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Regular Journal


MmmWatermelon

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Hi there,

I'm thinking of trying to keep a somewhat regular journal (dare I say at least a line-or-two-long daily check-in?) on the site because the last month or two I have been slipping more and more into a pattern of gaming more and more every day and feeling unable to quit my addiction. I haven't been working for the past month and a half or so and I think that's been tough because I feel somewhat restless not accomplishing anything, but then again I haven't even really tried looking for work...I'm kind of feeling overwhelmed by my anxiety especially around people and I think in some part of my mind I really fear that having spent months and months mostly in front of the computer I must be "messed up" and won't be able to accomplish anything...sigh, the story I'm selling myself isn't very positive in my head right now...I've kind of been going through this cycle where I'll tell myself I'm going to stop running away to the computer to game / Youtube / whatever and I delete everything etc. etc. maybe do yoga, read for a couple of days but inevitably keep going back and spend several days just zoned out and feeling hopeless and hating myself. Being kind of partial of mostly older games it makes it too darn easy to install them in just seconds or minutes :{

I think I was really telling myself I'm going to be really strong about this after the New Year but that kind of just came and went and I'm still in the same hole...

I suppose if I were to focus on the positive I should also say that I have been trying to learn how to play harmonica and I've made some progress with that...learned to play some chords and a few simple songs and blues riffs. At times it has been quite fun. I've also been going on walks pretty regularly and sometimes stretching so I've been getting SOME exercise but I still feel really stiff due to sitting in a chair too much and I've been going through cycles of eating somewhat healthily but other times eating complete crap because it's there in front of me and I'm not feeling able to show any self-restraint :\

So yeah...even though I feel like I started out the year on a pretty bad foot I'd still like to be open to this being the best year of my life. I'd really like to focus on learning to love myself and move on from dwelling on all the time I've wasted with this addiction / being hard on myself about it...that's just more wasted time! I'd really like to believe it's possible for me to quit games and be successful at it....I think for now I will maybe try to write in this journal on a daily basis because the cravings have been huge and I know I will start feeling quite anxious. I will have to start putting some time into having a plan and doing things with more clear intention as I know Cam advises...

Watermelon

 

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Thanks Cam, I'd be really interested in that, I've put it down on my calendar :)

Day 1 Journal: So I think I'm going to think of this as a 90 day detox (starting over...) since that feels to me like a difficult goal to achieve and yet I feel somewhat more positive and hopeful than I would normally due to putting it out there in writing on this forum and having some extra accountability outside myself! I had a rather nice day today and focused on being gentle on my body and trying to be healthy. I woke up somewhat late morning-ish and went to get some groceries and cooked a very weird but healthy soup. It was a strange super-miso soup that also contained quinoa, creamed broccoli, kale, carrots, seaweed, and egg. I feared I might have ruined it by adding a whole head of steamed / blended broccoli that I wanted to use up but adding some extra egg at the end tied it all together...further proof that you can add just about anything to a miso-based soup and it'll still be good! Not a bad way to have breakfast for four days...spent my afternoon drinking tea and reading a Joshua Slocum book about his circumnavigation of the globe in the late 1800's and doing some yoga in the park nearby. Then more reading and spent the only time at the computer today (other than this!) looking at some harmonica videos. In the evening I went for a long walk on some trails behind my house where I feel like I can let 'er rip on the harmonica without bothering anyone :P and I called a good friend and chatted for an hour. Did a little tai chi practice before bed too...I think I'm going to try to make Tai Chi a daily habit because it can be really nice for relaxation, especially in the evenings. 

A goal for tomorrow is to go to the beach sometime in the morning / late morning because I just haven't taken advantage of living close to the ocean enough lately...as well as reconnect with a couple of more friends.

Good night!

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Day 2: I woke up and heated up some soup / read for some time in bed, really enjoying this book I'm currently reading. I spent the better part of the afternoon at the beach exploring some rocky cliffs and looking at some of the hugest waves I've seen at my local beach; they seemed like vertical walls of water racing for shore: only two brave youngsters were out in the water, one with a shortboard another with only fins (and no wetsuits, quite a feat for January! I congratulated them when I walked by them later). I felt surprisingly energetic walking around and enjoyed climbing around a bit on some rocks, playing some harmonica, and picking up bits of sea glass; saw a cormorant today which is one of my favorite birds and isn't super common in my immediate area! I stopped for a second to pet an awfully cute and fluffy puppy two girls were walking with who was apparently experiencing sand for her first time, she was very excited / freaking out. After the beach I went to a favorite taqueria nearby and had a potato / egg breakfast burrito. It was quite warm and yummy. I wanted to stop by the local library on the way home to renew my card for the area but it wasn't open so I'll have to give it a go a different time. I still have several books I'd like to read at home, but I wanted to check if they have a particular local natural history book I've heard about and a book called "Born to Run" I've heard good things about as well.

I spent most of the evening reading and ate some rice / chicken stew my dad made the other day which was also good. I tried to go swimming at the pool nearby after dark but I guess the water isn't getting heated so it was quite freezing; I got out after a lap and a half and got in the hot tub for a little bit instead

I've been reading some more but my eye muscles feel quite strained right now. I think having spent so much time on the computer pretty recently and staring at a monitor for so long has been somewhat trying on the eyes...being at the beach and looking at so much reflected light for hours might have something to do with it too. So I think I will put on a hot towel compress after I finish this to help them out, something I'm trying out recently, then I will do my evening Tai Chi by some soft candlelight before bed. My neck / back feels rather stiff in places too but already better than a few days ago when it was already feeling stiff and I was just spending much of the day in front of the computer in a chair anyway :\ Ah well, so are things, I'm thinking of this quote from the Buddha's Little Instruction Book: "What has been long neglected cannot be restored immediately. Fruit falls from the tree when it is ripe. The way cannot be forced."

I think I'm going to make a habit of listing some things I'm grateful for today as inspired by some other GameQuitters journalists:

Grateful for:

1. How beautiful rocks are to look at and step around on; they have so many endless haphazard and interesting arrangements and shapes. I definitely have a passion for simply walking on rocks :)

2. The power of nature to uplift the spirit

3. Warm soup and burritos

4. Being free to explore so many literary and musical creations of many human beings

5. Being lucky to be friends with some really, really beautiful inspiring people

6. Fluffy dogs

7. Cormorants

8. Being able to learn

9. Being able to fall asleep easily lately

10. Having pleasant vivid dreams for the last two nights

11. Dandy-blend tea

My goal for tomorrow is to go to a dance meetup happening in the evening. I haven't made it in a couple of weeks due to friends visiting / holidays / being in the midst of gaming addiction and feeling depressed for the last week or two, but I think it could be really nice to reconnect with it since I was starting to get to know a good number of nice people through this. It is definitely a big challenge, maybe the biggest for me to be social coming fresh off a bout of addictive gaming...I think it's difficult for me to shake off a certain feeling of shame around other people. I think it's a sort of fear of rejection, fearing that people reject me if they knew me at my worst; of course this feeling is completely self-created...the times that I HAVE opened up to others about gaming addiction they have been very compassionate. Feelings, feelings, so strong they can be, so hard to let go of!

G'night

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Day 3: It's a little late and I'm tired today so I'll keep it shorter. Slept in a little bit later this morning, I think also having pleasant dreams though I am having a hard time remembering of what exactly. When I woke up I felt a familiar urge to kind of check out and go to the computer but I decided to not give in to it and read instead and continued eating some of the soup I made a few days ago for breakfast. A bit later I decided I needed to move around a bit however and went to do a couple of errands...closed down a bank account I'm no longer using which is nice since I won't get charged useless fees (been doing by banking with Simple lately which is awesome as they don't charge any fees whatsoever; and I like their software and general practices a lot!) and got some groceries and seeds from Whole Foods. At home I made a green lentil / radicchio salad I've been meaning to try out for a while and it turned out quite delicious. In the evening I went to the nearby dance meetup, feeling pretty anxious beforehand but once I got there I enjoyed myself quite a bit and felt very free. The dance tonight was a bit different from the ones I've been going to regularly...different DJ and a few live drummers who played a couple of different tunes and were quite good! One of the songs was a swing tune and a woman asked me if I knew how to dance swing. Not realizing this was an invitation I said "yeah, a little" so she proceeded to grab my hands and start twirling around expecting me to know what I was doing! Then I realized I didn't remember squat about swing dancing as I hadn't done it in years and for the rest of the song couldn't even find the timing of the main steps, so all I could do was twirl her and myself around to the best of my ability. It was a moment that caught me off guard and was quite fun, all I could do was laugh at myself a bit. Thankfully the song wasn't too long, though she was quite a good sport about my forgetfulness.

I think today I experienced feeling intensely awkward both interacting with some people in the grocery store and after the dance was over. As well as a lot of feelings surfacing which I guess is to be expected when I'm stopping the activity that I had been using to check out. I guess I just have to remind myself here for a moment that it's ok to have feelings and that if I give myself a chance I have the capacity to deal with them without needing to hide away. This is probably worth pondering over more, I am actually quite enjoying having this space to "reflect in the public eye," but I am currently tired so I think that's all I'll say for now.

Another thing I did today which I'm excited / anxious about is I accepted a tutoring gig that would probably become weekly for this Thursday. As the semester is just starting this would be a good opportunity for me to make a bit of money and have a couple of clients. For now I'm going to just focus on this first step of having a good first meeting on Thursday. There isn't anything I need to do for preparation for now really, so just continuing to take care of myself as best I can. There's also another dance tomorrow night that I think I will check out with a crowd I think I'm more familiar with than the one tonight actually.

Ok, gratitude!

1. Good salad dressings

2. Fruits and vegetables

3. Doing a tribute dance to David Bowie before a candle, I'm glad the dance organizer thought about this! he was a great one...

4. Finishing the Joshua Slocum book I've been reading today

5. Open and welcoming people

6. The moments when I feel like I can heal myself emotionally

7. DANCING!! and music that moves me

8. This one woman who was dancing tonight, if I ever feel an ounce as graceful as she looks that will be a very special day indeed; I wanted to tell her this at the end but she left early

9. My dad actually liking something I cooked for maybe the first time, ever; he is the pickiest person I know so I don't feel bad about my cooking but this was very pleasing nevertheless.

10. Discovering a cool looking park / trail area on my way to getting groceries, made very green by the recent rains; I hope to check it out soon.

 

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Hi, good to have you here,

your journal sounds very high spirited and im glad that you share it wiht us. Keep going it looks like you found a great hobby  to be social active and enjoy yourself. The Place wher you live sounds lovely. Sadly im far away from any oceans and it has like -5 degrees here, but i still enjoy my walks through the snowB|

Greetings from Germany!

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Thank you so much WorkInProgress for your words :)

Yes, Southern California has some of the mildest climate anywhere probably...not bad, but every place has something to appreciate...I don't get to hunker down on snowy days with tea and soup here and get all cozy inside, I've lived in a couple of snowy places before (grew up in Europe in fact!) so there's something very nice and familiar to that!

Day 4 (start) I'm very tired tonight so I'm going to write my journal tomorrow morning; it was a good day even if I felt emotionally challenged at times. I'm going to just write down some things I'd like to do tomorrow:

- remember to send a gift to my friend

- e-mail my cousin

- groom myself a little for my first tutoring gig of the semester (!!)

- clean my room a little (I'm actually really happy with how happy I've been keeping it for the last couple of weeks, there are just a couple of small things to tidy up)

- maybe I will make a small creative thing like a drawing or watercolor painting if there's a good time to do that and I feel inspired

- organize some music a bit

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Alright Day 4 & 5...

I've been having quite a bit of back pain these last two days, I think some of it is soreness from going from being pretty inactive to being somewhat more active / dancing etc. and some of it is definitely chronic pain; it tends to shift around a little but my shoulderblades have been awfully tight lately, and today I felt it more in my lower back in the morning. I could easily be pretty negative about all this, but I think doing Tai Chi daily is slowly helping and I've definitely had some moments when I felt I could breathe easily and without pain every day and on multiple nights going to bed after doing Tai Chi I've felt very relaxed. I'm doing my best to just stay in my body instead of having the urge to disconnect and watch what happens...it is definitely always changing and never the same for two days. I can deal with it and I have a lot of tools at my disposal to help make it more comfortable. I've had back pains in the past and I've been able to get to a place where I felt very healthy and capable of serious, strenuous physical activity before so there's no reason why I can't do it again, I haven't aged too much since :)

I read a little bit after waking up and ate some meatballs a family member made...maybe not the healthiest thing, I think it was more about the taste that time, but I decided to make my other two meals very healthy to make up for it. My main thing I am focusing on right now anyway with food is not eating any sugar so this still qualified :) I started reading a new book, the Great Gatsby but had trouble focusing and since it was a really lovely day outside I decided to walk to the park with my yoga mat and harmonica. I found a nice spot on the grass overlooking a view in the sunshine and did some slow stretches, and relaxed in the sun, maybe even falling asleep once a bit...then a bird pooped on my nose while I was stretching with my eyes closed! At first I thought it was raining so I wiped my nose and there was something yellow and very stinky on it. Fortunately I had a water bottle and a small towel I had brought to wrap around my feet to stretch but I used them for the purpose of cleaning this. This incident made me laugh a bunch and made me feel happy that there are other living things around and doing "their business," without any seeming worries...I even came up with this haiku: "doing yoga in the park / when a bird pooped on my nose / runny yellow smelly." I decided to call a friend from Colorado who left me a message a week ago and I hadn't returned her call and we talked for about an hour while I was walking home and afterwards. She left me feeling really inspired, she just released her second music album and I asked her a lot of questions about simple music theory ideas I have been learning about with the harmonica; it felt good to talk about things I had been trying to learn on my own, especially with a professional musician to boot! We spent some time talking about relationships and catching up, it was quite nice. I was uncertain when we started the conversation if I should talk about computer game addiction or not because the topic was so much on my mind I felt like I was hiding something, but in the moment I thought about wookieshark's advice of revealing our weaknesses in an appropriate place and time and decided what I wanted then was a positive conversation and to learn about music, not to focus on my problems and what feels negative at this time...I think this is something that holds a profound lesson for me...one of the hardest part when quitting games before is dwelling on the guilt and feeling like I need to "eradicate" that part of myself somehow...instead of giving myself permission to focus on the positive and think of what I feel good about and love about myself and acknowledging that those parts of me are just as real, if not more so.

I went to the dance event in the evening after I texted a guy I had started befriending there before to see if he was also coming, which he was. I felt a pretty severe anxiety when I was on my way to the dance and when it started, which is funny because the previous night dancing I had felt quite relaxed from the start. Anxiety is kind of random like that sometimes even in similar situations...I almost had the urge to leave right away but decided to ride it out and danced however I felt. I eventually felt more and more that it was ok to feel how I felt even if it was painful, and there were some really fun dances that were high energy where everyone in the room seemed to be on the same wavelength and enjoying themselves. One dance I just sat and watched everyone else, their movements and expressions and thought about all the joys and sorrows all 20 people in the room must have known during their lifetime up to that point that had led to them being in that same room together, including myself, but it seemed quite unfathomable. At the final dance, which is usually quite chanty and people lay around or sit with their eyes closed I tried to just let myself feel all the pain that I felt in my life right now and hold it patiently. For some reason a visual image of my heart in pain being held gently by all the hands of the people who had loved me and whom I had loved came to my mind and I cried some...it hurts so good sometimes. There are many layers to work through, but it felt like a great relief at that time and I felt very open towards the people there as we had a closing circle. I chatted for a while with my new friend afterward and we talked about hanging out outside of the dance or maybe even doing a trip somewhere nearby! He's someone I really like and it feels like we're on the same wavelength right away when we talk, so I'm grateful to have met him. 

I went to relax in the neighborhood hot tub a bit after the dance, and ate part of a burrito I had in the fridge a little close to bedtime...I did my tai chi without feeling super focused last night, having a lot of thoughts on my mind, so I think tonight I will try to slow down a bit and do it by candlelight with more concentration.

Day 5: I woke up with quite a bit of lower back pain so I took my yoga mat outside and just laid down with my legs up a wall for a while taking in the sunshine which helped relax some muscles. Oh yeah and I was having some dreams about a Quake 2-ish CTF game this morning, which is weird since I haven't played that in many years. Game dreams is something I've definitely had lately though this is the first time this week. I ate some soup for breakfast (the last of the soup batch I made a few days ago, I'll have to make more!) and then read the first chapter of the Great Gatsby, going over what I couldn't focus on yesterday. Today it was a real pleasure and I'm really liking the lyrical writing style, looking forward to reading more, it is a pleasure to just relish in Fitzgerald's words. It was an even more gorgeous day than yesterday, if that were possible, no less than a summer day in January, so I decided I couldn't help going outside. I checked out a nearby trail that I don't go on much and walked barefoot on the soft dry dirt to help my back. My body felt quite good while hiking actually and I felt relaxed in the sun. There are a lot of hummingbirds around right now and red honeysuckle flowers they like to drink from are blooming. I watched one that was quite close go from flower to flower curiously; I cut my nails and played a little harmonica on the side of the trail on my way back. I had a first tutoring appintment in the afternoon for which I felt somewhat anxious about but my anxiety felt manageable and I got through it with confidence! Whoo, this felt like a very good step for me and I feel confident about scheduling more. I met with a 9th grade kid and tutored him in geometry and we had a lot of fun together; he was very bright and it didn't take much effort on my part other than that he is taking the course online university and it was surprisingly serious compared to your average high school class. They even expected you to know all the postulates and what not like you were reading straight from Euclid, so I had to do some figuring out myself but we got along great in the end. For food I had a prepackaged Trader Joes spinach and blue cheese salad which was quite good at lunch and my mother made some salmon for dinner which felt healthy.

I also did the things on my list I wanted to do in the evening like clean my room and email my cousin, though I didn't get around to making any art. I hadn't committed to it very much because something I've noticed with myself is maybe a week or so into quitting gaming I can start becoming very scattered with what I'm focusing on and start trying to do 99999 things and wanting to do anything that comes to mind and then feeling like I'm failing because I'm not doing EVERYTHING. How silly... so I want to try to stay focused and not expect too much of myself, while still feeling like I'm on a good track...some things I definitely want to continue focusing on are:

- doing tai chi every day for an hour

- continue cooking and eating healthy

- dancing at least once a week

- moving my body how it wants and needs to move, every day! this can be yoga, walking etc etc.

- finding more tutoring clients as I could really use the money so I can stop staying with my parents, which has been a huge emotional strain for the months I've been here

- reading more than usual feels very nice, I'd like to continue to do this; besides adventure books and fiction novels which I usually read I might try a self-development book (if that's what the category is called), maybe from the ones that wookieshark Joe suggested.

- continue to learn more about the harmonica

- socialize more, the friend from the dance is a good start, and I've also talked a bit with the girl who organizes the dance, she seems like someone I would get along with as well.

I do also like having one day projects to work on and have it be a special activity that stands out from the day to day. One of these things is buying some potting soil and sowing the spinach, peas, and tomato seeds I bought the other day. We only have a balcony so I can't grow enough to eat a lot, but I really like having some plants to watch them grow every day in the morning. Right now there is an avocado I sprouted from an avocado I ate in July or so and it is a 2 foot small tree with 9 leaves! :) They are fun to sprout if you ever eat avocados...all you need is water, a jar and toothpicks!

Gratitude:

1. SO MUCH sunshine the last two days.

2. Getting a short impromptu shoulder-rub from my buddy at the end of the dance the other night

3. Good literature

4. Having a good tutoring session today and getting to spend time in the presence of a bright, young, open mind.

5. Getting some love from a fluffy dog while tutoring

6. Hummingbirds

7. Pain, when it makes you feel alive

8. Feeling like I could breathe deeply while hiking today

9. Feeling more confident that I can cope with anxiety and that I can still do what I want to do

10. Talking about math and music

11. Possibilities

 

Well that was a long entry, I guess there's just a lot of things to digest in my mind right now :)

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Day 6:

Mellow day, I had a lot of trouble falling asleep last night so I woke up pretty late and decided to go to the beach after breakfast and tea. I spent the whole afternoon at the beach walking and rock hopping quite a bit. I got into a couple of conversations with several people...a woman from Ohio I showed a cool shell to who was very grateful, and a girl I asked to pet her dog which led to us chatting for a little while. I got back a while after dark but instead of going directly home I sat down in the park for a bit to practice harmonica and had a really good session where I felt like some things I had been reading about recently clicked; I'm looking forward to learning a couple of more blues rhythms so I can start stringing them together more and have fun improvising. Had some brown rice pasta with mushrooms and cheese for dinner and a little crab salad on the side as well as a delicious artichoke for "dessert." Felt tempted to have something sweet after dinner but I think it's really good on my body (and teeth which get cavities really easily...I've had dentists tell me I should flat out not eat any sugar...oh genes) not to be eating sugar. Also chatted with my neighbor for a while and shook fingers with his really cute baby; I was just telling a friend the other day how I don't find babies to be that cute usually but this one is beautiful. Going to read for a while now.

I'm grateful for:

1. Going for a pretty long walk and my body feeling good

2. Something clicking about the keys of songs

3. Having a couple of conversations with strangers

4. Finding a shell that made a really interesting gurgling sound at the beach

5. Seeing an oystercatcher, my favorite bird

6. Remembering how good artichokes with butter can be

7. Feeling content

8. My cousin

9. Harmonica

Edited by MmmWatermelon
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Day 7: This morning I woke up naturally a lot earlier than usual and just laid in bed feeling very relaxed...it was nice. I got up to make a kale smoothie with some nuts and seeds and fruit then lazed around a bit and read. In the late morning I went to a restorative yoga class which was really, really nice and had a good conversation with the studio owner whom I have known for a long time, over 10 years; I even confided that I had been having back pain from spending too much time on the computer, including playing games; it wasn't a big deal to even say it, even if I didn't go into the ugly details :) He's a very sweet guy and even offered me the insight that it is my rhomboid muscles that are causing so much grief in my shoulder blades. Then I visited the farmer's market in the next town over for the first time; very cute girl selling tea! And an awesome jam lady! And I got fruit for cheap because they had already put away the scale! I read some and cooked some spaghetti squash with a tomato sauce with steamed veggies and helluva lot of garlic, which turned out quite good for something improvised. I also enjoyed having dinner with my mom and feeling in a pretty high mood and making jokes. 

For some reason, even though my day was quite good I realize while writing this, I began feeling really shiftless and unfocused. I think my mind was craving being in that instant gratification mode or something that gaming brings and I didn't really feel like doing anything. I went for a short walk and played some harmonica which improved my mood a little but I guess I'm just feeling tense and blah-ish. Well that's ok I suppose...sometimes you just feel that way...I guess I'm happy completing a whole week of the challenge so far, but I'm having a hard time summoning that feeling just now and I think I just feel more than anything scared that week 2 will be harder in that any accomplishments of the same magnitude won't feel as meaningful and I will have to keep uping the ante, which sounds tiring. But I guess that's just an assumption I've been working with subconciously, we'll see what the next week brings; I feel like I'm having a hard time summoning the energy to plan anything, but there are a couple of things I'd like to get done that require a little more planning on my part:

1) putting a little more time in looking for tutoring gigs through different websites

2) I started a frisbee meetup a while back but it fizzled out after the first meetup (just me another guy!) because there weren't too many members. My membership is about to expire and as there have been almost 20 people who signed up in the meantime, I think I will give it a go to organize one more meetup beforehand and see if there is more interest this time around; otherwise, I won't keep paying for the membership needlessly.

3) Since I'm making a list of things to do tomorrow, I'm going to write another email to my cousin.

It's occurring to me the reason I'm kinda resistant to doing some of these things is they involve spending some time at the computer and my back really doesn't like my chair right now...so maybe I will go to a coffee shop tomorrow just to change the routine and atmosphere a little bit while I'm getting this done. Ya this idea feels good!

Ok enough journaling, let's do some gratitude for today:

1) getting to do a yoga class with my favorite teacher at my studio

2) the many (most) parts of me that feel healthy and aren't in pain

3) having some rhomboid muscles that put up with a lot of shit

4) Thich Nhat Hanh

5) cooking and eating a healthy, delicious dinner

 

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Hi man these moods jsut come, right now im a little down too but i guess it's just a  bit of midday fatigue. Just now I realized i just eaten too much and haven't drink enough.¬¬

Did the coffeehouse idea work out for you? btw. i googled Thich Nhat Hanh because i thought it was something delicious too eat. Seems to be a great guy. I read on wiki that he a brainblooding. Do you know if he's still alive and how he's doing?

 

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Yes @WorkInProgress...funny how you're in a funky mood it feels like it will never go away even though you know from experience they do...felt like I completely slept off the funk from last night :) Yes Thich Nhat Hanh is amazing! Among many things, he's just a great example of a person who can extract so much joy from all the simple things :) Yes, he's alive and I believe spoke his first words since the stroke sometime a couple of months ago; I don't know more than the Wiki article says about it! 

Day 8: I woke up feeling quite refreshed and not tense at all this morning; I also invited a friend from my dance place to teach me some contact improv on the beach today, which he was into, so I had my day pretty laid out. I wanted to make another breakfast soup to last me for the next couple of days so I went to the nearby grocery store and got some mushrooms and vegetables to supplement what I had at home; what I ended up putting in it this time was: onion, leek, white mushrooms, bell pepper, too much quinoa (I keep forgetting how much it expands), miso, arame seaweed, dulse, bak choi, and two eggs. Excited to have something healthy and that tastes good for the next couple of days; enjoyed eating some soup and drinking tea in the sun.

I went to the coffeeshop I intended to go to and got some useful things done even if pretty slowly. Still have an email to send tonight, no problemo! Had a yummy egg & potato breakfast burrito for lunch before heading to the beach (my journal is definitely part food journal!). Met my friend at the beach and we walked around for a while, checking out an interesting sea cave / arch; the beach we went to is a very beautiful one tucked away under tall bluffs and there are a lot of large rocks among the sand covered in green algae. My friend had never stuck his finger in a sea anemone before so I encouraged him to do so before we started playing with contact. Contact improv was a lot of fun, I had done it just a little bit before with an ex girlfriend; the sand presented both a challenge to having a solid base but also made falling rather harmless! We pulled off a couple of fun moves like twirling over each other's back and kicking the legs over to the other side. We also played around with a little tai chi push hands. I tried to be careful with my back but it felt good moving around mostly. Getting up from the beach involves climbing a set of literally hundreds of stairs and when I got to the top I realized I left my shoes at the bottom, so I had to do it twice! Quite tired after getting home after all that movement, really enjoyed eating some of the spaghetti squash dish I made last night. Got a Skype call scheduled with an ex girlfriend who is still one of my best friends tonight, so I'm excited to have some tea over Skype with her! A very good day! I definitely had a bit of anxiety from being out all day and in more social situations than I have been on most recent days, but it subsided pretty quickly, getting more comfortable with it now, and I had a lot of fun.

I'm grateful for:

1. Starting week 2 on a good foot

2. Living in a place where yummy, healthy, warm food is so readily available

3. Living close to a beautiful coastline

4. Never getting tired of the scenery of rock and sea

5. Forging a friendship

6. Feeling capable of moving on from a bad place

7. Managing to stay on top of doing tai chi every day for a week

8. All the people who smiled at me during the last week

 

Edited by MmmWatermelon
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Day 9: Not feeling too wordy today, it wasn't an eventful day...I just read most of the day because I was really sore from yesterday and my calves felt super tight. I was going to go to a therapeutic yoga class but when I got there I found out the teacher couldn't make it and it was canceled. Oh well...gonna do some tai chi before bed even though it is hard for me to keep up this daily habit...or at least it is hard to be excited about it and then I doubt whether it's doing that much for me...but I may as well do it for a little bit just to see what happens if I keep it up I guess. I have never in my life managed to keep up a daily habit for a long period of time...except maybe brushing my teeth :)

Almost done with the Great Gatsby, been looking up some words in the dictionary as I've been reading this one for sure...some words I like that I learned are redolent and echolalia.

Cam I'm also looking forward to the meetup! How much longer are you in SF for? Have you already had a Mission burrito? ;O

Edited by MmmWatermelon
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I wanted to make another breakfast soup to last me for the next couple of days so I went to the nearby grocery store and got some mushrooms and vegetables to supplement what I had at home; what I ended up putting in it this time was: onion, leek, white mushrooms, bell pepper, too much quinoa (I keep forgetting how much it expands), miso, arame seaweed, dulse, bak choi, and two eggs. Excited to have something healthy and that tastes good for the next couple of days; enjoyed eating some soup and drinking tea in the sun.

Do you have a link for this recipe?  It sounds amazing!

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Ok so I had a relapse for a day or two :P

I guess I had made it for 10 days with the detox then started watching some let's plays being bored with the books I had at the time...The big, big difficulty I was having was that I think in the 10 days of no gaming I overtaxed my back and it was really hurting on my 10th day and afterwards. The best way for me to keep away from games and such has usually by being physically active...that's just what I know has worked for me in the past: going hiking or backpacking and unfortunately it just isn't feasible with where I am right now. I was really trying hard to do yoga and tai chi every day and go for walks and just ended up feeling really stiff..."trying too hard" to relax...

Anyway, I've really been totally careless with what I've been eating today and my sleep schedule last night...but it is just ONE (ok two) day, I was doing SO well for 10 days! So I will just get back on track with trying to be healthy tomorow, day 2.1 ;) Sadly I missed a potential tutoring gig on Thursday even before I went to the gaming phase just because my upper back was in too much pain to even drive :(. So I'm trying to come up with a gameplan of what I need to do...I think I will start seeing the chiropractor I was going to in the fall...I never quite gave it enough of a chance despite that those were some of my better days back-wise...I think I also need to go to a doctor do some blood tests or something...I have never felt in my entire life like my body just can't seem to heal and feel on top of it again, it is very weird and disconcerting, and the main reason I have been going into this gaming spiral the last couple of months. Really a spiral because the gaming doesn't help but makes my back problems worse and then it just makes me more depressed...doesn't make any logical sense to keep going there and yet here I am again :(

Something I'm learning is that MAN I have a really hard time staying with something that takes weeks or longer to see results, whether the chiropractor, a 90 day detox, or going through school or holding a job, it's like there is always something I'm looking forward to when "it ends." And unless that something is really well defined and motivational I have a hard time going through with the day to day grind...it ends up feeling like a grind anyway. I think that's what I always absolutely loved about backpacking...every day you sleep in a different place, you wake up in a different place, you become completely engrossed in your surroundings and have this wonderful feeling of exploration, whether you are finding some beautiful wildflower in some valley that you have never seen before, or retracting John Muir's footsteps on some mountain peak, or whatever : ) this is something I am really grateful for, to have this ability to think back on a day spent adventuring and be able to retrace my steps between dawn and dusk in my mind with so much clarity. interesting characters you meet along the way...etc etc. Out of all my life experiences besides maybe the most meaningful romantic moments, or really connected moments with friends, this felt the most where I "was present" or whatever and just enjoying things in the moment a lot.

@wookieshark88 (uhm is this how you link people's journals or is there some other trick to it? :o ), about the quinoa miso soup:

This is something I used to make with an ex-girlfriend and I don't use an exact recipe; we just started throwing more and more things in miso soup and discovered it was always delicious :) I will do my best to put it into a recipe, feel free to experiment with the quantities!

Miso \ quinoa soup de chez Watermelon

1/8 - 1/4 of a red or white onion, diced

3 in. of a leek (white part), sliced thinly

5-6 white mushrooms, sliced

1-2 carrots, sliced diagonally or in small sticks as you prefer

1/8 - 1/4 of a red or orange bell pepper

1/2 cup quinoa

1 - 2 tbsp or more miso paste to taste

a few dried handfuls of seaweed, arame and \ or dulse (optional but highly recommended, arame works especially well with quinoa)

2-3 bunches of baby bok choi or a few leaves of dino kale, chopped into bite sized pieces

1-2 eggs

      Instructions (sorry if they aren't super clear, I always just do it by ear!):

1. The onions and mushrooms can be fried separately and go in the soup at the end. Fry the onion in a regular skillet in olive or coconut oil until it starts browning then add the mushrooms until they are all cooked or nearly so. You can also cook them a bit in the soup when adding them at the end. Set aside.

2. While frying the onions and mushshrooms, boil enough water to fit all the ingredients. I would estimate this is somewhere between 2-3 liters but use your judgment once you've chopped everything. You can always add more from a kettle later if you don't have enough. Make sure to have a big enough pot to fit everything of course and add a dash of sea salt to the water as well.

3. Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa...I usually put in a whole cup and it is too much to call it soup, ends up more as quinoa food, so I think 1/2 is a good estimate for more of a soupy variety : ) Set a timer for 25 minutes for the quinoa. Do a low-medium simmer like you usually do for grains, with the pot covered or nearly so.

4. If you are using arame seaweed or any dried seaweed that needs to be soaked (check the package) soak it now in some water

5. If your carrots are cut in big chunks you can add them pretty soon, or if you cut them into small matchsticks you could hold off on them until the quinoa is nearly done. If you feel like experimenting with any other root vegetables, the same applies...[aside: I just remembered that for a while I used to be really into Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes) in this kind of soup...soupy foods really bring out the flavor of this relatively little know and delicious vegetable! It looks superficially a lot like a darker ginger but the taste is like a cross between a potato and artichoke heart I would say, and you don't need to skin them.]

6.. Add the leek and bell pepper when you're maybe 10 min. from being done with the quinoa

7. Ladle out a bit of  hot water into a bowl and stir in the miso so when you add it to the soup you won't be struggling to work out the chunks in the big pot

8. If you are adding egg(s) (eggdrop style), also break them into a different small bowl and mix them up thorougly with a fork.

9. The last step before taking the pot off the heat is to drop in the bak choi or kale greens a bit to soften them up and also right after SLOWLY pour in the whisked egg while SLOWLY mixing the soup with the other hand (having a friend to help coordinate the movements is nice). I'd say mix up the soup at maybe 3 seconds per revolution (correct units in case you are wondering, NOT 3 rev/ sec :P). The goal is to create thin strands of egg as it contacts the hot water and cooks almost instantly. When I used to do it with my friend we had a couple of eggs from our housemate's chickens and I noticed a much nicer quality of thin yummy strands forming compared to more commercial eggs I buy at the store; might have to do with richer yolks that mix more thoroughly, not sure, but it is delicious nevertheless! Maybe I've just forgotten the technique...

10. Once the greens and eggs are in you can turn the heat off right away, mix in the dissolved miso paste, rehydrated (and drained) seaweed, and cooked mushrooms and onions. Feel free to experiment with spices, I usually find the miso adds enough saltiness and I'm not a fan of black pepper with these flavors.

Edit: Oh yeah, green onions also work instead of leek and \ or onion. The way they are usually used in Asian Cuisine, you cook the white parts and then add the green parts fresh at the end...I just use whichever of these things I have in the fridge at the time ;)

Let me know if anything I wrote is confusing...I'm kinda tired right now so I might be pretty incoherent in my writing : ) And if you end up making this anytime I'd be very curious to hear what you think!

Edited by MmmWatermelon
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Alrighty, gonna call this day 2.1 I guess :P

Had a nice day today, woke up rather late since I guess I just needed to get lots of sleep and my sleep has been off for a few days. I cooked some soup in the afternoon, which I guess is becoming my regular breakfast thing...nice that one batch is enough to last for a few days and all I need to do is heat it up in the morning. In the evening I went dancing which felt really nice, folks got really emotional and personal with each other in the closing circle afterwards for some reason, which was interesting :o Then I had a long two hour phone conversation with a close friend that was really nice...I had my phone in my hand about to call him when he called me, funny timing considering we usually talk maybe every couple of weeks :P

Grateful for:

Having a really nice tutoring session the other day

Connecting with people today and having a really good conversation

Making a chiropractor appointment for tomorrow afternoon

Making plans to go to an out of town dance event Friday night with someone from my dance meetup

Eating healthy

Tai chi

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Something I'm learning is that MAN I have a really hard time staying with something that takes weeks or longer to see results, whether the chiropractor, a 90 day detox, or going through school or holding a job, it's like there is always something I'm looking forward to when "it ends." And unless that something is really well defined and motivational I have a hard time going through with the day to day grind...it ends up feeling like a grind anyway.

Reading the slight edge, gave me really motivation at this aspect for my daily morning routine. Even if i did not like the "american" style of this book it gave me nice insights about sticking to the little things, wich do you good but aren't so fun at that moment.

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Day 2.2

More soup today! I went to my chiropractor and had a really good appointment, I felt like my shoulderblades became very relaxed and my posture felt more correct than in a long time; not a permanent change but I felt great for several hours, I was in such a good mood I felt almost high. I felt like today was more effective than it had been a few months ago, maybe because I have been doing tai chi regularly? Anyway, cool beans, I am excited to get back into this kind of chiropractic work, there was a time in my life when I was going to a similar chiropractor in the Bay Area regularly for a few months and I was doing yoga almost every day and it was the best I have ever felt in my body, it almost felt like I was stepping into a completely new body; alas, life happened, for various reasons I had to move away and I didn't continue the exploration so I am grateful to have this opportunity to regularly see another extremely talented healer. I went to get some ingredients to make some chicken tortilla soup, one of my favorite recipes and had a really pleasant little chat with an extremely cute checkout clerk about soups, also one of my favorite topics :D. I stopped for a bit on my way home to explore a park I found the other week and it was quite beautiful! Some recent rains have made the hillsides lush green and it almost felt like being in the open parts of the East Bay Hills I love so much where I have hiked a lot all through my 20s. There's even a creek in the park, which is very uncommon in my area where it is rather desert-like and the vegetation is mostly chaparral scrub. I sat for a little bit listening to the pleasant gurgling and looking at the sparkles on the water, it was very peaceful; I'd definitely love exploring this place more.

Made a deee-licious chicken tortilla soup while listening to the passionate Jose Jimenez...Mexico day in my kitchen! My parents both liked it too, which I was glad for because my dad is probably pickier than most children and I enjoyed that my mom had some fun dancing to the music.

Grateful for:

- Mexican food, life would be so dull without it, and extra kudos to chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

- the pleasure of chatting with pretty women

- my chiropractor's secretary giving me a hug, she is about the nicest person I have met and melts my heart

- eating soup

- sunny day and beautiful creek music

 

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