Day 14 – My Climb Out of Depression

Yesterday’s choices were completely unskillful!  Blah.

I have the implicit deadline of my savings account yet I procrastinate, postpone, and ruminate. I am frozen in inactivity, smothered by my own lethargic lack of momentum.

Going to start with basics!  Just do one new thing for myself every day.  Just one small thing today that is healthy, helpful, beneficial to myself.  Just one thing! Surely I can manage that. 

I will add one new thing each day until I’m doing FIVE good things per day.

  1. Meditate at least once per day (ideally for 1 hour)
  2. Exercise: go to the gym, walk, do yoga, move!
  3. Connect with at least one other person per day (through a “non-virtual” medium – FACEBOOK, Twitter, Blogging, Text messages don’t count!)
  4. Look for (suitable) employment
  5. Meditate a second time per day (ideally for a second 1 hour period)

That’s just FIVE things!  I can do that!  But I’m only going to add one new thing per day; I feel so fragile right now.

I was thinking about how I’m seldom ever just being mindful of what my primary activity or object of engagement is.  Then I thought about the end of “City Slickers.”  I loved how the main character (Billy Crystal) has embarked upon the adventure of a vacation at a “dude ranch” to rediscover his happiness.  Jack Palance is “Yoda” to Crystal’s “Luke Skywalker.”  When asked about his own key to happiness, Palance, in an understated zen moment, simply holds up one finger.  There’s a simple brilliance here that I think we may have lost with the explosion of widespread, cheap, consumer electronics and the ubiquitous “internet.”  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete Luddite (I doubt they blog) but I am shocked to see just how seldom I’m truly mindful or focused on just one task at a time.  I am always absorbed by multiple tasks, goals, strategies.  And many of my distractions arise out of being “uber-connected.”  I need to put these things down from time to time.  Need to re-learn how to do just one thing at a time.

When I began to assemble an online job search and set of professional associations, I don’t simply select one or two and really do it thoroughly.  No, I pick eight!  As a consequence, I never seem to reap the benefits of any of the efforts.

I’m never reading just one book at a time.  I always have at least two physical books on me, as well as several on my Kindle and there’s a stack of books on my nightstand that I feel guilty about not having read already.

When I begin to itemize my hobby goals, I seem to be forever incapable of taking one idea to completion.  Rather, I jot down ideas and sketches for thirty different projects in several different “to-do” notebooks.  And that is where they stay.  Some of those ideas have been trapped on paper for decades.  And sometimes I think such projects and zeal could indeed be my existential reason for living.  They deserve my attention and my focus. 


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2 Responses to Day 14 – My Climb Out of Depression

  1. petrichoric says:

    I hate to pathologize behaviour that could very well be normal (I bet the vast majority of people relate to what you wrote about…i.e. not being able to prioritize, or follow through). However, have you ever considered that you might have ADHD? Just throwing that out there.

    I like your idea of just doing one thing every day until you’ve built up to doing more. I wish I could do that. I’m so impatient. I want to do everything, so I’m incapable of taking things slowly, or just doing one thing. But by setting too many goals, I naturally fail to achieve any of them, and then I hate myself.

    • singram1028 says:

      I suppose anything is possible… But I am sometimes able to concentrate (like when I’ve gone on a meditation retreat, after day 3 or 4, I’m usually pretty focused!. I can work on projects and totally loose track of time etc. I think for me I also try to tackle too much at once, etc.

      Been reading some existentialist stuff lately. Not sure I believe in anything as atomistic as a soul or even reincarnation anymore. Hoping it frees me to live and appreciate every moment of this life. But currently I feel like I’m suffocating under this mountain of depression and addictive acting out.

      Thanks for your Reply!

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