6.26.2015

The Benefits of Introspection

Somehow, another month is on its way out, and I am almost a year into living in the Midwest.

There's something so...homespun and small-town charming about it all that I can't quite wrap my head around. I've never lived in a place like this before, and I don't know if I will stay here, but I can't deny it has captured my narrow little mind and shown me all sorts of new things I will never forget.

I've never before had the urge to garden or plant, but now I'm growing three little herbs in a pot (baby steps) and it's truly a challenge not to be proud of myself (though I specifically picked ones I knew would basically live no matter what I did) that they're thriving. The fireflies are coming out slowly now, and I've been enchanted by them too. If there weren't so many darn mosquitoes-that-apparently-don't-give-a-shit-how-much-bug-spray-I've-doused-myself-in, I would just sit outside and watch them all evening.

On the other not-pleasant-at-all hand, N and I recently encountered a person laying at the side of a road near his house recently. He was mostly covered by the tall grass and shrubs, and we only noticed because his leg was about a quarter of the way into the very small road. We looked at each other in a moment of panic, clearly both thinking "Uh shit is he dead? Should we go check? Should we call someone? What do we do?!!!" We did go check, and thank goodness it appeared that he was breathing normally and just asleep. We figured he wasn't hurting anyone so we should just leave him alone and he had disappeared within an hour or so.
A while back N linked me to this seminal post on procrastination by Tim Urban and naturally, as I was putting off writing an SOP (oh my god, so. boring.), I read the whole post and every subsequent procrastination post linked to it. To my slight surprise, I discovered something very important. I fall into the "Successtinator" category where I happen to have a job that makes me feel fulfilled because I have many deadlines that require me to get things done and doing a bunch of menial tasks gives me the false impression of having achieved things, but in reality, my house just periodically gets VERY clean, and that is not an achievement to be proud of in the long run.

Procrastinators like me spend very little time in what Urban calls Quadrant Two: Important but not Urgent. He describes this as the quadrant of true fulfillment through activities undertaken for personal improvement (i.e. hobbies that are true rather than a quick way to ignore other things) and Successtinators spend a bunch of time doing other stuff and telling themselves they're doing really well while putting off the stuff in this section. This blog was started as something of a true hobby for personal fulfillment. I was Quadrant Two-ing hard for a little while, and then all of a sudden my interest waned and suddenly I was not blogging because it made me feel fulfilled, but because I hated to break the commitment I had made. It is nice (albeit a bit eerie) to have someone explain perfectly down to the T the way your procrastinator brain works, and I am excited to take this new awareness and turn it into action...I hope.
I am nearing the end of my first week of what I'm calling my food-discipline, caloric-deficit (FDCD) diet. This is pretty basic and just means I've planned all my meals around creating a certain amount of caloric deficit, while also accounting for the fact that I need to eat like 6 times a day to stave off hunger. To be on the safe side (because Jesus, it is hard to estimate calories), I have underestimated my basal metabolic rate, and overestimated the amount of calories things contain when I can't count them exactly. I have factored in exercise for about 2-3 days a week (though I have been reasonably disciplined as of late and am averaging about 4 days/week of moderate exercise the last couple months). We shall see how long this lasts. Hopefully, if nothing else, I will be exhaustively aware of how much crap I normally put in my body. All this being said, discipline sucks and I desperately want to go back to the land of not giving a fuck. Eyes on the prize, Mugdha...
Lastly, I was thrilled to rise today to the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage. Think what you might, but you cannot deny that love has truly won today. And if you haven't read the end of Justice Kennedy's description of the ruling, you truly should. What a time to be alive!

Happy weekend, all!

2 comments:

  1. Dear Mugdha,

    You have a fabulous blog and an engaging expression!
    I usually read, admire and leave, but reading this post, I could not stop myself from sharing with you about author Stephen Covey.
    The Quadrant 2 term and philosophy might have been originally coined by him.
    His book "Seven habits of highly successful people" is a dry read, but a truly life enhancing tool.
    The Quadrant philosophy is only one part.

    I see a lot of my younger self in you, brimming with intelligence, an open and honest heart and a true love for life. And likely cleaning your house to perfection and loving it.... 😏
    When it comes to managing time purposefully, heck, perhaps even managing life purposefully, this book would be worth reading.
    It is available in libraries, and in consignment book sales, so I am certainly not trying to sell anything. I personally prefer the original edition, but the newer one has some extras I think. I hope you will have the time to read it.

    My best wishes for a truly successful life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is straight from that book, with some cartoony additions by Tim Urban. I have read "Seven Habits..." And it was very enlightening! Also, thanks for your sweet words and I hope future posts will move you to comment more! 😊

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