Okay, so I’d still call it progress.
First off, thanks to my friend DiMono for the new, official name for this little experiment, in full “Operation Kick Negativity In The Testicles & Instigate New Gladness.” I thought it was quite clever and so I’m using it.
While I’m thanking, I should mention that the idea for this experiment was very loosely based on something from a blog called “Dr. Nerdlove” as regards boosting self-confidence for young men who have trouble talking to women. The details and context are different but the rough structure is the same, so I assume that is where my brain got at least part of the idea for how I’m going about this remapping project.
Anyway, as I mentioned my life situation is going to prevent me from blowing off all negativity, so I’m focusing on removing avoidable stressors (like politics) and in keeping my reactions to everyday things normal (as opposed to flying off the handle when Steam doesn’t work). So today I had made a point of not looking at politics and was off to the gym in the beautiful Austin, Texas sun (my shoulders are very crispy now, let me tell you!) and things were going well.
I am a fast walker. I try to get where I’m going quickly, just because. Obviously I have no time obligations anymore when I don’t have an interview, but it’s just a long habit. It’s also good for cardio.
So a few blocks before the gym these three women walk out of a store right as I pass it and begin walking in just such a way as to take up almost the whole sidewalk. And these three were very much not fast walkers. And of course who could blame them? It was a beautiful, sunny day! I was in the wrong for rushing rather than taking the time to saunter about outside in the lovely weather. All the same, I tried to pass them as politely as possible, but no matter where I moved the sidelong rhythm of their walk shifted at least one of them right in front of me.
Now before you get all aghast at me, I didn’t say anything. I eventually made my way past them but by the time I did I was furious. And even though I didn’t act on it, and nobody would know if I just kept it quiet, this is here to keep me accountable: I was inordinately mad at something I shouldn’t have been even a little angry at. So I whipped out my phone when they were out of earshot, opened Snapchat and told my friends on there the following:
“2:01 PM. Reset, Day Zero.”
Because emotions exist in my brain, I have to be honest with myself when I feel them. And if I allow myself to indulge in one of the emotions I’m trying to step away from – especially when they have no justifiable cause like my flash of anger at these women for doing nothing more unreasonable than taking their time on a summer day (for me this is basically summer) – I would be cheating nobody but myself if I allowed today to remain Day One and made tomorrow Day Two. So I reset, kept at it as best I can for the rest of the day (I had a few other stumbles but nothing too terrible and most justified well enough by the situation that only a few of them would result in a full reset) and tomorrow the sun rises on Day One take three.
As far as nice things today went, I have a few to list. I’ll be doing that, as well as speaking about them out loud, to force these nice things through as many passages of my brain as possible. I’ll try to get at least five a day, eventually ramping it up to ten. And I’ll do it last or close to last, so it’s the last thing I think about for my daily little progress reports:
1. Oh my God, the weather these last few days. Sunny and upper 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit. It’s inching closer and closer to my ideal weather (sunny and 90s-100s) and I remind myself that this is, in large part, why I moved here. To escape the cold of New England in a place that’s always – at least by my standards – warm.
2. I learned how to spell Fahrenheit. My fingers instinctively spell it F-A-R-BACKSPACE-H-R-E-N-H-E-I-T but even with the extra two buttons I can spell it! I still prefer it to Celsius but damn is the latter easier to spell!
3. The pool in my complex has been cleaned out at last! I love to swim, and they couldn’t have timed it better! I’m sure, especially while I’m still job hunting, I’ll make heavy use of it. Today I didn’t because I was busy, but busy is good.
4. I have yet another job interview tomorrow. 9AM in South Austin, and WOW did that come quickly! I applied I believe today or yesterday, they called to set up the interview today and missed me, I called back and they asked if I was available for an interview tomorrow morning. So I’m excited. I am making myself feel excited. The last few interviews I deliberately stifled that in order to “not get my hopes up” and stave off disappointment. Obviously that hasn’t worked out so well, has it? So I’m forcing myself to get pumped, to feel confident. To… believe that I really can get through this. To hope, something I have never done before.
5. Creativity has spiked today. Not only did I do book edits, I also edited tomorrow’s video, which I’ll upload before I go off for the interview. So that’s even more than I meant to do. Sliding back into it like a glove.
I feel very interesting today. I honestly have a weird headache, not like my usual kind. It’s more like the kind of dull throb when you work out muscles you don’t normally train. Which I take as encouragement that I am on the right track, and that this is something I should keep doing. See you tomorrow for Day One again!