Focus is my weapon and procrastination is my enemy!

"Practice Mute"
In case some of you don’t know, this is a viola.

So I came home tonight and I got right to it.  I am on a mission to stay on task and focused to being productive.  Once I get home I have a horrible tendency to sit down and turn on the TV.  That never results in anything good normally.  So tonight I came home and here’s what I acomplished!

  1. Practiced Viola
  2. Washed the dishes
  3. Made a healthy dinner (Salad)
  4. Washed 2 loads of laundry
  5. Folded 2 loads of laundry
  6. Worked on one of my small businesses
  7. Waked 1.3 miles (Daily Activity Reached 109% )
  8. Wrote this blog posting

That was far to productive to do every night.  I would be considered OCD and and over achiever if I did that every night.  So now I need to figure out a happy medium.  Some middle ground where I can get certain chores done each night but yet have some down time.

If you have any suggestions leave me a message.  Maybe we can expand upon it and make it a blog post.

 

Monday evening thoughts

Image

So I just came back from a walk.  I went out specifically to meet my daily activity goal but it gave me time to think.  Walking has always been good for that one specific activity.  It lets me think, collect my thoughts and work through things that my be plaguing my mind.

So this year seems to be self empowerment.  I’ve taken on some personal growth activities that may seem pretty daunting to some.  To meet I’m just trying to move forward with my life.  I get to this point where I feel stagnant and I need to do something.

What I need to do isn’t always clear.  It can be simple or more complex.  This year it’s meant a couple different things.

  1. Lose weight
  2. Learn how to play a new instrument
  3. Create a small business

These are all monumental things by themselves but I’m taking on all three at once.  Why I’m not sure to be honest.  They all deal with different parts of my life and they are major parts of my life.  They are three things that make me happy.

So I’ve been going to Weight Watchers now going on 4 months.  I’ve lost 21 pounds and I can feel a difference.  I’ve been increasing my activity by using their ActiveLink.  At first it didn’t seem to be to bad.  I knew that my activity level wold increase but I didn’t think it was going to be that bad.

I walked from the 24 Street Bart station to Castro Street on my way home tonight.  That’s 1 mile with a pretty decent hill.  That wasn’t the only activity today.  In order to meet my activity level for the day I walked down my from my apartment to the Castro and back home.  That’s about 1.25 miles each way.  I’m happy to report that I topped my goal at approximately 114%.

As for learning a new instrument I’m working to learn how to play the viola.  I’ve had 5 lessons and the teacher tells me that I’m a natural.  It’s slightly frustrating because I want to progress faster but it’s all about forum and I’m still in the learning stages.

Last but not least is the small business.  I have two things that I’m working on right now.  I need to do more work with them so that they develop but I do have them started.  They aren’t profitable yet but I’ll work on that because the one can be.  Like anything it just needs more time and attention.

So I’m going to try to focus more and use this blog to keep track of my success or short comings.  I don’t plan on any short comings but it’s good to be realistic that there will be some along the way.  If any reader has any input I would greatly appreciate constructive criticism.

Status update

So I’ve been remiss on posting for a couple of weeks.  I joined Weight Watchers and I’ve watched my diet.  Last weekend I went to the grocery story and I found that my purchased was 90% produce.  I am trying to keep everything out of the kitchen that would be ‘bad’ for me on the ‘diet’.  So it’s been a lot of salads, fruit, and new veggie dishes.

So earlier today I went to my Weight Watchers meeting where I weighed in like I do each week.  This week I lost another 3 lbs.  That’s a total of 8 lbs.  It’s a good feeling to know that I’m losing weight.

I’m not seeing the changes yet but I know that it’s going to take time.  According to the charts I should lose about 100 lbs.  That’s a little more than I can imagine for myself.  If I could actually make it that far I think it would be amazing but I think if I take it 1 lbs at a time, I’ll be just fine.

Also I’m gaining my focus and trying to keep the negative out of my life.  It’s not easy but I find that I’m getting better at it.  I’ve walked for exercise, taking online courses, and reading to help me gain perspective, be positive and feel like I’m being productive.

 

Forward Motion This Week

So this week the weather has been beautiful here in San Francisco.  People would complain that it was too hot but after living in New Orleans it was mild.  Having sun in my life I find makes a huge difference.  I had thought that my vacation would be sun and warm weather but I chose to do something different.  I went to Rotterdam (the Netherlands in Europe) and it was cold and kind of dismal.  So this past week was a welcomed and pleasant change.

So this week I’m thinking about how I did on the list of 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.  Well #1 start small I’ve done but I don’t think I’m pushing myself that hard.  I keep myself busy but that’s a diversion most times.  I’ve done it so long I don’t even know I’m doing it now.

This week my action to push my boundaries was to look inside myself to deal with one of my demons.  My weight is the demon I decided to shine some light.  This week after talking to a therapist we had agreed that I would look into Weight Watchers and minimally see when and where they had meetings.  Checking to see when the meetings are held is pretty easy.  I’ve done it before and I can do that without allowing it to get too close to me.  Protecting the demon or all the feelings of shame and fear.  I told the therapist before that I saw the group (Weight Watchers) in the same way that I see a cult or church.  Ironically I see churches and cults in the same way.

When I pulled up the list of meetings in the area I saw that there was one in the LGBT Center here in San Francisco.  Being gay that made it seem somewhat more “safe”.  I found that the meeting was on Saturday morning at 10 AM.  Anyone who knows me knows that more than likely I’m not going to have plans at 10 AM.  Well maybe going to breakfast but now that’s (eating) part of the problem.  To push myself I filled out a form to go to the meeting and made plans to go and check it out.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Emotions ran high and there were wacky visions that crossed my mind.  Remember I thought of Weight Watchers as a cult.

So Saturday morning came and I rolled myself out of bed and got ready to go to the meeting.  There was anxiety but I pushed forward.  I’ve done a lot of things in my life that were ‘uncomfortable’.  I’m pleased to say that I didn’t find the meeting to be a cult and I could see that it was a supportive group of people.  Previously I’ve never really expected people to be supportive so that a part of the meeting that encourages me.  That little voice in my head still spouting negative thoughts but I am pushing it to the side to move forward.

This weeks challenge is to track my eating habits.  I’m not very good with this kind of thing.  I feel like it’s pointing out faults but it’s not about that at all.  I obviously don’t like to have my faults pointed out.  Trust you and me I know my faults.

Any suggestions are welcome.  Support is definitely welcomed as well.

As Megan McGlover would say “I love you strong, I love you long.”  Have a great week everyone.

 

Blue Sky May Be On The Way

So today I’m feeling better and I have to say that it makes a huge difference in life.  I keep trying to focus on the positive and that helps.  I read an article By Jae Song & Tina Su talking about Jae’s experience with a problem just like I had mentioned.  She talks about how she moved on and 13 steps that helped her get to a better place.  I’ve done a couple of the steps and I have to say I see how it helps.  If you’re in a gray place or feel like a black cloud is following you’re not alone.  Check out 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.

The one that I like the most I think is, Start Small.  Small task that you can complete are huge benefits to our psyche.  You feel like you can do more and it helps push out doubt and negative thoughts.  This last week I’ve been pulling back and keeping focus on the small and close things.  It’s helped and I stopped beating myself up.  That’s hard to do but it’s almost a mantra.  You just keep saying it till you believe it.

Yesterday I cleaned my apartment.  I especially focused on my bedroom which is a source of embarrassment for me.  I’m not a person who lives in their bedroom.  I don’t have a TV in their nor do sit I read.  I sleep in my bedroom.  That’s it.  My desk is in my bedroom though.  I am sitting there now.  So the desk is the center of a LOT of clutter.  I”m not a neat freak by any means of the imagination but it seems like a disaster and I equated that to my life in general.  Do you have a space like your desk that is about productivity and you can’t keep it under control?  Well that was causing some doubt for me because I couldn’t get it under control.  So I took EVERYTHING off the desk and gave it a proper cleaning.  I threw things away or put them away.  I still have a lot on it but I can see the majority of the desk top which makes me feel good.  Oh and here’s no layer of desk now either.

So the next step is to Create a Compelling Vision.  That’s going to be a little more difficult for me.  It almost ranks up there with “What do you want to be when you Grow up?”  Create an image of the person you want to be.  I’ve always been a fan of superheroes   I think my imagination gets the better of me sometimes.  So now the challenge is to find a realistic image of the person I want to be.  I’m thinking that the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method is the best.  So now to make the goal reasonable and attainable.

So as an example of my movement forward is writing this blog.  I know it’s small and I can do it.  There may be misspelled words or bad grammar but I did it.  I wrote this and I’m going to publish it.  That’s part of my goal actually.  To write here on my blog expelling doubt and negative feelings will be a way for me to not hold all this in and feed on it.  I welcome any comments and feedback.  It’s nice to know that others out there deal with the same feelings.

I’ll boil down the 13 points but you should go read, 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.

  1. Start Small
  2. Create a Compelling Vision
  3. Socialize
  4. Do Something that Scares You
  5. Do Something You Are Good At
  6. Set Goals
  7. Help Others Feel Good About Themselves
  8. Get Clarity on Life Areas
  9. Create a Plan
  10. Get Motivated
  11. Get External Compliments
  12. Affirmations & Introspection
  13. No More Comparisons

Have a good Sunday and get out in the sun if you can.  I’m here in San Francisco and the weather is nice.  The point is, get out and do something that makes you happy or content.  It doesn’t matter what that is, it’s just important that you DO IT.

 

Ever Feel Like There’s a Black Cloud Following You?

Over the past week I’ve been kind of down.  It’s actually been a little longer than that if I was honest with myself but lets go with the last week.  Nothing is really wrong in life so why do I feel this way?  I just did my first European vacation.  I mean why should I feel sad and gloomy?  I live in a fantastic city with so much to do and see. So why am I blue?

It’s Sunday morning I’ve made breakfast, watched cartoons, I’ve gotten laundry going and I’ve been working on one of my entrepreneurial ventures.  So why do I feel like something is missing or not complete?  Well it all comes down to the lack of a connection with another person.  A lover if you will.  Why is it so important?

Someone remarked to me the other night about how they have been single longer than their last relationship lasted.  Well that doesn’t take all that much for me I guess.  My last serious relationship last 3 years.  Not even a consecutive 3 years.  I had left for a short period.

I’ve been told that you should be able to speak to friends about this kind of thing.  When I’ve done that though I’ve not found it to be a positive experience.  It normally gets turned around on me or they cling on to it as well and want pity from me.  Then people wonder, “Why pay to see a therapist?”  Well that seem pretty clear to me.  At least they’ve been trained to show some empathy and then how to help you move past these things.

Maybe it’s time to hit the library and see if I can find a book on improving self esteem.  That would be a good start I think.  I’m seem a lot of this steams from a lack of self esteem and worth.  At work people seem to feel it’s appropriate to make discouraging remarks and treat people as though they are not equal.  What I keep hearing is everyone is stupid except for me/us.  It’s hard to build self esteem or worth in that kind of environment.

Well for now I’ll at least Google how to build self esteem and see where that takes me.  Who knows maybe I’ll learn something that helps me on the internet.  That’s always a possibility even though we all know that the internet is just for porn.

 

Mondays … Why thou must be so difficult

Why is it that I’m never ready Monday for to come around?  Sunday evening comes and I can never believe the weekend has gone and work starts the next day.

For the last two weeks I’ve tried to watch what I’ve eaten and really eat smaller meals or in more moderation.  I hadn’t been paying attention much and I was eating lunch out everyday.  So now I’ve brought my lunch to work and I’ve eaten 5 or 6 smaller meals a day.

So I starting out another week and I had a little good news this morning. This morning when I got on the scales and in just two weeks I’m down seven pounds.  I’m not being strict with my diet but rather just focusing on eating healthier and eating appropriate portion sizes.  I’ve pushed myself for a while with the philosophy of shopping on the outer edge of the grocery store.  So cutting pack on processed food.

The next big focus will be increasing my physical activity.  I’m not much for going to the gym.  People ask “don’t you feel great after you go?”  The response is “No!” I never get pleasure out of going to the gym.  I don’t find it social most of the time and I don’t get any euphoric high from going to the gym.  Now in the past I did lose a little weight but the reason I don’t loose more weight is that I don’t push myself physically.  Growing up I never got that introduction to physical activity.  Even growing up on a farm physical activity was work.  Well what kid wants to work?  Yeah we would sometimes go  walk the farm but that wasn’t a frequent occurrence.

Every year (for the last several years) I’ve said I’m going to get healthy and try to lose the weight.  Well I’m trying to do it this year and I’m just doing it one step at a time.  So if you have any suggestions please feel free to pass them on through the comment box.  I’ll try to keep you updated and who knows maybe I’ll even try to post some pictures as I got through the process.  I’m not much for taking pictures of myself so don’t hold your breath but I’ll try.

It’s about time to start working on new years resolutions I guess

Sign for the Grumpy Troll pub in Mount Horeb.

So tonight I went to the gym.  Anyone who knows me would never use gym in a sentence when talking about me.  Well unless they say “Eric hates the gym.”  That my friends would be the truest statement that has ever been made about me.  Since after the stroke last year I’ve not really went to the gym.

So I signed up online for the gym.  Then I went to the gym on a Sunday about a month ago.  It wasn’t very busy which is the way I like it.  I’ll put a little plug-in here for the gym I guess.  I’m going to the 24 Hour Fitness at 2145 Market Street.  After pondering whether I should walk around looking for the locker room I broke down and asked where the locker room was after walking into the gym.  The guy at the front desk offered to give me a tour.  I respectfully decline so I didn’t have to deal with any salesmanship that he may feel obligated to do.

So I make my way to the locker room, change my clothes, and as I’m getting to go out to the gym floor.  Right there before me is a guy that is practically model beautiful.  Of course all the negative baggage from my childhood years come rushing forward.  I say that because I can’t imagine anyone that looks like that would even talk to me.  (I was and probably always will be the last one picked for group activities.)  So I make my way to the gym floor, find a stationary bike and start to peddle.  Shortly afterwards a guy walks up to use this rowing machine sitting next to me.  I try to just zone about but then I my mind drifts to this place were you kind of hope that he’s picked that because he’s interested in you.  Now that’s all well and good EXCEPT recently people are attracted to me because I’m fat.  Not because I have pretty eyes, nice smile, witty laugh, or I’m a well-rounded (no pun intended) person. For a second I’m OK with that … he was tall and handsome.  I mean shouldn’t I be flattered that he’s attracted to me, even if I am fat?

Well as you can imagine that little fantasy didn’t last long.  Then I remember all those times being picked last or having family members call me things like the human garbage disposal.  So then I just try to stop thinking and finish out 30 minutes on the bike.  When I reach that point I go in change my clothes and leave.  I decide to walk home for more exercise.  That may not seem like a big deal but when you live somewhat close to the top of the highest point in the city.  It tends to elevate your heart rate close to a that sweet spot for cardio exercise.

Oh then to do more of my new years resolution I’m writing about it.  Of course I’m complaining but it’s still in a written format so in my opinion I’ve done what I set out to do.  That’s what’s really important isn’t it?

So I wonder what I’ll find to complain about next?  Oh and if you have constructive criticism that you think would help me feel free to send it to me.  I’ll be sure to take it under advisement.  If it’s not constructive it may be just trashed or even the topic of a posting.  It just depends on how my demons are doing that day I guess.

Unemployment, the new form of torture

English: 1923 unemployment insurance stamp.
1923 Unemployment Insurance Stamp

So it’s been two weeks since my contract ended.  I’ve been looking for a job and I’ve had a couple interviews.  One of the interviews is promising and the company would be great to work.  I met 5 people from the company and I liked everyone I met.  From what I hear they all liked me.  The waiting to find out if they  offer me the job is torture.  One can only hope that everything works out.

So over the weekend I’ve been keeping myself busy.  Friday night I went to go see TAO: The Art of the Drum and it was amazing show.  The presentation was great.  The music was amazing.  Saturday I went to the Chinese New Year parade.  Today (Sunday) I went to the Russian Festival to add a little more culture to my weekend.

Tomorrow, we’ll see what I can get involved in during the day.  My ultimate hope is that I’ll hear from this company.  Maybe I’ll take myself out for a nice lunch.  I would say I might buy myself something pretty but I know I won’t do that.  I don’t have any plans this next weekend.  I might take a little road trip next weekend.  Just  to get myself out of town and clear my head.

2012 New Year Resolutions

I’m not much for New Year Resolutions but I guess it doesn’t hurt to set some goals for yourself.  It’s a way to set goals for one self.  So here are some things that I should focus on in the coming year.

  1. Post more articles to my blog.
    • I’ll try to post one every week at least.
  2. Lose some weight
    • I’m sure this will be a challenge
  3. Update the look of the blog so it’s ‘prettier’
    • This will be a real challenge for me because I’m not very visual. I might have to enlist the help of a friend or two.

The way I look at the new year is a time of reflection.  It’s a time when you can/should say thanks to all the people who has played an important role.  Reflection and thanks are two things that I find people don’t do enough.  I’ve spent a good amount on reflection but I don’t think I’ve done enough time thanking people.

So to all the people who love and support me in life, Thank You!  You’ve all been there for me so many times.  Through good and bad I can always count on you.

THANK YOU