One of the subreddits I like to haunt is r/askmenover30. A lot of it is guys trying to get their shit together and asking for help. Well there’s very little I know so much about as not having your shit together and emerging from the fucking muck of that kind of despair.
BUT I’m…as you may have noticed…pretty fucking mouthy.
And I forget that r/askmenover30 auto-filters out anything with the word “fuck” in it. As far as I’m concerned that’s like rejecting posts with commas in it. But whatever, fuck ’em.
Sometimes I think about editing and reposting the comment. But then I usually come to the conclusion that….well…
If they can’t handle my eloquence then, uhm, fuck ’em.
This morning a guy posted this: https://old.reddit.com/r/AskMenOver30/comments/lfra19/im_32_and_i_feel_like_life_has_flown_by_so_quick/
I don’t really know where to go from here, basically no relationships, dead end service job. I just uhhh I dunno I feel like I fucked up so bad and I don’t know what to do.
So I spent a few minutes writing up this response, not realizing the bot would just bounce it. So…here it is, in case I don’t post anything else here today:
First, give yourself a break. That shit happens to all of us at one time or another, and it’s really tough to see up from there when you’re looking down. I get it.
Zoom in on your time horizon a bit.
Pick a day, maybe tomorrow, maybe a couple days from now, and decide what you’d like to accomplish. What would make that a good day? Maybe it’s creative stuff, going out for a drink, maybe NOT going out for a drink, do the dishes, spend some time with a pad of paper and list a bunch of things you’d like your life to be like (that’s a fun but oddly scary one.)
Doesn’t have to be a stressful or long list. Just write down some shit you’re gonna do, then do it. If that’s “get up and dressed before noon” then that’s it.
So, at the end of that day you lay down and you can say “I did what I said what I was going to do.” Then you smile and drift off to sleep. And if you didn’t get it done you can say “I bit off a bit more than I could chew, but now I know for next time.” Then you smile and drift off to sleep.
You’ve got to get to a point where you understand what you’re capable of and trust yourself that you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do.
Start small. Just really really small. Then build on it a little bit at a time.
I was at a point where I’d be stomping around my apartment and I’d say “Jesus man, wash ONE dish. Can you wash ONE fucking dish?” Then I’d go wash a dish, then maybe a few because I was there. But I said I’d wash one and I did. I’d nod and walk away.
The game gets fun:
- Pick up one sock
- Wash one dish
- Do one push up (on my knees because I was almost 250 pounds and weak as hell)
What happens over time as you take care of the stuff in short time spans and your immediate area is that your vision starts to clarify a bit and you look farther out. You necessarily get a bit hungry for larger accomplishments and projects.
Pretty soon you’ve got a chain of days that feel like accomplishments.
But without the trust of being able to bargain with yourself and knowing you’re gonna do (or make a best actual effort at doing) what you say you’re going to do, then you sink in to “why bother shooting for anything. I know I’m not going to do the work anyway.”