Monday, December 1, 2014

Day 1: Thoughts on Self-Regulation

Hey look, it's a blog! And Holidailies!

December snuck up on me. I'm not even sure why. Usually, in the month of NaNo, December is the light at the end of the tunnel. A very wordy tunnel. But this year I was just so involved in other things in the midst of NaNo that it was basically a miracle of pure will that I even won, let alone won so early in the month, relatively speaking. It wasn't like I finished in the first week or anything, but I did end a week early and then stopped writing and that is unusual for me. In the past years I've almost always been stretching for those last few words at the end of the month. Then there was the one year I actually had a plan and I won early but I wrote another 13,000 words past the 50K mark and was still writing to get that last little bit in on the 30th. This year was weird. I basically stuck around for the last week to cheer people on and watch my friends cross the finish line. But it was weird to not be writing a little bit every day.

So enters Holidailies, one of my many attempts to get myself to write at least a little bit each day, for a month at any rate. The thing I like about this is the variety available. I can post links if my brain fails to function. I can talk about what I'm doing with my life, or what I'm not doing and would like to  be doing. I could talk about what I'm watching and reading. So obviously I chose to talk about self-regulation.

Self-regulation. Sometimes better known as "responsibility" or "being an adult." This has been on my mind a lot. I've had a lot of personal failings in this area, if we're being entirely honest. When my brain doesn't want to cooperate, it's been very difficult for me to come up with ways to either trick it into wanting to or just out and out forcing myself to do things. It's also a matter of curbing the destructive habits that I've developed. It's one of those things I thought I was largely prepared for, being considered pretty mature for most of my life. After all, self-regulation is a large part of maturity, right? That's correct, and so I figured I was set. Except for the fact that I overlooked/purposefully ignored some pretty major weaknesses in that.

For instance, I can work for someone else. I can do things that I hate doing - cheerfully even! - if it's only for the benefit of someone else. Don't even have to be paid, I will still do it. Alas, my own personal internal motivation for things like chores is... shall we say lacking? That might be a little bit of an understatement. Let's be blunt. I'm terrible at chores in my own house. To the point where it drives me nuts, because I lived long enough with clean freaks that it now frustrates me to have things chaotic. But I look at, say, a pile of dishes and my whole mental process of cause and effect (cause: I don't wash the dishes; effect: they will grow things and smell) just shuts down. Taking out the trash? Fine. Making sure I make and eat food before it goes bad? Mostly fine, unless it gets stuffed in the back corner. Most things? Okay. If I fail, I get back up, find a different way, do better next time.

Except for those couple of things that just keep popping up. I don't even really know where I'm going with this. Other than to put it out and there and say, "hey, this happens and I can deal with it some days, and some days, like today, I have more trouble." I'm a little exhausted, and I have a headache, and I'm doing pretty good by writing, which is something I like to do.

But on the plus side, part of the reason I'm so tired is because I started my new job today! I woke up quite early (a large victory on the front of self-regulation) because I had to run some errands and get paperwork squared away before I went in to sign ALL the documents. And then of course the extra energy expended when it's a new place, and I'm suddenly surrounded by hundreds of people that I need to at least keep straight. Names will hopefully come. This week is going to be long though. I used to think that working with kids was easy, because it came naturally. Years of experience have taught me that working with kids is anything but easy, even if I love it more than anything. I'll probably end up going more into that later this month though. For right now, my head is telling me it's well past time to not be thinking deeply about anything.

Until tomorrow!

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