Taking Things One Day At a Time, For (In)Sanity’s Sake

The last article I wrote was about my own sanity, or lack there of. Insanity, in fact. I talked about how most of my life I had always done the same things, just expecting a different result. As if the cause wouldn’t keep leading to the same effect, over and over, and thus, affecting my well being. All my life I’ve done this, actually.

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Audio CD by Matthew Kelly

When I mentioned it was time to try something new, I went “Floating.” It was a pretty surreal experience, and very therapeutic. So much so, that my girlfriend even signed me up for a membership, and I will be going at minimum of once a month, if not two or three times. This revelation of floating in salt water while listening to calming waves (it’s deeper than that, trust me) got me thinking even more so: Why don’t I keep the good vibes going by doing things I know will help me inside and out?

So, being the writer that I am, I began making a list of things that have been known to make me happy, mind, body and soul, but then also list things that I believe I could try and do for the first time. I’m 35 years old. I’m certainly not getting any younger. And I certainly don’t have anything to lose at this point. Money matters not if it means I am happy in life. Experiences are what I’m after now. Besides, the first 35 years haven’t panned out, following the, you know, insane decisions. Cause and effect.

Everything I do in life has an equal and opposite reaction. It’s up to me to make the correct decisions that lead to my own happiness. So, what I did was create a list of things that I feel would help me self medicate, without actually taking any medication. Everything is au natural and should be followed with the best intentions. What I mean by that is, I need to give each thing I am doing or trying, my undivided attention and be giving my absolute best effort.

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One of my relaxing fishing spots.

I divided my list into two sections, one titled “Self Help Daily” and the other one titled “Self Help Monthly.” Basically, every day I will attempt to achieve everything on the “SHD” list, with the realization that I will most likely not achieve that goal, but that doesn’t mean I can’t at least knock a few off. What I’m trying to do with the “Self Help Daily” goals, is to slowly but surely, knock out the old, bad, lazy habits and instill new, fresh, fun and healthy habits into my daily life. All while keeping an eye on the “Self Help Monthly” goals and even further beyond that.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it sure as hell wasn’t slacked on either.

With my “SHD” goals in mind, I want to go to bed knowing I did what I could with each day and sleep soundly. I don’t want to lay awake at night having regrets about wasting my day playing videogames or how I came home tired and just watched Shark Tank on Hulu all night (this is a thing from time to time). I want to learn and expand my mind during my nights, so that I can rest peacefully, knowing I worked towards my life goals and didn’t waste such opportunities.

Now, will there be days where I may not get to something or I just work a long ass time and feel defeated? Sure, but I’m asking YOU to hold me accountable. I’m writing this to hold MYSELF accountable. Heck, I’m even asking for my GIRLFRIEND to hold me accountable. Call my ass out, girl! I may not reach everything on the forthcoming lists, but if I can knock something out then that still adds a brick to my “Rome.”

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OK, OK. I think you’ve been patient enough, and honestly, I’m ready myself to reveal my lists (I really do love lists). My first list is again, titled “Self Help Daily.” For the daily goals, it’s fairly simple, keep it short and sweet. Put in the work, though. It all adds up. Not all of them are “easy,” but obtainable if I play my time cards right.

SELF HELP DAILY:

  1. Meditate/Breath Work: I have a subscription to the app Primed Mind. I used to wake up at 6:30 AM every morning and go through a simulation of that day’s meditation. Then, at night, I would calm myself before bed, by focusing on breathing. The key words here are “used to.” Get back, Noah!
  2. Listen to Podcasts: For the most part I already do this daily. My drive to and from work is a little over 30 minutes each way, so there’s plenty of time to use up listening and learning vs. listening to just music. Or even worse, talk NBA radio (again, this is a thing sometimes).
  3. Exercise: Some form of exercise or working out, whether it is 30 minutes of cardio or an hour of lifting weights. Maybe it’s doing push-ups and squats before I shower or eat. The point is, there is always time to do something. Anything.
  4. Journal: I don’t mean writing an article, but simple thoughts to paper. Just write down my day, maybe a few ideas I have or just anything in general, really. I am the type who doesn’t always open up about his thoughts or feelings, and then I let things build inside. Journaling releases those thoughts and helps relieve the stress one may have holding them in.
  5. Prayer: I am a Christian man, and as such, believe there is a God. What your definition may be of Him, may be different than my version. I don’t knock that, but I do believe in a Creator. I think the world is too great and too much of a coincidence for things to be how they are without a higher power intervening. Therefore, I want to Praise God and say my prayers every night. Be grateful for all I have daily. Let’s face it, I’m lucky over and over to be here right now. I still feel there is a purpose for that.

SELF HELP MONTHLY

  1. Floating: Fairly straight forward by now. I’ve only raved about it the past article and a half. I cannot express how great of a stress reliever and how therapeutic it truly was. A real eye opener. And look, it lead to me writing this article too now. Who knows what else awaits?
  2. Pedicure: OK OK, you can stop laughing now. I am a man who is on his feet more than you think. Sure, I sit down with families when making funeral arrangements (funeral director here), but then am constantly running around or running funerals, attending burials, going from place to place and then when I get home, if I’m going for a run or doing housework, that can add up. 10,000 steps daily? That’s nothing to me. That being said, I have gotten pedicures a couple times and every time it was well worth it.
  3. Shave/Beard Trim: I don’t mean the thirty second beard trimmer you use in your bathroom before date night. I mean the actual attending of a barbershop, getting a nice hot towel massage, shave and trim. I like to keep a beard, but don’t always line everything up properly. Plus, it’s along the pedicure lines of treating yourself while caring for your body and well being. It’s the man version of relaxation.
  4. Getaway: It’s nice to be able to relax at home, with friends or family, but so often, one needs to just GET AWAY. This doesn’t have to be a full fledged vacation, but perhaps a weekend to go up north, or take a road trip somewhere in Wisconsin or a nearby state. See something new, experience a whole new world I haven’t. I always come back inspired when a trip ends and I’m home again.
  5. Attend Church: This is something that I am only able to do twice a month at maximum because of my work schedule. But, the Sundays that I can attend (only Sunday services right now), there shouldn’t be an excuse. Being that Christian man, I look forward to hearing God’s word and I certainly feel good inside after every service. When I am not able to attend, I do watch the live streams though.

There you are my friends. Five daily and monthly affirmations to help me lead a more productive and healthy lifestyle. If I am able to get back on track and do these things, then the cause and effect will be nothing but improvement short-term. And further, I will be even more focused and able to work towards my long-term goals, which I will detail in yet another upcoming article.

As always is the case in my life, stay tuned. And if you see me on the streets or in the social media streets, remember to call my ass out! Hold me accountable. I need it. Day by day, month by month…