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?

Suggestions are welcome.


  1. You know you want to move back out here. No bugs, no humidity. Close to the ocean.


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