Laying the foundation

Its easy for me to fall in to depression.

When I was in my 20’s I tended to have huge spikes of happiness followed by equal magnitude lows. I refused to take medication for it, often falling to self medication, but slowly started creating a routine for my life.

I discovered, through the reading of many self help books, that a routine could help me manage more consistently day to day and start to get some of the major swings under, relative, control. It took multiple years to get to a point where I was able to create a more constructive life for myself and has lead to several great friendships and life events that have created an great foundation for me to work with.

The progression of my free time has also evolved. Before I started this little routine building procedure, I was feeling overwhelmed with the minuscule  amount I was doing everyday. My day would consist of going to work, about 8 – 9 hours, making some sort of pizza or otherwise easy to cook “food”, then sitting in front of the T.V. until I passed out. That was too much for me and I often wondered how I would ever find time for anything else.

Fast forward to now, I find myself going to work for 8 – 9 hours, cooking something from scratch for breakfast and dinner, working out or meditating for an hour before work, leading\practicing tai chi after work everyday, spending up to 14 hours on the weekend studying tai chi and finding time to spend some time with the people the amazing people in my life. All that, and I am still wanting to find ways to do more.

I look back and I am amazed at how far I have come and it all started with the idea of just creating a routine.

8 years it took me to grow that. One layer at a time and just now the concrete has started to cure.

There has always been a catch, however, when I find myself in the same routine for too long it becomes stale. Being in the same place at the same time everyday doing the same(ish) thing each time tends to get monotonous and I would fall in to old habits to mix things up, usually involving drinking too much, just to make things feel fresh again and revive my perspective of my progress.

The last couple weeks have been packed with travel and a commitment to continue my practice in between. The whole time maintaining this idea that I will be able to get back to “Normal” and be able to continue on this tightly packed schedule I have. But, today as I see several weeks of full practice ahead of me, baring any other unforeseen life events, I realize how valuable switching things up is. Going in to the next couple weeks I am excited to put my whole focus back in to my practice and my studying, i will again be able to pour all my extra attention in to it all the way up until thanksgiving break. After which, there will be another pause and then an intense couple of weeks back in to practice.

I am starting to realize sometimes it is the lack of a routine that helps to keep the routine alive. It breaths new life in to it and challenges it to make sure it is still valid. My routine is not my life, it does not define me, it does not dictate my every move, but it is a PART of my life. It is the structure I can deviate from, the rules I know so well that I can begin to deviate from and create new experimental art.

Without that, I am just blindly throwing paint on to a canvas.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris Kelsey
    Dec 14, 2015 @ 09:49:32

    Adam,
    Well written and clearly presented. Very cool observations of oneself. I can relate to it all though I do not have the temptation to drinking. I see myself in much of it.
    I found it helpful for myself. I appreciate your sharing.
    See you soon.
    Love,
    Dad

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • restlessRaven
      Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:20:33

      Thanks! The bug wheel just keeps on turning… It’s up to us to make sure it doesn’t just keep squashing us each revolution

      Like

      Reply

  2. malcolmdean
    Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:00:14

    “It is the structure I can deviate from, the rules I know so well that I can begin to deviate from and create new experimental art.” — Perfect description of the Tai Chi forms.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  3. malcolmdean
    Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:01:04

    “It is the structure I can deviate from, the rules I know so well that I can begin to deviate from and create new experimental art.” Perfect description of the Tai Chi forms…

    Like

    Reply

  4. Angela
    Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:05:20

    I admire your routine and your ability to step away from it and return. Thank you for staying how long it took you to achieve this. Many of times in our daily life we forget how long it takes to change lifelong patterns and instead expect things to impatiently change over night or even in just a couple weeks. Instead you have taken one step at a time and built a solid base for yourself

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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