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D_Cozy

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  1. Hello everyone, unfortunately I ended up relapsing into bad net browsing habits on the 5th. I escalated from zero hours spent on sites like Reddit and Twitter (or X) to 5~8h per day. My screentime doesn't lie. I wasted many work hours in particular, which I'm ashamed of doing. So I'm going to start from 0 again. I retreaded back to tons of discussion forums as an escape that overtook my work and free time too, and it was at a point when there were a lot of changes going on. My in-laws dog passing away. My son's school bus schedule wasn't great for a few days (didn't show up one day, dropped him off real late another day). Work has been getting busier and more demanding. My wife and son are at a new daycare. So a lot of schedule adjustments, some greiving and more things to do for work. Add it all up... and I retreaded into bad habits. My wife pointed it out Friday when she noticed me glued to my phone screen (it was always my phone, as my computer has that extension) and we talked it through. I'm very lucky that she is so understanding; I have to be better at communicating with her too so I don't go off "phubbing." I am ready now to try again and be better. Quitting is hard. I remember how it felt impossible back with the gacha games I used to play. But I'm going to try again. To hopefully improve; I've made a comittment to not use my phone during work days, and keep a notepad beside me to write out any thoughts that come to me so I can focus on them later rather than have them interrupt my thinking and focus.
  2. It has been a pretty busy long weekend, with preparing for back to school. My oldest is officially a kindergardener today. Will post highlights of each day: 2023-09-02 Day 35. We went to a farm just outside the city. I attached the only video I could without my kids, it's a bunny eating some grass. Cuteness alert. The kids had a blast there too; my brother in law was down for the week and they came with their two kids too. Very fun! 2023-09-03 Day 36. Went for an early walk with my dogs and oldest right in the morning, the Sunday and onwards has been brutally hot; in the 30s Celsius (85ish Farenheit) during afternoons. We are in a heat warning. Mornings are a bit cooler but it's crazy how hot it is considering it's September. Sadly the highlight of this day isn't a happy one. My in-laws had a 12yo Golden Doodle that passed away 😞 I always assumed he was sorta gonna be around while my kids went away to school, I had known him for 8 years of my life since meeting my wife (back when we first started dating, back before we were even parents). So even though he wasn't my dog, it still hurts saying goodbye; but he had a great and long life for a dog, and I find comfort knowing that he passed peacefully. 2023-09-04 Day 37. Cleaning day basically, not much to say with my kid going to school the next day. My mother in law helped us quite a bit: her choice, even with the dog passing away... she doesn't show it or talk about it, but she is taking it hard. It's how she deals with it, she just decides to stay super busy instead. I took turns with my wife entertaining my kids as the other one cleaned, + got school clothes and lunch items organized. Since it's really, really hot out still, this is one of those days where I put on excergames like the Jump Rope challenge and Switch Sports. My kids are still young and not very good at them, but well the point is to get them moving without risking heatstroke outside, and they do a good job of it. Grateful for Life and the many moments it offers. In grieving, I reflect back at how precious our time is, and it gets me to really appreciate more conscious decisions on how we spend our time together. Looking forward to my oldest going to school! 20230902_094440_1.mp4
  3. 2023-09-01 Day 34 of no mindless browsing. Slow day at work before labour day weekend, with people going on vacations before it. But I have a fun story. For dinner, there were food trucks in front of the street, so we went as a family. One which grabbed my attention had several hot sauces lined up in front. I'm very much a fan of spicy food; I grew up in Mexico, and even the candy I ate as a kid was spicy. So I am pretty used to the heat too. I first tried a green siracha hot sauce with caramel flavoring on the fries; it was not spicy at all for me, very mild. I let my wife try a fry - she does not ever eat spicy food BTW - and even she found it tolerable. The flavoring was very nice too! I will have to figure out what it is called. My main meal was a chicken burger with a very spicy habanero sauce called Mr. Pain; just a few drops on it was enough to make me feel the heat. Also very good flavoring, but at 1m scoville units I really wouldn't recommend this to just anybody; only if you really like spicy. Nothing could've prepared me for what I was about to try next. The couple that runs this food truck orders their hot sauces from a placd Pepper Palace, and their hottest - called The End; Flatline - is 7million scoville units. The guy described it as being made with 45 pounds of peppers grinded and put in a 1oz hot sauce bottle. He challenged me to have 1 single drop, which he provided in a disposable cup. If I could handle the heat for 5 minutes with no assistance (no milk, no water, no food) I would win a shirt. Before me there were 2 other guys. Both of them were tearing up after just one drop. The first one asked for water after the first minute and failed. The second one ran and puked in the bushes (yes really), failing as well, and which really got me concerned for what I signed up for. Then came my turn. Wow seriously, just one drop is all you need. It's blazing hot. And it's not so bad at first either; my tongue started to tingle, slowly following to my lips. Usual stuff. But after that first minute... it hits your throat. After the 2nd minute it moves on to the sides of your cheeks, roof of your mouth, and your sinuses. Then after the 3rd minute, it's your stomach, your eyes, forehead, and even your ears. And it doesn't stop. It was hot, and my eyes teared up fully. I am proud to say, I still did it. I held on for 5 minutes. Didn't spit it out or anything. So I'll be getting an email with where to get my shirt in the next week at some point. Was it worth it? Probably not haha, I still feel pain even now! But it was actually a highlight, and a pretty unique experience nonetheless. And my wife of course took funny pictures of me. Grateful for Trying The End sauce once. Which is enough for a lifetime. Looking forward to Tomorrow we are going to a farm that does tours. Should be a really good time for the kids.
  4. 2023-08-31 (written Thursday night, posted Friday morning) Day 33 of no browsing to waste time. I went to get some Mac&Cheese from a food truck for lunch, which was delicious; it was a Mexican style pasta basically, with pico de gallo and sour cream. A bit expensive at 15 though so it's a treat. They come on a schedule and park across the street, which is probably for the best in my case lol. I hope that they keep coming during the Fall too. Decent work day. I took a proactive measure to talk with one of my teammates that the thing I'm working on would get done Monday morning instead, since it got more complicated last night. He really appreciated that heads up, so tick one thing to keep up! Just managed to hit the gym after work. Not for as long as I would've liked, but a little bit is better. I started with light barbells, 20lbs, for now and did biceps and triceps. I'm sore now lol. I'll aim to go Friday for a run. Grateful for The value of journaling; I have noticed a difference in my productivity over the last few days, and I've noticed I'm setting better screen time examples for my kids too as they copy my actions. Of course I recognize that there's also productive message boards, this forum being one, with purpose and intention being what matters. Looking forward to Keeping active moving forward and making this a commitment. I should think about a commitment list too and post it, for clarity to myself. Wil work on that over the weekend. Oh yea and it's a long weekend!
  5. 2023-08-30 (written Thursday) Day 32. I'm on call for today till next week, which means I am the engineer that mitigates urgent issues even after hours. I rotate with other engineers to keep it fair. The thing I was doing at work got a lot more complicated. I'm glad that we have development environments where I can break things to find that out, but it complicated my development work. I also had to stay up late mitigating an issue, which is no fun; so instead of going to bed at 11pm latest, I went to bed at midnight. Not the worst but I am feeling that missed hour this morning. On the other hand I kept my commitments to myself and to my family... mostly; I read through that spiderman life story book with my oldest before bed, finished it in time before Friday to give it back to the library. It's not really an age appropriate story for him, it's more for teenagers and up; but he still is really into spiderman, the characters and the villains, and he isn't phased by mild violence either (my wife says he gets it from her haha). I didn't go to the gym though... but I did go for a long 3.5k walk outside with my dogs during lunch, which is longer than the usual ~2k. I made a mindful decision to at least make that a more active part of my day. My dogs were wiped out due to the distance, which is better than due to the heat (it's getting cooler finally). I'll have to try to go to the gym Thursday though, I would like to start lifting some light weights again. Grateful for Keeping myself honest Looking forward to staying committed to going to the gym
  6. These are the best kinds of friends 🙂 sounds like a great person.
  7. Hey GrainSilo, I feel for you. I have gone through somewhat similar circumanstances myself. My parents were both physically and verbally abusive towards me and my 3 siblings growing up; corporal punishment, sometimes with objects, and demeaning insults on our appearance and intelligence. Almost every day they would yell and fight in front of us, often yelling at us too. They are also both alcoholics, growing up they would drink every day to the point of at least getting buzzed. I still have some trauma leftover from that, something that I don't think will go away ever. I would even say they are a factor for why I started abusing weed to cope during my teens, and also why I started escaping into online gacha games after getting married; it was easier to say I was busy doing other things (weed and games) than dealing with them and the stress they caused (eventually to my wife too during and after our wedding; they were very controlling). It was actually when I detoxed myself from gacha games, that's when I worked out the time and courage to set boundaries with them; to which they got very defensive towards and led to us not speaking with them for several months. Things got harder before they got easier. My partner herself also suffers from situational anxiety and situational depression. So I get how you feel in regards to dealing with episodes; when she goes through them, it will affect my mental health and similarly affects my work performance. It's very hard to deal, the worst was after we went through a miscarriage which is a traumic enough event; I had to encourage her continously to seek a doctor's appointment so that she could get proper mental help. Through that there was one thought I kept top of mind; her depression and anxiety doesn't define her, she is more than that. Now I know my situation is pretty different, but hopefully it can help you too with where you find similarities. All I can do is share my own experience. One thing that really helps me is this theory called "The Circle of Control, Influence and Concern". The link I have has a diagram to help explain it. Things inside the inner circle are thigs that you control, that's the circle of control; that includes how I react and how much time my family and I spend with my parents in my above scenario with them. The middle circle is the circle of influence; which includes the boundaries I set up with my parents. The outer circle is the circle of concern; that includes what my parents do and how they act. I like that theory myself because it helps me put into perspective the things I should spend my energy and time towards (the things I can control) without letting the things outside of it expend too much mental energy. Now that's easier said than done, and it is also not to say that you don't care for your parents or your partner; but by accepting that you don't control what they decide and do, that helps alliaviate a lot of mental effort and put it into areas which you can influence and control. I really encourage you to draw it out on a board or similar, and try putting together some sticky notes with things that are top of mind. Then arrange and categorize them on the the three circles. I hope that also helps with your Animal Crossing cravings too 😛 Indeed you have too much control in that game, over how villagers dress, how your island/town looks, even the catchphrases they use (I think?). It has been a while since I played the Switch game so I might be misremembering. But the point is, life just doesn't work that way. So your cravings right now make total sense. The three circles exercise is nice for that reason though, because it puts into perspective that we don't need absolute control to feel empowered. Best wishes, D_Cozy
  8. cheers @richter, thanks! 2023-08-29 (written Wednesday) Day 31, but a tough day; the litter robot broke - this is a self-cleaning litterbox that automatically spins and dumps clumps into a waste basket. It got stuck while doing a cycle, upside down, so since my cat could not use it, I had to step away from work while I fixed that. But even after resetting it and getting it to neutral position (which at least my cat could use it then), the control panel stopped responding. I talked with customer support about it, which took more time out of my work day due to their hours, and tried everything before the person assisting me concluded I had to order a new base replacement. That's $500 CAD which hurts to spend. After that 2h time suck I said "F-it", and just went back to work so I wouldn't fall farther behind than I already had. I talked about it after work with my wife, who is now back to work herself, and she agreed it was worth replacing; even if a standard litter box is much cheaper, she doesn't like that they are open nor that they need to be cleaned out frequently. I honestly don't mind just getting a standard one myself, I am fine scooping it out every day. But it's her preference over mine (happy wife, happy life), so we ended up getting a new base; it also does save me time scooping admittedly, since cleaning that out happens much less frequently (and she is pregnant so she can't be cleaning litter for a while). On a positive note though I turned to meditation and self-reflection, over mindless browsing, to help me calm down after that frustrating event. Meditating is something I could try making a daily habit of more often, even when things are good; practicing to understand the mind, acknowledging my emotions, and letting them go without defining me. Grateful for not wasting time to cope with hardships, building better and more productive habits instead Looking forward to reading the final library book with my oldest later tonight (a Spiderman book) and then going to the library Thursday to drop them off at the drop-box. We'll be going on the weekend again to peruse more books. I'm gonna go to the gym Wednesday as well, I forgot to yesterday. I also woke up extremely early today (Wednesday), at 4:30am, because my cat was making a ruckus in the kitchen; my mother in law brought muffins over for us, which was very nice, but my cat tried to open the tupperware containers by pushing them off the kitchen counter. He was being a little 💩 lol. Since I was awake I took that opportunity in the morning to catch up on work from yesterday, and I feel much better about where I am so far. Anyways, that's part one of the 30ths entry, I'll write part 2 tomorrow morning
  9. Moderation is not for everyone, it's great that you are recognizing that this early. When I detoxed myself, it was hard to not go on the Play store and browse for some other mindlessly distracting game at nights; specially at nights, which is when my kid would be asleep and I'd feel like I have nothing to do. One of the things I turned to was reading to fill the time. If you like sci-fi, I would recommend Neuromancer by William Gibson. It follows a cyberspace hacker (the internet, before the internet) as he tries to stop an AI from merging with another to become a super-program. This is a book written and published in 1984, and yet it has aged really well to date. It is a complex book as well, which is good because it kept me busy for a solid month as I pieced it together.
  10. Yeah it can be a bit scary, but it also very convenient that all my work is automatically tracked; no need for me to justify how I spend my time, my manager can just see the work logs through the ticketing system and is happy as long as most items I committed to on Monday are done by Friday. I'm sure there's a day-by-day order system for restaurants and pizza shops too, right? 🤔 I recommend checking out La Guardia, it'd be great inspiration. There are never enough stories out there about immigration politics and discrimination, the more awareness brought to them (even if through fiction) the more we can all understand each other better. Let me know if you ever want a proofreader 😄 --- 2023-08-28 (written Tuesday) Day 30; it's really been a month since I stopped browsing for hours and hours on social media and fandoms! This will be a more work focused update from m. I got feedback about my work habits from my manager, and here are the non-business things I can share: Keep using a whiteboard; I bought one a few months ago and my manager said she noted a HUGE difference in engagement and detail orientation during meetings. So if anyone else here works from home, you can take away that buying your own whiteboard could really help you as well. Maintain weekly communication with overall team; even prototype work is good to share as general status updates, and now I know. Manager was wondering about my increased productivity; I was honest with her and told her that I started tracking my screen times more rigorously, she was happy to hear that. So that extension is coming in handy and others are noticing. A goal I'm gonna set for myself; the company I work for gives out bonuses on a percentage of my income. That percentage amount is based on my level of impact and effort working throughout the fiscal year. The maximum possible is 20%, something that I'd love to shoot for eventually, but I'm going to start with a smaller goal. My goal is to increase my bonus percentage from 8% to 10% for the next fiscal year. I think this is a good goal that will keep me journaling and reflecting. The rest of my day was making dinner (frozen chicken pot-pie, which took 1h and 30m to cook in oven) and keeping my kids busy. I read books to them. Oh yeah, and that reminds me, they have library books due back soon. Grateful for Feedback. It lets me know where I am now, and set a goal to keep me on track with maintaining focused habits Looking forward to Going back to the library before Friday to check out more books.
  11. I don't think you have to quit reading, to me it doesn't sound like you are addicted. You might be experiencing problematic habits, but not to the point that it's taking over more important aspects of your life. It sounds like you know of a time when you had to put priorities first, like your studies ahead of reading books. It also sounds like you get your work done and only read your personal interest books when you have time. But there are some things I encourage you to think about: Are you sacrificing sleep in order to read more? A good nights rest is important, and usually in most media addictions that is the first thing to go. Do you read carefully and take in what you are reading, or do you speed through books regardless of quality? Same thing can happen with binge-watching and video game addictions, where we constantly seek the next show/game (session) even if it's just occupying our minds rather than actually enjoying it. How much of what you read do you remember and reflect on? Or do you find like you have trouble recalling a book you read when it comes up in discussion or read a review of it? Focus on quality, not quantity of what you read. Are you part of a book club in your area? Do you discuss what you read with others? Great way to turn a solitary activity into a social one, and a great way to get different perspectives and insights. You might or might not have an issue based on the above, but instead of fully quitting, I think it'd be better to build better habits and changing your mindset when it comes to reading. The last thing to think about; you're now sharing your time with someone else. That's an adjustment for the both of you. And it seems like this is usually triggered by boredom too; so as an example of changing habits and mindset, what can you two do to change "sitting and doing nothing or some small talk," as you described it? Are there other activities that you'd be interested in trying together to not feel like that? It's impossible and unadvisable to spend 100% of your time together. It's also alright to be in the same room together doing other things separately; so it's okay if you want to read a book while he does his own thing from time to time. Just make sure to balance that with time spent talking and doing activities together. If you want some ideas, hobbies that I like doing with my wife are board games, watching a show or a movie together, go on walks outside, sign up for cooking classes from time to time... we've also read the same book together and discussed it, sort-of like a private book club between us. Just something to consider and talk about together; it's important to ensure you have a balance between spending time together without trampling over your interdependence.
  12. It's been a busy weekend! I put the wrong day in the post above, so I just corrected it. Multi-post for last 3 days: 2023-08-25 Day 27 Friday was pretty productive, and I know that because of looking at my work calendar and work-logs today; the benefit of working with software is that everything is recorded. I managed to get all my tasks for the week done by today, despite other priorities coming up last minute; that always feels great. Our friend came over and checked out our apartment for the first time since we moved here, which was only 2 months ago today. Our kids fell asleep late around 9:30, they got real excited to see him (at least it's a weekend). He left shortly before 11pm, late night for us too, went straight to bed afterwards. 2023-08-26 Day 28. I spent most of the day with my kids, while my wife went shopping for groceries and back-to-school things for my oldest with her mom. While my kids napped, I entertained myself reading La Guardia by Nnedi Okarofor, Tana Ford & James Devlin; this is an adult sci-fi graphic novel, which follows a Nigerian doctor who treats alien patients. These are peaceful aliens, which are rigorously checked through the interstellar airports customs and sometimes turned back. Although it is a very fun and playful story, it also echoes very real and heartbreaking issues about discrimination and racism. It's a fairly short read too (expect to spend about 1h and 30m), so to anyone reading here I would recommend checking it out for a quirky but insightful story about immigration. When my wife came back, I went for a jog in the treadmill. I'm thinking I can step it up soon from the 2~2.5km I've been doing. 2023-08-27 (written Monday) Day 29. My in-laws took the kids for 2h in the morning, which gave my wife a chance to work on cleaning out our closet; still has a fair amount of things packed away. Decluttering is one of the most satisfying things for me, it always feels good to see a part of the room get more clear as we put more stuff away. I was pretty sore after lifting several boxes, going up and down to the building's recycling room too, so I counted that as my exercise for the day. I read more of Dracula at night, only have 6 chapters to go now before finishing my re-read. One thing that is very much of its time is the treatment of women; I read through the part where Mina is asked to stay out of the men's adventure going inside the Count's house. She very much takes a support role... at least for this part of the story. I suppose I shouldn't spoil more, it'd be best to really read it if you haven't. Grateful for Staying busy with productive tasks and good reads Looking forward to More decluttering, and selling things in bulk. There's a store called BeatGoesOn where I live in Canada, which will take a lot of entertainment for a small but reasonable price. The things they don't take, we'll be donating through other means.
  13. I am looking into the Silo series now after reading through your entries, they sound like my thing. I'll be sure to check them out at some point next year, when I get through my current stack of "next to read" books 😅
  14. Same. It is really irritating to see ads for games on both the Play Store and the Galaxy Store on my phone. Notice too how every single game in mobile is a copy of some other popular game too, because everyone wants a piece of that ad-revenue pie. I got addicted to mobile gaming myself (live service and online multiplayer focused games in particular), and it's what I just absolutely stay away from now. It's just mindless distraction, quick and conveniently available highs, just so they can plug ads for identical games before and after each very short level or as a way to offer you rewards for watching one. Understanding that helps me stay away from mobile games, even when I see ads for games that I think might be "fun." Maybe it can help you too.
  15. What matters is intent and prioritization. Are you playing, or observing, games because you find them enjoyable, or because you have to? Are you appreciating the music, story, narrative, gameplay approaches to become a more cultured individual, or because you feel you'll get left behind in the discussion? It's fine to appreciate, discuss, analyze, and criticize games as art; so long as you are also getting to the truly important things first. It's like you said in regards to priorities; entertainment in general is last on the list. Are you getting to the more important things first? Are you blowing off other more important and pressing tasks? Are you using game discussions to escape and bottle up hardships? Etcetera. You can analyze, appreciate and criticize games, and still have it be a problem; they're not mutually exclusive necessarily. There's a line between having a hobby and having a vice; most of us in this forum come here because it became the latter and took over more important aspects of our lives. Wheatbiscuit has the right idea in the post above; do away with it if it's a destructive habit, rather than a beneficial one. The only time I can see analyzing and criticizing games as truly important would be if it is your job, your main source of income; which is a real and legitimate career path. Otherwise it's just like any other form of entertainment; it should be a hobby that you engage with on your free time, or something to stay away from if you can't enforce a hard stop on it. It very much comes down to us individually to determine whether it's a healthy hobby or an overindulgence. Personally, I have stayed away from community boards and discussions (fandoms) for 25 days now. Engaging in discourse about games story and narratives can be pretty fulfilling, discussion is not a bad thing and in fact it can also give you other perceptions and opinions; even if you disagree with them, it helps reaffirm your stance too. But I found myself overindulging in it, making it one of the primary time wasters. Besides, particularly gaming fandoms through online message boards rarely tend to form good arguments; I can count on one hand how many times I came out of Discord or Reddit discussions actually gaining a new perspective or a level-headed discussion. A lot of commenters there are simply in it to waste time, to just post something so they leave their mark, some of them to get a rise out of others. Initially I started journaling to spend less time on those fandom boards. But so far, I haven't really felt like going back to them is really that productive; so I pretty much am on the path to quit online discussion boards when it comes to fandoms I like. I am focusing instead on writing and journaling my own analysis and opinion privately; I use it for my reference, sometimes to share online in my own journal here for self reflection (in the case of tv and books) or discussing with friends and family IRL. I find those to be much more fruitful.
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