The Personal Restructuring of My Life

It’s time that I conduct a “corporate” restructure. . . A personal reinvention, if you will. So, here are some changes that are to begin immediately.

  1. Put maximum effort into my writing endeavors.
    • Writing has always been a hobby for me. Until recently, I treated it as such. I’d scribble some poetry, dab some ink onto paper from time to time, and even independently publish a book here and there. It’s time to shift this from hobby to occupation.
    • I recently adjusted my degree path in order to hone my skills. I love economics and politics, but those are my hobbies. . . writing is my passion. So, I am treating it as such.
    • Writing is going to be my side hustle until I make the conscious decision to retire from military service and make it my main occupation. So, when I’m not Soldiering, I’ll be writing. When I have moments of relative peace during the duty day, I’ll be writing. If I have a spare moment, I’ll be writing.
    • I’m over 17 years time in service; whether I go for another 3, 6, or 13, it is safe to say that I am on the back end of my time in the military and should start focusing on what I can do to sustain life and income on the back end.
  2. Less Social Media and TV time.
    • The time spent on instant gratification and a mind-numbing wastes must come to a close. Instagram likes do little to advance me as a human, or my bank account. It fulfills a gaping hole that comes with a lack of self-esteem, but I’d prefer people like my work than like my bullshit. If I’m going to have groupies, let them be intellectual groupies, not people there to blow smoke up my ass and tell me how handsome I am. I would probably argue with them anyway, but the “instant gratification” of knowing that someone finds me physically appealing leads me to keep putting things up. Why should I care
      • I’m 100% certain that I’ll relapse on this one, because there are endorphins released when people like your stuff. Instagram is the new cocaine. How many hours have we all spent staring at the likes and reading people’s flattering comments? Aren’t we all special? Aren’t we all high as fuck right now?
    • Most of my posts, the ones that matter anyway, tend to be pretty lengthy. Most of my replies tend to require me to research. So, why waste so much energy on a post when I’m already putting in the work on what could be an essay? How much time do we all spend replying to posts and then finding the research to back our arguments in order to ensure that we aren’t just regurgitating the rhetoric we see on our reading/viewing sources of choice? Is that just me? Even so. . . how much time? For me: I wasted one hour today responding to posts regarding kneeling during the anthem. One hour. Why is that wasted time instead of it being considered an opportunity to hopefully open someone else’s eyes to something? Because at the end of the day, social media gets used as a tool for distributed hatred and propaganda regurgitation. If someone is not going to listen to you because they already have their opinions deeply rooted in their minds, why waste the time on social media responses? Why not do the research, write the essay, CITE IT, publish it, and then move on to the next thing? Today I wasted one hour when I could have done that, focused more on my children, read, wrote, or any number of more productive things.
    • Television- yet another foe. The balance between art form and wasted time is blurry. I love sports. I love football; specifically, I love watching LSU and the Saints. I sit for hours analyzing the footage, the game, the replays, the commentary. For what? There are some aspects that I won’t give up. LSU will continue to be an indulgence. It’s also a mode of connection that I have with distant family members, and that is worth more than anything and does not equate to “wasted time” for me. But couldn’t I also be feeding into my side hustle by contributing to my thoughts and analysis onto some forum? I may not be athletic from a football sense, but my the accepted analysis by people who have played and know the game leads me to believe that I may have SOMETHING to contribute in that arena. Let’s look at baseball, though. I love baseball; I especially love the Braves. Do I waste 5 hours for 162 days each year zoning out of the world and watching? Hell no! I follow. I listen. With baseball being baseball, unless I’m physically sitting there in a stadium, on those occasions that I do watch, I am generally doing something else while watching. Why not do that with football?
      • More to follow on this one. Side hustle within the side hustle? Perhaps.
  3. Read more!
    • If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to hone the skills to write. I generally listen to audiobooks when I’m driving, unless the kids are in the car. . . or on those occasions where I have a vibe that only music can tap into. Those moments are rare when I’m alone, though. I’ll listen to music while writing or working. There’s nothing comparable to sitting down with a book in hand, though. This is what I need to do more of: analyze sentence structures, literary devices, voice, dialogue, tone, setting. Audio books fill a gap where physical reading won’t do, but physical reading cannot be replaced when there are skills that need to be honed and methods to be tapped into.
  4. Prioritize those who prioritize me; make those who treat me as secondary, secondary in my life.
    • There’s no worse feeling than being on someone’s backburner. I’ve been there far too often in my life. What’s worse, I’ve been the culprit far too often in my life. I don’t necessarily take it as a personal slight, though, and I’d like to think that others don’t take it as one from me. You’re either with me, or you’re not. You’re on my wavelength or you’re not. We aren’t all meant to be best friends with everyone. I can’t remember any great person being considering a “best friend” to all. There’s just not enough room in everyone’s day to make everyone #1. If I treat you as a priority, it’s because you’re special to me. If it’s not reciprocated, I understand, but who puts forth effort into human interactions that aren’t equal? No human is a dog. You may be able to pat a dog on the head every now and then, give it a treat, and expect it to be at your heel every second of every day; but humans are not built that way, nor should they be. We all desire to be valued, and reciprocated valuation is typically a driving force between future interaction.
  5. Structure my day! It’s time to subset life into a battle rhythm.
    • The military lives and dies by “Battle Rhythms.” We all long for a simpler times before technology (aside from our above mentioned Insta-Face-Space-Tweeting cocaine-like additions). However, that’s not the reality of contemporary life. There’s just too much going on. You have two choices: A) structure yourself in order to maximize efficiency and productivity, or B) get swept away in the rushing current and end up missing something important due to something not-as-important. If the successful units are units who adhere to battle rhythm events, why not translate that into an individual’s events in order to focus my energies on all necessary activities?
    • Things that will be battle rhythm’d once I complete this entry:
      • Main Occupation (This will take up the preponderance of my time, especially considering that military life is not a life where you can just stroll though it if you’re going to be successful. The key is to fit my other personal battle rhythm events in AROUND the military battle rhythm, such as, writing during lunch and listening to audiobooks while moving from one end of post to the other for meetings.)
      • Writing (a writer has to write every day. I have to put it on a schedule, and I have to hold myself accountable to it everyday!)
      • Reading (as stated above, if a writer isn’t reading, they do not have the tools to write)
      • Working Out!
      • Family Time
      • Sleep (if you’re not recharging, you’re going to bog down!)
  6. Fitness!!!
    • I have fallen in love with fitness. Finally, after over 30 years! I’ve also fallen in love with tailoring my diet to increase my body’s productivity and maximize effort. Noticing a trend? I hope so. I still love food, though! Oh, man! I’m cajun to the bone and did not even attempt to resist cooking a gumbo last night. Nor did I resist the smores, spaghetti, candy, or any of those other things that have made my energy level lag today. I get it, we all need cheat days, but the point in this particular number is that fitness has become a wonderful, if not imperfect (due to my own inadequacies and failures), mode in which to boost my energy, brain function, feeling, and health! It is an amazing stress relief, and I physically and mentally do better when I’ve taken 1 to 2 hours per day to workout! This one will be categorized as a battle rhythm event, but it’s one that definitely needs to be adhered to.

All that being said, it’s time to execute! Have a wonderful week and Happy Monday!

-SMW-

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Atrocities in the Name of Abstracts

In a contemporary world wrought with justification for human indignities in the name of abstractions, it is important that we remember where these actions have led us in the past… the not so distant past. Actions are still justified in the name of abstracts: religion, party, and country.

Socialism, communism, nationalism, protectionism….
Make America Great Again, sovereign nation, illegals, undesirables, deplorables, etc…. all terminology meant to strip people of their individuality, dignity, and humanity as a means to justify actions against them.

You’re not an XXX American, you’re just an American… until you aren’t.

The German Jews ceased to be German… they became the Jewish problem.

Over the course of 12 years Germany went from socially and culturally diverse to an abomination… anti-semetic based around the idea of a master race. 12 years of advancement in time unleashed a barbarity in the name of an abstract which reversed their humanity backwards by millennia.

This documentary was lost for 3 quarters of a century, shelved and forgotten due to a desire for european reunification following WWII.

I’ve watched many of Hitchcock’s films, but I would say this 1+ hour is the greatest and most powerful thing his name could be tied to.

White Privilege Exists; Stop Being So Defensive

White privilege is a thing, and once people stop reacting to it as though it’s a negative connotation thrust at white people and see it as a societal current state of affairs people might give themselves pause enough to begin having the discussion.

I’m not non-white. I’ve never had to deal with, nor could I ever begin to comprehend what experiencing racism is like. What I do know is that I’ve never had to worry about success or advancement based on my skin tone. This is where the white privilege comes into play. One less barrier to negotiate has allowed me to strictly focus on my own performance for such things. The list is much bigger, but this is meant to be a short in order to trigger thought. Recognizing this privilege has been key to growth. If others would only let their guards down, not feel like they have to go on a defensive, and open their eyes to the world around them, we may be able to have a more productive and honest conversation.

Change the world!

-SMW-

Sobriety

Here’s a little non-poetic, personal stuff for ya.

6 months ago, 181 days precisely, I embarked on a new journey; the journey of sobriety. After years of punishing my body and bad decisions, it was time. The catalyst that created the realization is irrelevant, but it became apparent that I no longer had a grip on the whiskey… it had a grip on me. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made…. and though I do miss the taste of beer (especially this Bavarian beer), I do not miss being drunk, embarrassing my wife and kids, and waking up hungover.
So, here’s to 6 months…. and to another 6 coming up.

If you think you need help or that you may have a problem, you probably do. Get it. I had a sober buddy. If you don’t have one, check out an AA meeting. Help is out there.

-SMW-