Pragmatism vs. Obsession, aka Finding Ways to Better Self-serve
Progress as a concept can be a coping mechanism for depression. It seems healthy, but it might not be.
I find myself obsessively checking blog stats, trying to figure out where I can self-promote, trying to figure out what else I can sell. I tell myself these are all means to my end-goal of Getting Out of Here. Hustle, right? Hustle needs direction, and direction does not come naturally to me. I naturally spin.
I’ve sat myself down and we’ve talked about GtFOH (it looks better with the proper acronym) to see if GtFOH is my short-term goal - I don't feel that Annandale is the place I want to die. If GtFOH is the process, what’s the destination? When will we know we’ve achieved the goal, myself asked me.
My honest answer is I don’t know. I like to travel, I like to feel things for myself, and I do everything for the story. Stories are better with moving. Also:
1.I like walls and utilities. I know what to do without them, but I like them.
2.I like warm weather, but humidity is not good for me.
3.I should be in closer proximity to water than I am.
When I was a little girl, it was a fun (for other) girl game to make up your future husband, your future babies, your future house. I never really understood the why of that game.
I’m not averse to any of those things, and I’ve had some of them – all of them – multiple times. At the moment, I don’t have any of them, and I’m really okay with striking babies off the list. But, perhaps because I never could play Let's Pretend, I don't have a plan for the future.
So now I try to Play Retirement. It shouldn’t be a game, but it is, and my stellar decision-making skills have only improved slightly over time. Project Mindfully STFU is helping. Right now the most likely outcome for my retirement is bag lady. I suppose I should hie me to someplace warm; I think it will be much more pleasant to bake to death than to freeze.
Does this seem morose to you? It kind of looks that way to me, but I don’t feel morose. Am I depressed? Maybe, but I feel like that’s a separate subject. I feel pragmatic. I am making calculations and identifying the deserts of logic in my plan so I can patch those up and get where I want to go, once I determine where that is. I have mentioned before that I'm coming to the surface after a decade of chronic illness. Part of my challenge is not understanding the passage of time. I can't tell whether I'm moving too fast, or too slow. How long is long enough to wait?
I try to make progress where I can. I submit poems and stories for publication. I digitize paintings so I can merchandise (see the link in the upper corner of the blog.) But sometimes there is not a good chess move to make, and then I start flipping out on the inside. Write another blog post. At what point does trying to make progress become obsession? When it is no longer serving me. When it it a placebo for something else which has yet to be determined. When I am in output mode but I should be in intake mode. When I'm worried that I may be a fraud. When I'm simply checking progress and not actually working toward a goal. When I am no longer assigning value to the act of turning off my brain and relaxing, or when I literally can't do that. I need to be able to turn off.
So the better question is this: what is the best possible action when no action is available?