had these), although some have some modern element mixed to it. I think voiceless D'n'B tracks work the best for me. I've been meaning to try out some jazz music as well, but I have issues with actively listening to tracks if I don't already know them and that's not conductive to work 😄

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  9. 23rd September - 28th September:

    I visited my family, worked on a business presentation for young students, did some cycling and walking as well. I also attended an online meeting regarding English lecturing and it gave me a nudge to continue working on myself, my lessons and my business.

    My plan for today was to work on my diploma, yet I didn't. (What I did instead was to catch up on newsletters and on select financial topics that interest me.) I communicated with my tutor at the weekend, however I haven't heard back from him since. I'm gonna work on it tomorrow - I have a plan to create a questionnaire for my thesis and use the data, so I want to send him a concept of it by the end of the week to give him some incentive to reply. Inactivity in this area makes me nervous, even though I still have well over three months to finish the thesis.

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  10. On 9/21/2023 at 1:23 AM, wheatbiscuit said:

    I watched Cam's new Youtube video from the Game Quitters channel today - 20 minutes, this one! The part that truly reached me was the story of the 13 year old whose life was destroyed within 1 year of being hooked on gaming. At that age, I remember making the choice to game instead of wholly facing life and its opportunities (being out with schoolmates and developing useful skills in and out of school). I am only thankful that it allowed me a kind of peace and physical security it did in order to simply survive adolescence, or else I would have done it differently, knowing a little bit better now.

    It really shows that different people have different soft spots and need to know how to manage them carefully. I'm lucky to have walked out of my gaming delirium when I was 21. I learnt English as an addict and had the confidence to pursue it as a career later. It's a wise thing to take and work with both the bad and the good, even if there's not much of it.

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  11.  I'm using the template I used the last time. 11/08/23 - 22/09/23

    "L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.

    I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.

     

    --- set smart/stretch goals - read book again

     

    Books/Reading articles:

    L: I finished the book. I also finished "Smarter Faster Better" by Duhigg. I set up a SMART goal for my university thesis. I wanted to borrow a new book two or three weeks ago, but the uni library is closed for the summer. Caught up with my newsletters.

    T: I read "Be Obsessed Or Be Average" by Cardone and I got rather mixed feelings about the book. I also started reading "World Order" by Kissinger. Not caught up with my newsletters.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Continue getting through the newsletters.

    (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

     

    Family:

    L:

    The kitchen plan ran into (another) problem. The working desk is a few centimeters shorter than needed, due to the fact there are unmovable drain pipes near the wall. The best solution, according to my father (and I share it), is to get a wider working desk, rather than to cut the cupboards to let the pipes through them.

    Another piece of family business that I'm dealing with is my mom. Overall, she's too wishy-washy and disorganized for me to deal with. I'm gonna talk to her tomorrow and try to find out how we're gonna approach our relationship.

    T: I met my mom for lunch about a month ago. Other than that, there's nothing special happening, except the fact that I'm going to visit my family/grandma every week until my grandma's kitchen is reconstructed.

    Spoiler

    Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

    Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

    Weeks 11 and 12:

    Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

    Weeks 13 and 14:

    Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

    Weeks 14 and 15:

    Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

    NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

    Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family.

     

    University:

    L: I started daily work on the thesis two weeks ago. I have some four thousand words on the paper, with a few ideas for future chapters and the direction of my research. My plan is to send the draft to my professor in three weeks before I go for a two week holiday with my girlfriend.

    T: Currently on nine thousand words, although I wrote the last of them at the end of August and then I left for my holiday. This week, I resolved the email communication issues and had a consultation with my tutor. He advised me to be more specific with my topic and to send him a short summary at the weekend, so that he can insert the thesis assignment into the system.

    NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

    Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

     

    Business/English:

    L: One of the business meetings was great, the other one more of a revision of what I already know from other meetings and from the web. I did some minor promo/advertising on my social networks. I read some articles from an interesting pricing blog. I worked out the personalized price increase from September and I'm gonna start telling my students the next week. Quiet month overall.

    T: I attended a networking event and I'm happy that I did! I also met my online students face to face while visiting their city, which was also nice 🙂

    On a more practical note, I got a small pay raise from both the language schools, as well as from my students by creating a new price list. I also got an invitation to a weekly outdoor English project, however it's in a bad time slot, as I already have classes there.

    -

    Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work.

    Note: July and August and maybe September are going to be abnormal, as some courses don't run during summer and people are often on vacations.

    An example for 23 hours this week: Category A 63% (67); B 12% (0); C 8% (6); D 4% (14); E 13% (13). Brackets are % values from previous month.

    -

    I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses:

    a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging

    b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group)

    c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day)

    d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality

    e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality

    -

    NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.

    Possible direction/goals:

    With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly.

    Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week.

    Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

    Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

    Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

    Networking and business events.

    Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan.

    Check out business vouchers for equipment.

    Past projects:

    Questionnaire.

    Fixed logos on my website for better visuals.

    Updated the pricing section of my website. Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August).

    Got minor pay raises from language schools.

    Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required.

    Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar.

    Introduced "phone call" classes. Update website/business profiles with "phone calls".

     

     

    Exercise/Movement:

    L: Going for walks almost daily and cycled perhaps 100 km the last month in total.

    T: We walked and hiked quite a lot with my girlfriend in Georgia. I make an effort to go out every day, to at least read a book outside or go for a short walk. Cycling/walking to my students in the area as well.

    NOT: I don't want to become fat.

    Possible direction/goals:

    I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change.

    Keep in shape.

     

    Blogging:

    L: I got the blog online at the end of July! There are some minor things to improve, but I put it out there and posted it on social media to get the word out. There are about five articles thus far. I even wrote a brand new article this week.

    T: I haven't had time to even think about blogging with everything that was going on, although I do have a half-way written article in the works that I could publish soon.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Find a suitable UI/web template.

    Set up emailing for subs.

    Post two articles a month.

    Polish links in articles. Interlink new articles with old ones.

    Finish articles in concepts.

     

    ---

     

    What to do if I am bored?

    Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters

    Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, blogging, diploma thesis

     

    ---

     

    Additional thoughts/activities:

    My hobbies are: personal finance, graphs/projections/statistics, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

    This month, I did these cool activities: going for a massage, spending time on the GQ forum, visiting Georgia and visiting my students, buying new shoes and shirts, visiting a cottage/cycling trip, having good conversations with my girlfriend.

     

    ---

     

    Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

    Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

    Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

    Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn. We did it! 🙂

    Stop watching porn (again), stop reading too much news (again). - Got some blocks going on. The past week was clean!

    Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

    Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance.

    It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

    ---

     

     

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  12. 4 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    Good job being aware of this. Maybe there's some sort of control you're looking to have on something and maybe there's a better outlet. 

    I think that's true. I came back from my holiday a week ago, but in my head I've been having trouble getting my handle on things. I'm likely doing a decent job, but day-to-day progress on long-term projects is hard to appreciate.

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  13. 16th September - 22nd September:

    So I've caught up on all the important things, though some non-urgent stuff is still awaiting my attention. I visited my family at the weekend. I finally connected with my tutor; there's been some mess with communication, as the uni IT department is transferring the emails, but I hope now I have all the relevant information. I also attended an university event, did some reading, connected with two new students and spent time with my girlfriend.

    I believe I am porn free for about a week now, thanks to my newly implemented blocks and my laziness to crack them open due to unknown complexity of such a challenge 😄

    I've been feeling the taste to play "Total War: Shogun 2" here and there for a few days now. Granted it's a fairly complex game, I think my brain is craving some complex problems to solve. Therefore, I'm going to direct my attention towards complex problems in the real world to keep it busy 😄

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  14. 9 hours ago, Pochatok said:

    Thank you so much- I'm curious as to what you mean by this!

    In a way, your writing reminds me of this guy here. I like it 😄

    9 hours ago, Pochatok said:

    Woah, today went from a below-average to mind-bursting in an instant. Hard to bounce back, though at this point I can feel my future self gently massaging my back as I'm typing. So lucky to feel this connection 💛 And even luckier to feel love for the person I was just a couple hours ago, even though their decisions are hurting me a lot now.

    A misogynistic comment at work has been made, and though I had the strength to not enter complicity and smile along (at least not consciously) with others, I did not take the courage to address the issue and speak up. It is very hard to accept this- I feel so small and weak

    The entire interaction, really, felt disempowering. While I am still struggling to see what exactly put so much weight on me, I generally felt misunderstood, not taken seriously, and perhaps even talked down upon in some situations. I certainly felt a strong struggle to stay attuned to my values- did I? 

    It's hard to look at the situation from an outsider perspective yet, at least not while I am reflecting. How about this: I'll pause this entry and reflect right now.

    ... 📖 Journaling 📑 ...

    A couple takeaways: I do not think that anyone was intentionally putting me down. Perhaps what is going on is my inability to digest some social cues- for example, I could notice that folks where laughing/smirking between each other at certain moments, but it was hard for me to tie that into any cognitive conclusions. It was something I simply noticed. 

    And ultimately, I am very glad to be caring so deeply about this, and not wanting to put up with it by the slightest. I remembered times of similar feeling across the prior months- these are the moments when my internal tectonic plates shift, when my future self shines through me. This is the moment of a significant possibility to become someone different. And I will grasp it :335_cloud_lightning:

    It's amazing how moments like these always go from happening to me to happening for me. I only wish that this cognitive path was a bit shorter, for the pain of the journey from one to the other is immense- it has taken me ~2hrs to get to this point. And I'm still plenty of hurt. 

    To those kind people who take the time and effort to read these- thank you so much. You're helping me build my future self, cell by cell. 

    Po

    It all depends on the context that you are in. If you think the guy just made a comment/joke to make others laugh, I'd say that's fine.

    If you think it was directly aimed at somebody in the office/you, you could confront this guy (in a calm way) and learn why they are putting you through this. I've been pranked before and it was funny for others, EXACTLY because I took myself too seriously and overreacted and did stupid shit. Do you really want to give a damn about a few strangers/colleagues laughing at something? Maybe yes, maybe not.

    There are two types of people who laugh at "Women are X. Men are Y. Greens are Z." jokes:

    1) they laugh, because they think it's true and just want a relief from their reality (especially if it's the opposite categories, i.e. women joking about men) and

    2) they laugh, because they know it's absurd.

    That way, generally everybody laughs at these jokes.

    The amount of smack talk and deadpan jokes that my girlfriend makes about kids would make you believe that she really hates kids, yet it's not true and she wants to have kids in the future.

    I make a personal ecological effort, yet I can laugh both at the people who glue themselves to the road ("Oh, so you want to "save the planet" by disrupting the traffic, hence making everybody burn more fuel and making everybody adhere to your own personal worldview?") AND the people who don't recycle or waste a lot of food, by calling them primitive barbarians without any culture and regard for the environment.

    These things are hard 😄

    • Like 2
  15. 10 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    I wonder if you can seek out a mentor to review your out of class commitments and provide feedback. My company let's me choose a mentor and I can go over stuff once a month to get my questions answered. Maybe you could see if that's at your place too.

    It's indeed useful to have mentors. I've taken part in two mentoring projects in the last year and both had a positive influence on me. Both of them spurred some activity in me, especially regarding 2) - things related to my professional success.

    The language schools generally don't provide any guidance here, as developing myself in this way effectively turns me into a competitor rather than an employee. Simply put - they will organize seminars on how to run the classes, use the technologies etc., but not on how to find new business partners or how to present myself online on my website. For that, I need to seek help myself.

    • Like 1
  16. First off, I have to say you have an interesting style of formulating thoughts and writing 🙂

    On 9/18/2023 at 9:08 PM, Pochatok said:

    Perhaps the most satisfying revelation: there is no lightbulb moments, but rather moments of passing through a certain level of being that resonates with my awareness. This week has been full of moments like that; the smooth motion that turns into miles being passed once you look back. What a wonderful feeling that I feel so lucky to have.

    I can relate to this 100%. It's true that for long-term happiness, we need to be able to appreciate the distance. Occasional short-term exhilaration won't help.

    On 9/18/2023 at 9:08 PM, Pochatok said:

    Look forward to becoming more visible, both online and in-person. Ultimately, my time always feels so limiting... There is so much more I want to do, so many more people I want to meet- and it sucks that almost every decision in favor of something is a sacrifice against another choice. My life does feel scarce as of lately, at least on the social scene. However, it is a matter of time- I will be able to shift into a different way of being as long as I continue to develop my passions. 

    On the flip side, I think that's great! You have the freedom to choose. Many people can't choose, be it because of their physical environment or some mental prison they've constructed. You can weigh options against one another and choose the one that best serves you and your values, temporal or long-term.

    • Like 2
  17. 3 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    I decided that when I finish the draft and work on the first revision, I'll make a website and start my marketing plan. My goal is to build momentum up until release day and sell the book with some people interested in it. 

    Sounds amazing! I hope you'll be able to plan it while not hampering your progress with writing.

    3 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    Great approach. It's just cool seeing how much we can do in short periods of time. I think this is way better and healthier than gaming life. 

    Yes, I've come to think of it as a spectrum. This is regarding the use of time. On one extreme, we have addiction - full commitment to one thing. On the other extreme, we have fragmentation - no commitment to anything. In the middle, there is balance - some commitment to several things.

    I even started working on a blog post about "being average", how that term is deceptive and how it's useful for manipulation. That's because it's completely normal and healthy to be even below average; I'm below average at juggling, because I don't do it and there are a few people who are good or even great at it. I'm a below average screamo listener, because I couldn't care less about the genre. The trick is just assessing in what areas you want to be better/it makes sense to be better than the average, to focus on these, and to cut the rest as insignificant noise.

    3 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    The house projects are good. We finished all major upgrades and can now focus on smaller things that aren't liabilities to the house. This is a huge relief. I think it's interesting you're doing this with your family member before your own place. I remember doing that with my family and found more pleasure doing my home with my wife. 

    Good work, I can only imagine the relief 😄

    I'm doing it because my family and I agreed that I'll inherit the flat in the future; it's already officially in my name for about a year. The exchange was I would carry the brunt of the work around the flat, for as long as my grandma is alive and also after. As such, I feel uneasy, as I don't think I'm doing enough at the moment.

    I spent some time with my family today and I privately decided that I am going to visit my parents and my grandma every week now until the kitchen is done, in order to be more in touch with the reality of the kitchen and to consult and run the project more actively, especially with my father.

    3 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    I'd include that time you spend outside of work in your review with your manager. See if that is normal or not. You might realize other teachers do more than that or others do way less. Might be a good experience. 

    The issue here is that there are two categories, though they intermingle:

    1) Directly related to my language school classes - emails for students (schedule changes, organization of courses), preparation for classes or invoices. Preparation is already included in the price of the lesson, so are occasional vital emails about the schedule. Invoices aren't either, as they aren't related to the students in any way.

    2) Related to my professional success - networking, seminars on business topics or seminars for my English education. These are my voluntary activities outside of the contract with my employer. Networking allows me to reach new contacts and students with whom I can work on a private basis. The seminar section improves my know-how in business and English.

    There's a good reason to argue for a raise with improved English know-how, however I've been told they require an official teacher's certificate (TEFL/TESOL/TESL/CELTA/DELTA etc.) to increase my salary. I'm going to do one of them for sure, maybe even multiple, but finishing my university degree in the next few months takes precedence.

    That said, I don't know how much time I spend on 1) and 2) exactly. 1) should be around 5-8 hours a month. 2) is way more variable, maybe between 10-30 hours a month.

    • Like 2
  18. There are many things I'd react to, but I'm just gonna go to the crux of why you started journaling again:

    On 9/9/2023 at 2:39 PM, Pochatok said:

    @james1 It's interesting how you tie that to your goals- I tend to treat it as a more impulsive/subconscious response. To me, saying "my brain [does something to hurt me]" is a bit antagonizing, and whenever those thoughts appear in my head, I attempt to reframe it as "my brain attempts to help me but [does something to hurt me] in the process/as a result]". Helps me feel a bit more self-compassion and treat whatever may be happening as not as detrimental 💛

    I've never thought of it in these terms, so thanks for that! I'm almost always thinking something like: "I should know better, but because I don't, I'm gonna put these obstacles in the way and hope for the best."

    What's worked for me on my desktop computer was to set up permanent blockers for news. I've never watched porn on my desktop. I also normally spend more time on my desktop than on my phone. News and porn have been a problem for me only on my phone, where it's surprisingly harder to get rid of them; or rather to install a system that would discourage me 100% when I crave porn. I was porn-free from last August to December last year and I haven't been on such a streak since.

    17 hours ago, Pochatok said:

    Yesterday was another relapse in pornography- simply wanted to acknowledge that and work through what happened. AND ALSO, want to acknowledge that this is outside of my regular "reflection hours", and I am feeling a bit rushed/uneasy. Yet, I know that this is the right thing to do in this moment.

    It was a moment of high stress- I just came from work, and my instant thought was to "relax". And at the moment, the problem is that few other activities offer the same instant high, with reading being the closest. Watching anything on Youtube doesn't feel that fulfilling (though that could change!), meditation is an effort, reading is also just a bit of effort, and podcasts are definitely an effort. Reading is the one to offer an actual distraction- all other activities I tend to zoom out on unless I am putting in the effort... 

    I will keep on finding more entertaining books to read, and perhaps will start to play again with Legos? 

    Let's get to the rest of the day, and I look forward to a full reflection tomorrow evening.

    In contrast to you, I don't think I've felt "badly stressed" for several months now, so I don't think my porn usage is due to stress. I just crave something that "fires me up" every now and then. I had a useful and good yesterday, really without any negative emotions during the day. I was genuinely content and mentally tired (but maybe I need to get more physically tired on a regular basis and see if it helps). But right before my bedtime, a thought appeared: "How about some porn?" I just decided to keep lying in my bed, as I set up a new system of blocks yesterday and I fell asleep shortly after. The craving comes from somewhere deep down and I can't figure out where or why, as it just appears out of nowhere.

    Therefore, I don't think there's a way to make the rest of my life better/different, which would in effect cure my porn problem. I decided to go with the solution that I should just simply stop. The alternative of looking for "something new and exciting" would be incompatible with the current relationship I have with my girlfriend. She's attractive, both physically and personally, so I don't believe I'm necessarily looking for sexually attractive women in porn to compensate for her. That written, I remember you writing about a partner of yours in the past; having a person to lean on in times of imminent relapse or somebody talk this through could be helpful.

    I did a lot of sentence editing of the text as I was writing, so I hope it's coherent and maybe even useful 🙂

    • Like 1
  19. On 9/14/2023 at 2:33 AM, BooksandTrees said:

    Huge improvement to my life was quitting social media. My mood and temper have greatly improved. 

     

    On 9/11/2023 at 2:25 PM, Amphibian220 said:

    Day 1 of no social networks.

    Upon reading this, I blocked/uninstalled News and YouTube from my phone. I also cleaned up my FB and LinkedIn interests to have only relevant business news there, perhaps just with a few of my interests mixed there. Gotta be persistent.

    • Like 2
  20. On 9/3/2023 at 8:11 PM, BooksandTrees said:

    I've been reading and writing more frequently now that my big house projects are complete. I'm almost done with another chapter of my book. 

    How were the house projects? My project to get my grandma a new kitchen has been going on for several months. It is heavily influenced by the fact that I won't be the primary user, the travel distance to her and the fact that there were/are many unpredictable problems popping up along the way. It's been a drag, even though I can objectively say I've done maybe half the work already.

    My girlfriend coined the idea of living together a few times. I think we'd work and live well together too, but based on my experience above, heaven forbid I'm gonna start furnishing a new flat in the next few months.

    On 9/3/2023 at 11:28 PM, BooksandTrees said:

    I just think it's important to say that because I used to play runescape and other games for 6 to 18 hours a day. After quitting, I thought I needed to do new hobbies that long. The thing is, you can't do every hobby for 6 to 18 hours a day unless you're camping, hunting, or going on a safari. It's just not going to happen. That's why I tell everyone, and a lot of articles tell everyone, to learn to accept boredom. 

    Life isn't meant to be an 18 hour series of time blocks for your specific hobby. That's why we get brain fog after playing games. It's not fog, you're mentally exhausted. Which gets me back to my day of nothing. I think I I'm exhausted and just needed to rest. So I did. 

     

    On 9/4/2023 at 11:49 AM, Amphibian220 said:

    It is not only entertainment that consumes people, but work too. People have to disengage from too much of one thing and serve their needs during the day. You are not a cog of the society as much as it would want you to become so. So it is essentail we disconnect, even risk losing a job to have the life mission we want. The uncertainty of these actions can be used to advantage. Some people think uncertainty is bad, I think a degree of uncertainty helps in becoming strong because you start trusting yourself.

     

    On 9/5/2023 at 1:20 AM, Pochatok said:

    There is some wonderful books on boredom (with the word in the title- have you read any?) that argue that is precisely this feeling/experience that has led humanity to cascade into a civilization. Boredom is the ideal soil for peak creativity; that's the space where brightest ideas snap into awareness.

    I still feel tired after my Georgian holiday, even after a day at home. It's going to take me a while to get bored myself! Those two weeks also allowed me to step back and to gain perspective on the multitude of projects I've been working on. They are many, but once I'm caught up, they'll get segmented into half-hour or hour long blocks with pauses in between. I'm looking forward to being bored and being in the moment just with myself. Maybe it'll come later this day, as I don't have a specific plan for today.

    On 9/9/2023 at 2:19 PM, Pochatok said:

    I'm feeling you so much with the "pushes" at work. As a student, I had some idea of what "working a lot" is, but having an actual 9-5 is just such a different type of labor... I've been feeling a lot of frustration lately, struggling to maintain same productivity off-work as I used to outside of class... 

    As @BooksandTrees wrote above, it's hardly realistic to expect yourself to do something for many hours a day effectively, especially without segmentation. I'm currently catching up on my projects by jumping between activities, both fun and important, to create a healthy balance and to hop back into the rhythm.

    I mostly have classes with my students in the morning and late afternoon/evening, meaning my work load is naturally segmented. I have also found out that to focus on my students for more than 8 hours a day is tough and that I am not as sharp afterwards when they need assistance.

    An insight: Granted the nature of my work, I also spent a lot of time on "off-work but work" activities - emails, networking, seminars, invoices, preparation for classes etc. I even started marking them by a different color in my calendar last month, as the average of these is 30 hours a month in my last 5 months. These activities then effectively add up to 20-30% of my workload a month. I can make my students (or their companies) compensate me for that, but you likely can't tell the college to up your salary 20% because you worked 20% more hours this month.

    Regardless, I hope you're able to find a good balance between work and your other important life activities 🙂

    • Like 2
  21. 3rd September - 15th September:

    I'm back from my holiday in Georgia. It was a pretty intense experience. That was mostly due to the fact that we spent a lot of time planning our trips and on the go between different places. Both my girlfriend and I agreed that it was good, but that 10 days of being in this mode was just enough. I'm however happy about how we handled these challenges. The nature was of course beautiful and we got to experience how people live elsewhere. Truly a different world.

    I already had some lessons with students yesterday. Gonna spend the weekend acclimating and catching up on stuff that piled up in my absence.

    • Like 1
  22. On 9/3/2023 at 8:19 PM, BooksandTrees said:

    Have you sent any follow up to the tutor or did he reply when you sent it to him?

    Yes, I sent a second email before leaving for my holiday two weeks ago. It's true we last talked about it in person a year ago, though I let him know my time schedule then. I am decided to visit his office on Monday to find out what's up.

  23. 21st August - 2nd September:

    My girlfriend got me a massage voucher and I went there last Tuesday. It wasn't anything special, however it's in the back of my mind to do something to help me rehabilitate my back. I spend a lot of time sitting and I sat even more when I gamed.

    I got two new pairs of shoes: one for general purpose walking/hiking and one for more social meetings. My old shoes were quite run down and it was high time I got new ones.

    ---

    I'm somewhat upset today because:

    1) My girlfriend and I are leaving for Georgia today evening. This includes packing, preparing and the whole shebang.

    2) I picked up my PC headphones in the morning and found out the sound is distorted. I don't know what happened overnight, but the bottom line is I need to fix this problem either today or after I return from Georgia.

    3) My tutor still hasn't responded to the draft of my thesis I sent him two weeks ago. It's possible he's just been on holiday or that there is some glitch in the mailing system, since they're reworking the whole uni IT environment. I'm gonna send him the current version and if he doesn't respond, I'm just going to ask some other professor who has time or interest to help me out, because I can't wait forever.

  24. @GrainSiloEnthusiast You're not alone. Either in cravings or witnessing rather strange relationships.

    My mom was first hospitalized about ten years ago due to a mental breakdown. I think the story was that she was feeling stressed, her friend gave her some pills, it didn't go well and she fainted. Some three years ago she was sent to disability pension. She has had episodes where she was just blabbing random words and she is diagnosed bipolar. I believe that if it wasn't for the rest of our family, she'd be in some sort of asylum permanently.

    My father is luckily mentally fine, although I'd argue their relationship is very far from a husband-wife one now. My mom depends on him like a child/teenager would on its parents. He decided to take up the role.

    5 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    I think if there's even the slightest chance of my father ever being a decent person, it's through losing my mom. He needs to face REAL, permanent consequences to his actions! Unfortunately most Narcissists do not recover due to the nature of the disorder, they can't see themselves as having done anything wrong, they will even completely disassociate themselves from any mistakes they make. He might just blame her for everything in the end.

    For another story I'm going to provide some background. Three years ago, I tried dating a girl. I was rejected. It took me some time re-aligning my perception of her, but I got over myself and we stayed friends. Looking at it from a long-term perspective, it was a blessing and I am convinced it wouldn't work out.

    Her current relationship is telling. She has a savior syndrome. That means she'll do absolutely anything to justify her boyfriend's behavior. I think they've been on and off for the last two years. She writes that she doesn't want to see him anymore and in ten minutes that maybe they'll meet in the evening.

    I don't think her boyfriend is a bad person. He has a well-paid job, fun for me to talk to every now and then, but has uncontrolled outbursts of emotions and ADHD. Sometimes a bit of drug abuse as well. He beat her once too. During his latest fit he just started jumping on a random car in the street and might even face prison for that.

    Yet strangely, they still are in contact. I think they both love getting high on emotion, in a way that "it doesn't matter if the emotion the other person causes is good or bad; what matters is that it's intense". As you put it, I think he can start getting his life together like your father, but he needs her to really leave.

    -

    As for myself, I still face masturbation struggles. Coming back to your father, my ex-girlfriend had to break up with me almost five years ago too, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to get my life on a better track. I think that the relationship with my current girlfriend has become more challenging recently, as we are discussing and sorting out the manner of our communication and expectations. I'm willing to improve though 🙂

    • Like 1
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