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Alex

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Everything posted by Alex

  1. Alex

    Daily Journal

    90 days complete. Cross-post from the Main Room. The past 90 days have been an eye-opening experience for me. Before the detox, I would regularly lose 4+ hours of time gaming and not realize it, to the detriment of my career and social life. After the detox, it feels like my life is finally moving forward again and I can interact with the world around me. I'd like to take this opportunity to share my story and thoughts about the detox program. I've learned more about myself in the past 3 months than I have in the past several years. I had always believed that if I put my mind to something, I could accomplish it no matter what. This fallacy finally became apparent when I had gone 6 months barely working on my dissertation while logging in somewhere between 700-1000 hours of game time (around 40 hours per week). That number is both staggering and sobering to me, as at a writing pace of 1 page per hour, I could have finished my dissertation about 8 times over. But instead, I was just gaming. At the end of that period of time, the stress that had been accumulating from my ignoring my dissertation finally started to manifest as physical symptoms. My night vision was gone due to my pupils not dilating properly, I had constant anxiety which I never had previously, and I started having what I can only describe as panic attacks when I would lay down to sleep at night. This problem got so bad that at one point that I had to wake up my housemate at 2am because I thought I was having a stroke. In July of this year I had a revelation about my situation. One day while planning to work on my dissertation I instead started gaming, as was habit at this point. The first time I looked up from that particular game session about 4-5 hours had passed. What was different about this event was that I noticed something. I had started the day feeling pretty depressed and overall sluggish, and after that particular binge I was feeling amazing. It felt like I had finally accomplished everything I ever wanted in life. In that moment, I took a step back and asked what had changed? Why did I start the day feeling terrible and now feel like a champion when the only thing I had done was play a game that wasn't even a favorite of mine. Suddenly, like a whirlwind, it all fell into place. In that moment of elation and confusion, I was able to recall an article I read about videogames and dopamine (here's one such example: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-compass-pleasure/201110/video-games-can-activate-the-brains-pleasure-circuits-0 ) The physical symptoms I was experiencing felt EXACTLY like what is described in that article. It all made sense. As a scientist, my role is to research and find the facts. So I started researching. What I found was a wealth of information about, and people that were experiencing, the same phenomenon with gaming. I was not unique, not an isolated case. Now that I knew what the problem was I could start to address it directly. My internet research eventually led me to Cam Adair and gamequitters. After watching Cam's TED talk, I knew I was on the right track. I proceeded to the gamequitters forum, and began to read people's stories. It was a rare moment in my life where I felt I resonated with their stories and Cam's. I felt a connection that was both surprising and uplifting. A change had to be made, and I signed up for the Respawn program. H-o-l-y-s-h-i-t did that document describe everything I was going through to the letter, and provide sound advice for moving forward. Realizing that I was no longer in control of my habits, I did the only logical thing. The next day, on July 31st, 2016, I sold/uninstalled every videogame I owned. The driving force for this was multifaceted: I was upset at myself that I had let the problem progress this far, I was emotional about feeling a unprecedented connection with strangers, and I was ecstatic about finally finding a way, after what felt like an eternity, to move forward. The 90-day detox went smoother than I had expected. Still cruising off the high of finding a solution, I didn't really feel the craving to game during the first 2 weeks. Following the advice I found here, I filled my time with other enjoyable activities; such as going to the gym, playing guitar, watching anime (though I later realized this was a gaming substitute for binging and eliminated it as well), and going to sleep earlier than I had in years. Daily meditation via the Headspace app (amazing) also proved incredibly helpful in managing the anxiety, which disappeared completely over the course of 2-3 weeks. I did start feeling the urge to game toward the end of the detox, but this again proved to be a valuable learning experience. Now that I was aware of the problem, I was could recognized when I was triggered and determine the cause. My trigger turned out to be nothing more than medium/high levels of stress related to work deadlines. I could predict those to an extent, and now know how to manage the stress better. The 90 days I went without games is the longest period of time I've gone since I started gaming at age 4. Thats 25 years straight of gaming weekly, if not daily. This fact still blows my mind. So here I am, 91 days later, and my life is finally moving forward again. I'm in better shape than I have been in 8+ years, my social skills are improving, I'm defending my Ph.D in less than 2 weeks, and already have my first job out of school. I feel alive again after a 1.5 year period of feeling hollowed out, depressed, unmotivated, and not knowing how to move forward. I have to give a shout-out to Cam here, as without his words and efforts to build this community, I may not have found the answer in time. Thank you, and everyone on gamequitters who shared their stories and gave advice. I owe you all a debt of gratitude. Cheers, -Alex
  2. The past 90 days have been an eye-opening experience for me. Before the detox, I would regularly lose 4+ hours of time gaming and not realize it, to the detriment of my career and social life. After the detox, it feels like my life is finally moving forward again and I can interact with the world around me. I'd like to take this opportunity to share my story and thoughts about the detox program. I've learned more about myself in the past 3 months than I have in the past several years. I had always believed that if I put my mind to something, I could accomplish it no matter what. This fallacy finally became apparent when I had gone 6 months barely working on my dissertation while logging in somewhere between 700-1000 hours of game time (around 40 hours per week). That number is both staggering and sobering to me, as at a writing pace of 1 page per hour, I could have finished my dissertation about 8 times over. But instead, I was just gaming. At the end of that period of time, the stress that had been accumulating from my ignoring my dissertation finally started to manifest as physical symptoms. My night vision was gone due to my pupils not dilating properly, I had constant anxiety which I never had previously, and I started having what I can only describe as panic attacks when I would lay down to sleep at night. This problem got so bad that at one point that I had to wake up my housemate at 2am because I thought I was having a stroke. In July of this year I had a revelation about my situation. One day while planning to work on my dissertation I instead started gaming, as was habit at this point. The first time I looked up from that particular game session about 4-5 hours had passed. What was different about this event was that I noticed something. I had started the day feeling pretty depressed and overall sluggish, and after that particular binge I was feeling amazing. It felt like I had finally accomplished everything I ever wanted in life. In that moment, I took a step back and asked what had changed? Why did I start the day feeling terrible and now feel like a champion when the only thing I had done was play a game that wasn't even a favorite of mine. Suddenly, like a whirlwind, it all fell into place. In that moment of elation and confusion, I was able to recall an article I read about videogames and dopamine (here's one such example: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-compass-pleasure/201110/video-games-can-activate-the-brains-pleasure-circuits-0 ) The physical symptoms I was experiencing felt EXACTLY like what is described in that article. It all made sense. As a scientist, my role is to research and find the facts. So I started researching. What I found was a wealth of information about, and people that were experiencing, the same phenomenon with gaming. I was not unique, not an isolated case. Now that I knew what the problem was I could start to address it directly. My internet research eventually led me to Cam Adair and gamequitters. After watching Cam's TED talk, I knew I was on the right track. I proceeded to the gamequitters forum, and began to read people's stories. It was a rare moment in my life where I felt I resonated with their stories and Cam's. I felt a connection that was both surprising and uplifting. A change had to be made, and I signed up for the Respawn program. H-o-l-y-s-h-i-t did that document describe everything I was going through to the letter, and provide sound advice for moving forward. Realizing that I was no longer in control of my habits, I did the only logical thing. The next day, on July 31st, 2016, I sold/uninstalled every videogame I owned. The driving force for this was multifaceted: I was upset at myself that I had let the problem progress this far, I was emotional about feeling a unprecedented connection with strangers, and I was ecstatic about finally finding a way, after what felt like an eternity, to move forward. The 90-day detox went smoother than I had expected. Still cruising off the high of finding a solution, I didn't really feel the craving to game during the first 2 weeks. Following the advice I found here, I filled my time with other enjoyable activities; such as going to the gym, playing guitar, watching anime (though I later realized this was a gaming substitute for binging and eliminated it as well), and going to sleep earlier than I had in years. Daily meditation via the Headspace app (amazing) also proved incredibly helpful in managing the anxiety, which disappeared completely over the course of 2-3 weeks. I did start feeling the urge to game toward the end of the detox, but this again proved to be a valuable learning experience. Now that I was aware of the problem, I was could recognized when I was triggered and determine the cause. My trigger turned out to be nothing more than medium/high levels of stress related to work deadlines. I could predict those to an extent, and now know how to manage the stress better. The 90 days I went without games is the longest period of time I've gone since I started gaming at age 4. Thats 25 years straight of gaming weekly, if not daily. This fact still blows my mind. So here I am, 91 days later, and my life is finally moving forward again. I'm in better shape than I have been in 8+ years, my social skills are improving, I'm defending my Ph.D in less than 2 weeks, and already have my first job out of school. I feel alive again after a 1.5 year period of feeling hollowed out, depressed, unmotivated, and not knowing how to move forward. I have to give a shout-out to Cam here, as without his words and efforts to build this community, I may not have found the answer in time. Thank you, and everyone on gamequitters who shared their stories and gave advice. I owe you all a debt of gratitude. Cheers, -Alex
  3. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Where can I read your articles about your work, if I may ask? Greetings, Mad Pharmacist Here are the links to my recent publications http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141813015301422 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2015.11.048 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.5b00052 DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.5b00052 Happy to answer any questions.
  4. Alex

    Daily Journal

    My Ph.D is very multidisciplinary. Generally, its in the realm of chemistry and biochemistry. More specifically, in organic synthesis, tissue engineering, and more recently in my new job with plant tissue culture and genetics.
  5. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 88 "Feeling great" The stress is real right now, and I'm feeling the urge to game more now than since before I started the detox. I was able to submit my dissertation for review yesterday, which was a huge milestone. Writing has always been the most arduous task for me, so to have that part of the process behind me is a real game changer. That being said, the oral defense of my degree is still to come, on Nov. 9th. While I'm less worried about the outcome if the exam, it is still makes for a very stressful time in my life. I've decided to take this as a learning experience, realizing that my greatest trigger for binge gaming is not boredom, but stress. Pros and cons to this, but being able to objectively look at the problem is a huge step forward, especially compared to 6 months ago when I didn't know why I was gaming so much. Live and learn right? Based on my count, I'll have completed the 90-day detox this Saturday. I can't believe how fast time went once I devoted myself to work and other activities. The next few weeks are really going to be exciting: This weekend I get to celebrate my 90-days game-free with zero relapses (still amazed at this myself), two weeks from now I'll be celebrating both defending my Ph.D and my birthday on the 12th, and two weeks after that will be a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Definitely great things to look forward to in the next short while! Today I'm grateful for: 1) Finally moving forward, and finishing up school forever 2) Being finished writing my dissertation 3) Again, not having to write my dissertation anymore 4) The feeling of calm after a particularly stressful period of time 5) Refreshingly cold temperatures (super important when you like in upstate NY) 6) Sleep. Oh how I've missed thee. Goals for the present: 1) Successfully complete the 90-day detox! 2) Execute new exercise routine now that stress/time is more manageable 3) Take unstructured evenings time and get back in guitar training 4) Ignore all the gaming hype that is plaguing the internet and my office conversations..... hah!
  6. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 81 "Event Horizon" 81 days and going strong. Was definitely triggered a bit with the news of the new nintendo console coming out soon, which a good friend of mine wanted to chat about. Life has been a whirlwind recently. Finishing up grad school while working full time doesn't leave time for much recreation, for better or worse. Tentative date for my Ph.D defense is Nov. 9th, where if I pass, I'll officially be Dr. Alex. Its still weird to think about. Only 9 days left in my detox, which at the moment, feels just as important a milestone as finishing school forever. I'm starting to brainstorm ideas for the next step after my 90-days. Do I start another 90? Should I stop counting? Maybe moving onto another time-based goal, like 90 days of meditation, or a 90-day body building experiment. Once I find the time, I would really like working out to become less of a necessity and more of a hobby. One of my bigger life goals is to be in noticeably (but not ridiculously) better shape than the average person around me. Not too late to start at almost 29 years old is it? That's probably it for now. I hope to check back in a couple times before the big day, but we'll see what work allows for. Today I'm grateful for: 1) Lifetime friends that are a simple phone call away, and we never miss a beat despite the passage of time. 2) Having the resources to live frugally, and becoming debt free after school 3) Opportunities to grow professionally. After 10 years of post-secondary education, having a real job is a breath of fresh air 4) Mulled apple cider Goals for the present: 1) Focus on being mindful 2) Don't sweat the small stuff 3) Don't be too serious 4) Find more opportunities to laugh 5) When free time returns, start reading novels again
  7. I hear you brother. When life gets tough, we all seek ways to escape. After a rough day at work, I start having thoughts like, "what's the big deal with playing my favorite mmo for an hour?". Its such a slippery slope. Despite all the knowledge we have, making rational decides rarely comes easy in times of stress. But fear not! This is why you maintain relationships with family and friends. We are your support network, and you should not be afraid of relying on us! Remember that you have people in your life that would be happy to give you some of their time, and often enough, just having a sounding board for your own thoughts can get you moving in the right direction. You are not alone. Allow yourself to seek help when you need it. You deserve it. Sending positive vibes your way. ~~~~~~~~~~
  8. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 69 Overall a nice Saturday today. Slept in till 9am or so, then tutored organic chemistry for two hours at Syracuse library. It was pretty fun getting to the library at 9:55am, when they open at 10am. Waiting for the library to open made me feel like I was tackling the day head on, trying to get the most out of it. After that I gave a tour to ~60 people of the tree orchards containing the genetically modified trees we're working on restoring (American Chestnut). At any other time in my life the thought of being responsible for talking to and guiding so many people would have been daunting, but today I found it a very positive social experience. I was able to stay totally calm and collected throughout. Today I'm grateful for: 1) Having an interesting career that provides opportunities to meet all sorts of people 2) Fall season in New York 3) Exercise and the following mood boost 4) Dark chocolate pumpkin cookies :)- Goals for the present: 1) Maintain workout routine 2) Eat more vegetables from farmers market 3) Think about ways to meet women other than online dating
  9. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 64 I sat down and thought about what my life was like a year ago. October last year I was engrossed in an MMO, typically plating for 6-10 hours per day. I was sedentary, living with my parents, and couldn't build up the motivation to work on my thesis for graduate school. Compared to today; I play zero games and watch nearly zero television, I have a great housing situation with supportive friends, I can see progress from going to the gym, and I'm working my first full-time job out of school (until recently I've never been out of school). The difference is incredible. I'm so busy now that I forget to update my daily journal! The timing for my transition away from games was timely, in that it started in the summer months. I always get seasonally gloomy/depressed in the winter months, and am worried how the next few months will pan out. I think having the 90 day detox completed by the end of October (Halloween!!!) should help. We'll have to wait and see. Today I'm grateful for: Too many things to list Goals for the next week: Exercise at least twice at gym, once at home Find strategy to regain focus in evening without use of caffeine
  10. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 56 Busy is the name of the game recently. As it turns out, being second choice for a job CAN actually get you the position. The first choice for the job I applied for had to back out at the last minute. Therefore, I am now the new lab manager! Wooooooo!!!!! First official job using my degree!!!!!!! The next month or so is going to be insane, as I'll be working full time at the new job plus trying to defend my PhD in October. If I can hold out till thanksgiving, I'll officially be through the toughest part of my life thus far. As such, my posts here will likely be sporadic. Wish me luck! See you on the other side! Today I'm thankful for: Feeling like my career is finally getting off the ground. Goals for tomorrow: Finish a week's worth of writing in a day..... or write until I pass out, whichever comes first.
  11. Alex

    Half way there!

    While I'm only 47 days into my detox, it feels like I've taken my world back. I'm going out and doing things that I would have shrugged off previously. I'm finally finishing my degree. I'm noticing progress from exercising. I feel less distracted and more mindful. But I can't stop now! I can't wait to see what progress I've made by the 90-day mark. Thank you to everyone who's provided guidance and words of support. Cheers
  12. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 47 "Progress?!" I did not intend to go 10 days without updating my journal. I guess I've just been that busy living life. I'm over halfway through the challenge now at 47 days, and boy does time fly. I found myself thinking a lot about my favorite games over the past few days, as I visited the house I grew up in. While it is fun to think about them, I actually don't feel any cravings to go back to it. What I'm more excited about it a current job opportunity! I got an email about the position I applied for, and it looks like things might work out. I haven't had any work other than publishing papers and writing my thesis for the past year or so, and its getting old. Finger's crossed on the new job! Today I'm grateful for: 1) Cuddly cats (not the jerk cats) 2) Good, new york style pizza 3) The peace and quiet of rural areas 4) Networking Goals for tomorrow: 1) Ace the meeting with potential new boss 2) finish up last section of thesis 3) gym gym gym 4) order parts to fix guitar 5) Stay confident
  13. I'm a classically trained musician pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry. I enjoy building computers. Ping pong and archery are my favorite sports. I can't eat mayonnaise. I will literally choose insects over mayonnaise.
  14. Recognizing that you want to make a change in your life is the first step. I found the Respawn program (and associated e-book) incredible helpful in putting words to what I was feelings, and providing direction as to the changes I needed to make. The process of moving toward a better life can be done one small step at a time. Start with making small easily obtainable goals for yourself (no soda for 1 day, trade 30 minutes of gaming for 30 minutes of walking outside, ect). You'll find that that small accomplishments make the larger ones seem more obtainable. It doesn't matter how fast you go, only that you're going in the right direction, and right this moment is the best place to start. Best of luck! Cheers
  15. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 37 "Getting better all the time" Solid day today. Was social with some friends during the day, hit a good writing milestone in the evening, practiced some drawing, and even went to the park to play ultimate frisbee with strangers (also students). It was also great to hear that Cam met his fundraising goal for Tanzania. It was a nice feeling to see the community come together and show support. Maybe one day I'll be as badass as Cam and try to make a difference in the world ; ) Today I'm grateful for: 1) Feelings of community, both online and offline 2) Taking care of my mind and body. I feel radically better than only a month ago by subtracting videogames and adding meditation and exercise. My depression is nearly gone! 3) Peace of mind. How did I even function before meditation? Goals for tomorrow: 1) Don't sweat the small stuff! Thanks for the video Cam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RDbLXK12W8 2) Get started on first work session with zero procrastination
  16. YESSSSSSS. 100% funded!!!!!!! Congrats Cam, looking forward to seeing your videos from Tanzania. And with a new camera!
  17. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 34 "End in sight" Since I started the detox, each day that has gone by I feel like I've made progress. This alone is a huge improvement over the previous 1.5-2 years. I was able to finally get a solid day of writing done at home, which hasn't happened in at least a year. While its difficult living with gamer friends that really like to talk about gaming, I'm proud of myself that I've held my ground and haven't touched a game for over a month. I haven't felt proud of myself in a long time. This is a big part of what's keeping me going, making me believe that never going back to games is the right decision. I still have my ups and downs, but overall I'm waaaaay happier now than I was only a month ago. I feel more upbeat, energetic, and generally more healthy. I'm only a third the way through the detox and already I've shed so much mental and emotional baggage. I'm really excited to see what kind of changes 90 days will bring. I'm so happy to have found this community. Shout out to Cam! You're doing great work! Today I'm grateful for: 1) progress- both in work and life 2) BBQ in the park with friends 3) spending time with 2 3-year-olds. they are a blast 4) perfect 72°F (22°C) sunny blue sky weather Goals for tomorrow 1) Stay relaxed for my date tomorrow! Its been a while..... 2) Exercise 3) Un-guided 20 minute meditation
  18. The purpose of this post is to gather support Cam in his mission in Tanzania, and in life, by sharing my thoughts on why I think he deserves it. Cam has fought with all his being to get to where he is today, as evident in his epic tale of overcoming videogame addiction and becoming the awesome individual giving everything he has to help others. After reading Cam's brutally honest email, which I'm confident was painful to write, I took a moment to objectively view his words and situation. My conclusions were as follows: 1) If I can afford a subscription to netflix, I can afford to support his mission to Tanzania. I don't know how many people are active on the forums, but if 500 people donated $10 dollars each, his dream would become reality. Being able to have real world impact for the cost of a lunch is an insanely good deal. 2) Cam's objective is to provide clean drinking water to 500 people for 20 years. Its too easy to take for granted how well I live in the United States, and the idea of not having clean water to drink was nigh unthinkable. This is not a nebulous donation to a questionable charity. Cam will go going to Tanzania personally to see the job gets done. That's about as safe as an investment as you can ask for. 3) Morally, I wanted to support the man who has supported me in a horrifically difficult time. Not only have his words deeply resonated with my situation, Cam has personally responded to every single one of my posts. I can't believe this guy's dedication to people he barely knows. 4) The content he provides in the form of youtube videos and forum posts is some of the most digestible self-improvement content I've ever come across. His messages are meaningful, helpful, well spoken, and concise. At under 10 minutes each his videos provide as much help as an hour with a psychiatrist, who on average cost $75-$100 per hour. The value in his youtube videos is easily worth more than the $10 I quoted above. Cam is trying to lead, to live the dream we all want to be a part of. By helping him, I feel like I'm coming closer to the person I want to be; someone who cares and can make a difference. If you haven't already, please consider making a donation to Cam's cause. This is about showing support for the community, no matter how small the amount, that Cam created with blood, sweat, and tears. To those that read this, thank you for your time in considering my words, and thank you Cam for all that you do. Carpe diem! Cheers, Alex
  19. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 30 "Defying gravity" Felt very fulfilled today. Today I meditated, worked on my dissertation, practiced drawing, went to the gym, ate delicious wholesome food, and practiced guitar. The best part is, there's no reason I can't do these things everyday. It feels great to actually DO all the things I've been telling myself I should be doing. Stay strong and carry on! Today I'm grateful for: 1) Today, Today was great. 2) Finding some balance and calm in a crazy world 3) Garlic split pea soup Goals for tomorrow: 1) Continue making progress on my work 2) Learn new drawing technique (anime characters!) 3) Morning cardio
  20. Art is always something I've been interested in, but I've never taken an art class outside of elementary school. In fact, I've never drawn a single thing. With all this extra time from giving up gaming, I was able to start a new life's pursuit. Today, I give to you my first ever pencil sketch. Thanks gamequitters, and special thanks to Cam for making this a reality. Cheers.
  21. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 28 "Without games" Great day today. Spent 7 hours outdoors swimming/picnicking/hiking with some new graduate students at my school. The social interaction and meeting new people felt very rewarding. When I had some free time this evening, I dove into a new photo-editing project and was excited to do so. As excited as I used to get about gaming. I took a moment to check with myself, and I did not even want to game instead of the photo editing work. This was a very positive feeling of reinforcement that games are should probably be gone for good in my life. Today I'm grateful for: 1) meeting like-minded people 2) intellectual conversation 3) being outdoors instead of stuck in front of a screen Goals for tomorrow: 1) Better balance between work and hobbies (too much hobby time) 2) Cardio! 3) try non-guided meditation
  22. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 25 "Progress" Good day today. First thing this morning I half-meditated at a beautiful lake for an hour. During this time, my focus was on new creative outlets for both work and life. I learned a lot about the types of activities that motivate me, and ones that do not. One that came to the forefront was digital illustration, which combines my love for technology with art. Having no experience with software like adobe illustrator, I was promptly started educating myself in a free but nearly equivalent program called Inkscape. This turned out to be very engaging and a ton of fun. Also, a solid career skill. I'm imaging myself moving away from laboratory research and working on digital science illustration, and its very exciting. I haven't been this excited learning new work skills in a long time. Learning new skills in the morning, writing my thesis in the afternoon, and playing some table-top role-playing in the evening with friends made for a fulfilling day. Today I'm grateful for: 1) Serene environments for introspective thinking 2) Feeling like I have the ability to direct where my career will go 3) The ability and opportunity to learn new skills 4) Having a stellar accountability partner. Cheers MmmWatermelon. Goals for tomorrow: 1) Meet at least 2 new people at social gathering tomorrow night 2) Improve scheduling technique 3) Gym 4) Guitar
  23. Alex

    Daily Journal

    Day 21 "Slump" The beginning of the week had great productivity, which fell substantially as the week went on. Not sure what happened. On the plus side,the anxiety hasn't return (yet). I keep falling for the trap of "I can work from home if I really try". No, no I can't, and I've proved this to myself time and time again. Tomorrow I'll try to stay out of the house and attempt productivity. Today I'm grateful for: 1) Quiet spaces 2) being able to cook Goals for tomorrow: 1) minimum 8 hours out of the house 2) eat vegetarian for a day 3) make stringent plan for the coming work week