Warning: The post is mainly a spew of me trying to figure stuff out.
I walk into the kitchen and go to the right side of the sink. In front of me, in a perfect line, I line up my green water glass on the left, my juice glass In the middle and my green’s formula glass on the right. I pull over the microwavable bowl with its lid to sit in front of me. I take off the lid and put it to the left of the bowl. I turn around and get my gluten-free oatmeal out of the cupboard and turn back to the bowl. I grab the ½ cup measuring cup from the drainer and measure out just a little bit more than ½ a cup of oatmeal and put it in the bowl. I open my container of Himalayan Pink Salt and add a pinch. I grab my Brita and measure a bit less that 1 cup of water into the bowl. I also fill up the green’s formula glass halfway, I put about 2 tablespoons of water in the juice glass, and about a cup of water in the green water glass. I set the measuring cup on the lid and fill up the Brita. I then clean the measuring cup. I take a spoon and mix the oatmeal, salt and water and then put the spoon to the left, about two inches from the rim of the sink. I put the lid on the oatmeal, put it in the microwave and set it for three minutes. I go to the fridge and get my green’s formula and my apple cider vinegar. I measure the green’s formula into the green’s formula class. I pour a couple of tablespoons of the vinegar into the juice glass. I put the green’s formula and vinegar back in the fridge. I drink the vinegar mixture and wash it down with water. I place the green water glass behind me next to my supplements. I turn around and wash the juice glass. I stir the green’s formula and then take it to the table. When the microwave has one minute left, I remove the oatmeal and mix it up. I put it back in and start it again. I turn to my spreadsheet and mark off all the activities I’ve already done this morning. I get out the peanut butter, open it and grab a knife. At the 30 seconds mark. I stop the microwave and take out the oatmeal. I take off the lid and wash it. I put 2 tablespoons of peanut butter into the oatmeal and then put the peanut butter away. I stir the oatmeal and take it to the table.
Except for maybe once a month, when I change out the oatmeal for eggs and sausage, or waffles and sausage, that is my reality from 7:45am to 7:55am. It doesn’t change. It’s the most efficient way to make my breakfast. Back when I was eating a lot of eggs, it was the same thing. If I do all the actions in the correct order, it all comes out perfectly.
I’m a critter of habit.
I am a critter of habit and it has served me well. I’ve heard varying opinions on the subject, but it takes anywhere from 18 days to 3 months to create a habit. I have a lot of habits.
But I can’t help but wonder, what if things changed? What if instead of on the left, I put the green water glass on the right? I’d probably spoon the green’s formula into it. That’s how long I’ve been doing this.
During this pandemic I find myself in a panic. Not about getting the virus and dying, I know the chances are slim if I’m somewhat prudent. No, I worry about not being able to find the gluten-free oatmeal, not being able to find Adam’s peanut butter. Other people are running around stocking up on toilet paper and I’m going for the oatmeal and peanut butter. It’s a valid fear. For a while, no one had the oatmeal stocked. And the no-stir Adam’s peanut butter I like is no longer being made. I have one jar of no-stir peanut butter left and then I have to start using the stir type, which is annoying. I hate the stir jars. But I need to have peanut butter that’s not chock full of sugar. I also have a sugar problem that’s also a habit.
I want to feel resilient, and I don’t…
I take my oatmeal to the table. I stir my green’s formula again and turn on the sun lamp. I put on my reading glasses, open the book I’m reading for breakfast (Scott Dikkers – “How to Write Funnier”) and start to read as I eat. Eating oatmeal is an art. I start at the side and create a hole, the hole is cleaned and then I slowly move around the edge of the bowl, also moving into the center of the bowl. When I get to the end of the section in the book, I put it down and pick up the novel I’ve read a 100 times (a Charlaine Harris novel) and read that for the rest of the time. I finish my oatmeal, attempting to get every bit out of the bowl. I finish my green’s formula. I look out the window for a moment. I turn off the sun light. I pick up the bowl and glass and take them to the sink.
Every day. Every fucking day.
About 2 years ago, I went through a crisis concerning the dishes. I just became very annoyed about the dishes. Every day I have to wash my dishes. Every fucking day. If I didn’t have a thing about garbage, I would have started to use paper dishes and plastic silverware. Every time I did the dishes, I felt this huge resistance in me. It was painful. It lasted a couple of weeks before I calmed back down.
I thought about getting an assistant. Someone who would do all the monotonous things I have to do. Or things I just hate to do. I need a caretaker. I want someone who will cook my meals, do the dishes, clean my house, do my laundry, and make sure I do the things I’m supposed to be doing. Most of it I don’t even hate. It just takes time. And time is precious.
I take my bowl and glass to the sink and set them to soak. I turn around and measure out my supplements. These six I wash down with the water in the green water glass. Remember the green water glass? I continue with the next six and wash them down. Then I open the fridge and measure out the supplements that are in there and wash them down. I look at my supplement stash and wonder what I need to put on my list, what am I running out of.
The supplements are a problem. I don’t have the actions down to a science yet. Sometimes, one of them falls out of my hand and I have to search for it. That messes everything up. Sometimes I forget to finish taking my supplements and considering the last of them are the most important (probiotics, fish oil, and Vitamin D), I’m in for a very bad day. Maybe I should change the order.
Do I even need all of these supplements? Considering the mess I am, and the fact I can’t get a doctor to take me seriously, yes. It’s hard when you look like you’re in your 40s when you’re in your late 50s. They assume you must be a hypochondriac. Head hurts all the time, kidney’s buzzing, and I can’t hold my pee. They will never help me. I swear, it seems like only the Philosophy and Religion departments of any college make their students learn basic logic. I don’t go to doctor’s anymore. I have to take care of myself.
But still, maybe I don’t need so many supplements.
When I was younger, my manic phase was actually quite fun. Scary and dangerous, but at least I was having a good time. (I’m bipolar) But as I get older, they are geared around anxiety and panic. I’d found that Lecithin was great at controlling it. But it also made me depressed. If I have to choose, I’d choose the depression but I don’t want to choose. Finally, I started taking St. John’s Wort. Without the Lecithin, it would send me into a manic stage, but with it, I’m not so depressed. It’s like I’m on the prescription merry-go-round. I take a supplement to counteract the effects of another supplement to help with a hereditary problem.
There’s a reason for all of the supplements.
I fill my tea kettle with water, take my mug and put it beside the kettle, choose the tea I think would be the most beneficial for me today (today I choose the pear caffeinated tea). I open the package and put the tea bag in the mug and turn on the kettle. I go to the living room and do a series of 4 different arm/chest exercise with my bands. By the time I’m done, the water is boiling. I fill my mug and then go back to the bands to do two more exercises. I go to my desk and open the apps I’m going to need. It’s been about 4 minutes, so I go to my mug, remove the tea bag, squeeze it to get all the goodies out and put it in the compost. I add a bit of water because I don’t’ want to wait for it to cool down to drink it. I take the mug to my desk, ready to start my day.
It’s sitting here beside me right now. It’s almost finished. On Saturdays I write my blog post. One weekend I had to wait until Sunday because the writing got completely out of hand and made no sense as a whole. I felt bad for my 12 readers who probably don’t read it all that much and felt like I needed to apologize on Crackbook. So, I did. And posted the post on Sunday.
Writing is also a habit. I’ve been trying to get a post out every week and I’ve been successful. But writers don’t get good by writing once once a week. I’ve gotta write more. I have to find the time.
But I have so much going on as it is. So many things I need to do, for myself both physically and mentally. I have to work. I have habits that need to be fed. I feel constrained. I feel like the only time I have to do my actual life work is on the weekends. And the habits need to be fed then as well.
Before I even start making breakfast I’ve already meditated, exercised, done energy medicine, done voice exercises, and cleaned up. And this is every day as well. Every fucking day.
This is an all-day thing. I have many other habits, and habits in the making, all designed to help me live in this world as healthy as I can be. And it’s taken over my life. Doing anything spontaneously seems like a radical action.
Yet, not doing them means pain in my body, sleepless nights, a bad stomach, and crippling anxiety.
I struggle. I’m trying to think about what to do. I’m not done yet. I have too many goals and plans and desires to be so hobbled.
It’s a bit ironic. Sometimes I have so many problems I wonder if I was even supposed to survive this long. There have been people who have told me they expected me to be gone by 30. I’m going on 57. Add to it the urge to do something great. To accomplish something wonderous. To be truly in the world. Do I survive at the cost of not thriving? Or thrive, like a shooting start, for a time, at the cost of not surviving?
I’m holding out for something in the middle. But I’m starting to see that the middle may not be possible.