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Treadmill

Hey, look, I am still around. Been so long between posts, I almost forgot about me.

So, if there is still anyone still subscribed and reading this, I do still have things to talk about, even though I took another long break.

Today’s subject is simple enough, the treadmill. A little back story first though. I have been under doctors orders to walk regularly for a couple years now. Plus, I have been taking those orders a bit further in order to try and lose, and keep off, weight. Well this winter has been difficult for me along these lines. A lot of it is me making excuses, but not all. My biggest issue has been since last summer when I moved. I use to live right next to a nice public lake, with a popular, and well maintained, walking trail around it. Made for a good excuse to get out walking, and gave a good measured distance in a varied incline decline area. I was working on getting out and walking the entire 3.3 miles a few times a week, or at least that was the goal. I wasn’t always able to make it all the way around, and was working to do so with more and more ease.

Well, I moved. I moved to a house that is not near such a place. While I now live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, I also live on a busy road that is without a sidewalk. The streets near me also don’t all have sidewalks, and when walking, I am basically walking in neighborhood blocks not, most with sidewalks when you go so far, and not the public areas for walking that I am more comfortable with, and that are measured out for distance. Also, early last summer, I lost the person that was walking with me. Not that it is requirement for walking, but it did make it a lot easier for me when someone was showing up and not giving me room for excuses to not get out and walk, and having company to talk to and laugh with and complain with about the walk, made things a lot easier as well. While the walk itself can include a lot of things to look at and be pleasant to just be outside, there is a big part of it where I am fighting my body telling me that I can’t do this and need to give up, and having someone there telling me otherwise helped. The reason she stopped walking with me could be a long post in itself, all I will really say to that is, if you think your significant other is doing something other than walking with a friend of hers, and you are too lazy to walk with them to see for yourself, then shut up, you can’t accuse them if you are invited.

So, I was using all of this as kind of an excuse to not force myself out the door, and I have gained a pound or ten back because of it. There is also the regular excuses used with being a single parent and not being about to easily schedule times to drive somewhere to walk or workout. Then comes weather. While I tell myself I am just making excuses, the weather is something that I can’t control and is more than just an excuse. If it is raining or stormy, I am not alone in thinking it is a good day to skip a workout. Then when you get to the later fall months, it starts getting cold, and while some people still do their outside workouts despite temperature, I just don’t find myself able to. When I walk a long distance when it is too hot out, I find myself feeling sick a lot and feel like I am hurting myself more than helping. Winter is even worse, since I am not only cold, but my back and hip, where I had surgery a couple years ago and what started all this, start to hurt and makes it hard to move some days much less walking several miles getting consistently colder.

I decided the solution to this all was to get a treadmill, now that I live in a place big enough to have one. I would still prefer to walk with someone outside, but I am hoping the treadmill really gives me less excuses to not walk. It is also closer to my music and TV, so I am able to do something that might distract me and see if I can make that a way to walk further more often. I did get the treadmill, and have been trying to figure out the best placement for it, and the best attitude to have towards it. From what I have found online, people seem to suggest putting it in a place that it is easy to get to, no excuses not to use it, without having it in the way of other things, and somewhere you will see it everyday. The house I live in was my grandparents house when I was growing up, and the furniture was always arranged in this one way, more or less, and I have kept it that way, more or less, since I moved in. It just seems like that is where the furniture goes, and it just feels odd changing certain things in this house. So I am having a bit of trouble deciding where to put the treadmill at the moment, but I think I have decided on a good location. If anyone has a suggestion on this, I am open to ideas.

My only real concern has been walking on it. I am just not use to it. A treadmill works by giving a consistent speed on a belt. If you ever pay attention to how you walk, you don’t really walk with a consistent speed in real life. You sort of walk faster and slower depending, but you throw that out the window with a treadmill and have to learn to walk at this speed for this long, and it just isn’t something I am use too. I also am not use to watching or listening to anything when walking. While I am told, and have read, about how you can get in the habit of watching a show or listening to an album or so on and so forth, and even get to the point of timing your workout based on that, and it can increase the level of your workout, it just isn’t something I have ever done, so I am not use to it yet. I am sure with time I will know what they are talking about.

All that said, I put the treadmill in my bedroom for the time being, moving it to its new home in the family room will take time with changing the arrangement of the family room. For now my bedroom will just have to work. I have only had it three days now, but I did use it once. The first day I used the best excuse I could think of to not use it, I was exhausted after dragging the 230lb box inside and setting the damn thing up. The second day I used it, and yesterday I was just being lazy. Now that I have a way to walk inside, I want to tell myself that I have less room for excuses, and force myself into a schedule. Day 1 I walked a 20 minute mile watching a show. I realized that it has been too long since I stopped walking since I was wearing down a little faster than I was hoping. The plan, starting today is to find a speed that I can keep up, and start watching an hour long show, which are actually about 40-45 minutes on Netflix, and go to the end of the show instead of watching the treadmill.

That really is all I can say about it right now, I am hoping this will help me have less excuses and keep things up. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas on using a treadmill, I am all ears.

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Posted by on March 5, 2015 in Weight

 

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Exercise

Now I am about to make excuses that will seem unreasonable, but I am working past them, so shut it.

When I started the whole exercising thing, I lived close to a popular walking/running area for where I live. It is a lovely little lake with a 3.4 mile paved trail running around it. All sorts of people walking, running, biking, walking dogs, playing at the parks and so on all the time. I hated it. That sounds odd, but I hated it. The reason I hated it, is the same reason I hate going to local gyms and other places designed for working out. This is simple, I live in a city with a major university and well that makes this all suck. These places are always full of these students that don’t need to fucking be there. Okay, maybe people that work on keeping it early should be there and should be encouraged, blah blah blah blah blah. I am not saying that I don’t have any problem seeing college girls in great shape working out either, I am male, I think that comes with the hardware. The problem is I am not even seeing sex at this point. What I see are these 18-mid 20’s college students, girls and guys, with perfect fucking bodies, barely wearing enough cloth to cover the parts that move when they do, running at even pace. Then I notice them as they then lap me once or twice and notice that they are barely breaking a sweat, they haven’t seemed to slow down, and they smiling like this is fun.

Why would this be an issue, and why do I hate them to my core for it, well that is simple, as they pass me for the second or third time, I am thinking in my head that I just am hoping to survive the 4 miles this trail requires me to finish and be alive at the end, I am only half way, nearing the 2 mile mark, and my shirt looks like I took a dip in the lake along the way I am sweating so much, and I stopped feeling part of my legs already. I am in no way smiling, the joyful spirit that was happy that I was getting out and moving jumped ship about half a mile back when the guy in my head that started calculating the point of no return (the point on the trail where it is shorter to finish rather than to turn around) kicked in. It is about the point of no return when I first think about if I wore the right socks or tied my shoes right to not get blisters, and as I am having that thought, Mr perfect abs and his girlfriend Miss perfect curve run past me for the second time in the running clothes they made with string and a few doilies, and I don’t even want to tell them that, cause they are too young to know what doilies even are.

Well a few months ago I moved away from the lake that I use to walk at frequently. I miss it. Now I live in a neighborhood that is not really near any solid trails or measured areas to walk. Worst of all there are no pretty college students to start my walk out looking at and end it hating. There is just me and the occasional person working in their yard. Sidewalk where there are sidewalks, but the traffic is calm enough to not need them where there aren’t any. I long for just having some noise, but really that isn’t what I miss most. I miss the college students. When you walk alone, and can’t find someone to walk with you regularly, you don’t get a lot of encouragement. What I hated about those college students the most is when they lapped me they gave me a smile or a simple nod. I hated that these people where out there to begin with, and then that they looked at me, cause a lot of them just look at you with this grossed out face, but the ones that worked, the ones lapping me, they always looked and smiled and nodded. They may not have been doing it intentionally, but they were encouraging me by simply recognizing me. I may not be able to get around several time in an hour, but I am trying.

That is the biggest reason I am not out there right now. My kids don’t care if I go walking or if I lay on the couch in my office and watch netflix. They get fed and the laundry gets done both ways. I am single, so I am not getting an encouragement from a partner, and I don’t really have anyone going with me. So I stand at a stand still where I wan’t to start with a small goal and walk a mile a day and increase that to real exercise, but I just feel like I don’t care, and like no one else does, so why should I. I should because of all the reason I have to, but I don’t because if I do it, no one will pat me on the back for it. I know that is stupid, but it is true, and it is the truth making me lazier than ever. I do not know how to work past it, but I will need to in order to get anywhere. I can break my diet down to under 1000 calories a day, but if I don’t burn at least that, what good is it?

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Weight

 

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Clothing

Our next stop on my train of depression that I want to talk about, in order to kick myself a little so to help to continue to motivate me more, is clothing. I would like to say this is about one type of clothing, but no. Let me apologize to anyone that reads this that does’t like the occasional curse here and there. I know I shouldn’t, but I type things as I think them, and there are a few things about this current subject that just brings that out in me, so ignore it or skip the next couple posts.

No, it couldn’t just be that my fucking shirts were getting a bit tight around the waist or that I needed to let my belt out a little. I first started noticing that maybe things with my diet and weight plan from the last year were going in a negative direction, when the belt I wear every day didn’t fit. Now I wear a cloth belt with a clasp, so there are not loops or hole to judge things by. Some days I wore the belt looser than others, so I was also use to the belt seeming to be a bit short, but I didn’t wear a belt for a few weeks during moving residence, because I lost my belt in a box somewhere, and when I found it and went to put it one, it didn’t fucking fit at all. I couldn’t get enough cloth into the buckle to make the clap close. That isn’t me feeling bloated or wearing a thick shirt, that is some extra fat came from somewhere and it is now attached to me, you stupid fat piece of shit.

Now I don’t mean to call me names, but I feel like I think of me that way, even though I don’t feel like that in real time.

Then my shirts, oh my shirts, my lovely old collection of shirts. I hoard shirts. I hold on to them as if they are made of gold. Probably because I remember what I paid for some of them and they might as well be made of gold. I have bought a good amount of clothing at thrift stores and gotten a few as gifts, but there are a lot that I paid store price for. I never worried much about it, I wore shirts that fit when I started the diet plan last year, and as I lost weight, I really liked my shirts being a little baggy, and no one seemed to mind around me, so why waste the money replacing any of them? I wouldn’t do that, no. In fact I liked how I looked in the slightly bigger shirts that I bought more shirts of the same size. Now when it comes to the t shirts of that size, I am still good. The material stretches a bit here and is loose a bit there, and it all kind of evens out, cause rayon and jersey knit are your friend! Remember that, they are your friend, if worn right, they can show every curve you want shown off and hide all the ones you don’t. When it comes to my other shirts, I am not so much happy. Buttons are evil! It would seem that I can’t button all my button up shirts anymore, and remember this is the size I was when I started the plan almost two years ago. I am bigger in size than then, and I hate myself for it. Still smaller in weight.

Last we come to my pants, and this may be my sore spot in all of this. I wore a size 36 pant coming out of high school, and I wore a size 36 for a really really long time. Marriage and desk jobs eventually got the best of me and I went up to a size 38, and I have been a size 38 for the majority of my adulthood. I only got big enough to buy one pair of size 40 pants once in my life. I bought the one pair and started this diet kick about the start of 2012. I almost immediately went back to a size 38. I even got down low enough at the end of summer in 2013 that I could fit in some of the more relaxed fit size 36 jeans I had around. Well that all use to be true, now I have been noticing that not only my belt was getting too small. The only pants I had that I even needed a belt for was those size 40 pants I bought in 2012, and now I was noticing that there was even some pants that I wasn’t wearing because they were getting a bit too tight. Because of a dress code change at work I decided I needed to have a couple pairs of new jeans, so I went to the store last night to buy the jeans. It was a depressing shopping trip. I wish I had just stayed home, but there is paint on the only jeans that I own that fit, so I needed to buy jeans. I decided to try on different sizes, and the size 40 pants was all that fit, and I couldn’t have been more pissed at me about it. I hate even the idea that I have to wear a size 40 jean now. The worst part of it, I am sitting here typing this wearing the new jeans, and I keep thinking how tight they are in places and now think I should go back and get a pair or two of relaxed fit in the same size for work. Fuck me!

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2014 in Weight

 

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Food

So I am still trying to get in the habit of writing stuff down again. It really does help, but it will also be easier once my office at home is all set up and I have a comfortable place to sit and type, since I don’t always find the time at work.

Food is what is on my mind today. I did a good job last year at changing my diet completely and holding myself to it in order to loose weight. In the time between then and now I let that slip quite a bit. I have remained more aware of what I am eating and making sure to diversify the food I am eating, and not just eating crap everyday, but I didn’t stick completely to the diet. There is some blame I put on the fact that healthier food is just more expensive and harder to make. There is also some blame to put on me for not trying harder to find the other options as well. The biggest issue I find myself having is portion control though.

When I started this all in 2012 the doctor put me on these wonderful little pills that made me stop eating when I was full, sometimes before I was. Appetite suppressors work great to help you eat a correct portion of food, but as those went away I have found it easier to eat more than to stick with the amount that I should be eating. The urge to just have something to eat or to eat more is just so over whelming. I stopped buying junk snack food and easy high carb stuff, and now I find myself late at night looking in an almost full pantry thinking how we just have nothing to eat. I don’t want to cook something, nor do I need to be, and I don’t want to eat a can of peaches, I want a fucking cookie or some popcorn, something that tastes great, likely has ten things in it that are killing me and making my diet not work, and will make me feel better and like I ate something.

I feel discouraged weighing myself, know junk food in the house, I go to bed hungry and find myself doing more chores just to stay active and not think about food, and then I’ve gained weight and pants that fit last week don’t this week. I know that I am going through that same thing I went through last time I started this crap where your body adjusts to more water, change in diet and exercise and you put some weight on before losing. I am fully aware that some people do that and IT REALLY SUCKS!!! I just want to be able to stand up without feeling my body weight not putting pressure on my back and hip causing a sharp pain, or to talk to a girl I am attracted to without being convinced that she has no interest in return because of my weight. I want my fucking shirts to fit and not have to go to work wearing them unbuttoned with a clean t shirt underneath. That style went out of style when I was in high school for everyone except fat guys that can’t afford new cloths.

Anyway, got side tracked there a bit. I am working on the food thing. I am not focusing on switching to full healthy food like I did last time, cause that approach simply didn’t work. It worked, but I wasn’t able to sustain it, so it didn’t. I am trying some other options, like making large amounts of food I like at home. I know I like ham, instead of buying deli ham, I am buying half or whole ham, and I can cook it myself. That is just one example, but it is a good one cause it is something that is affordable, since it provides several meals, plus I have full control over the seasonings, how it is trimmed and so on. It isn’t a perfect solution and I need to work on portion control as well, but it is where I am starting.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2014 in Food, Weight

 

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My Junkyard: Part 3

Those days where things were just messy were not that long ago, but I now look at them as the better days than I have. What I mean by messy and what you mean by messy might be different outlooks. I have known many people who are all worried about their place being a mess, then when you get there they have the laundry out. If you are waiting for more, you will be disappointed, because that’s it. The worry here was literally that the clean laundry that they had out and were folding, made their house a mess. I don’t even know how to processes a model of how a person like this thinks. That at the very worst is an incontinence, and only if I had my heart set on sitting in the chair they had been putting the clothes that they had folded. When you come to my house and I say it is a mess, you will step on clothes, and they won’t be clean and I won’t be folding them. There is a likeliness that you will need to ask me the color of my carpet, that is if you wanted to know that information, because you won’t be able to see enough of it to really tell yourself. That coverage will not only be clothes, there will be boxes, toys, paper, wires, and an odd assortment of other items. This is actually a nice way of what I think of as messy. My apartment clean is still messy by some definitions I have encountered in my life.

Now back when this was still the norm, I would get upset at my boys for not assisting me more in cleaning up. After all a lot of the mess is theirs as well, but I may have been expecting more of them than they needed to be doing, although I do still feel strongly in them doing a lot of the work. This all changed almost two years ago, when I started having regular pain in my back. I didn’t realize why at the time, but I slowly started having trouble bending over to pick things up, and then increasingly wasn’t able to sit on the hard floor to do the work sitting either. Clothes and toys started going left when dropped or thrown on the floor due to my pain. Then last year I finally had my back fixed, but the surgery has again left me with mobility restrictions and lack in mobility required for cleaning. What I needed to do, but had failed to do, would have been to set up a real organized plan before the operation so that I could go home with some peace of mind, but I did not do that. Instead I relied on the help from my father, which he would have to stop giving, and from my kids, which is a lot like juicing a stone. With a lack in help and me not being able to do a lot of the work, my place has started to cross that line from messy to dirty. I am not able to keep up, which is not an easy thing to admit, so that is reason to give me a break.

I still don’t have a lot of people to help me, and I have found that a lot of it has to do with my age. In a lot of my post surgical requests and visits from friends and family, I do get a lot of reactions about how its been x many months, I should be at 100% and getting this all done. If I say anything to the contrary, I usually get something about how the young bounce back or how I’m only in my early 30’s. The fact that I had a back fusion and give a year recovery time for, at best case, seems to somehow be made better by my age. This stigma pushed upon me from others has actually made it much harder to find help to get basic things done. There have been days when I am in a lot of pain when I dropped something I needed, keys phone what have you, and I couldn’t pick it up because I couldn’t bend. I didn’t know what to do, and so I looked at it. I have stood outside hoping that a neighbor would walk out so I could rope them into picking that item up for me. This has resulted in a new problem that compounds the first.

While I was already no good at cleaning, but now I am no able to pick anything up that is below waist level. While I have had a couple different grabber devices, there are always things you can’t pick up or move when you are limited to 20lbs and no bending. This took me back into dangerous territory of blame. First my dad for not coming over anymore, and then my kids that are there have of every month but do not always help in the cleaning. I again have people to blame, but the problem is that they aren’t to blame. While they are to blame, the kids that is, for not doing the parts that are their regular chores and getting those done would help a lot, they are not to blame for the whole thing and they did not choose me or my issues, they just got stuck with me. Nor did they have a vote in the surgery, and how that was going to complicate their lives. I would think they would have voted against it if we went back and asked them.

Now my house is back in one of those states were it is just too messy for me to know how to deal with. I have been through the stages of my cycle of embarrassment over the last month and depression where I felt too over whelmed by the magnitude of all of it that I just don’t think I can do anything. My kids don’t know what to think when it is like this, but get mad at me for making or causing the mess, when it really is all of our mess, I’m just not doing what is necessary to keep things cleaned up. They have called me lazy and dirty and these sorts of things that from anyone else I would justify my actions and ignore them, but from my kids, that do live in the apartment, and do see me clean, but at the same time see this cycle of the mess coming and going, being apart of the clean up and then maintaining it, only to see it go back to the mess it is now. It is when I know that they think of me like this that I feel the worst. It also isn’t like all I do is sit around or lay around the house. I do spend a lot of time doing both of those for my back these days, but I am also active, in my work out, in scouts, in my job, in helping my parents, and most of all in things I do with my kids.

I don’t really know how to end this because I am at that point, but I don’t have any explanations or solutions to this problem. I started the up side of the cycle today, which I can always tell by when I start picking up and putting away all the laundry. Not just what I need to get through the next week, but everything that isn’t clean. I noticed that there is a few things of concern to me that push that line from messy to dirty and I am starting to feel really bad about myself for allowing it to get to that point. Getting it clean isn’t a given when I start the upside, it is just a possibility. If my motivation remains long enough I will get the place perfect, or get it at least to a point that I am willing to invite someone else in to help. I do fear getting to that point though. The point in which the place is clean and just sitting in my living room is like a drug, taking in the wonderful feeling of sitting in a nice freshly cleaned room, knowing that it can easily slip into a disaster. If I knew how to not only how to keep it from slipping into that, but to be able to be present and aware that it was happening, then I might be able to stop it completely, but I have never figured out how I can have such a disconnect in what I am doing to the environment around me until I have gotten it to a point of over whelming disaster.

The only idea I have come up with is to make a checklist to go through the house and check everything on the checklist, which might help make me aware and keeping it up, but then how long do I do this checklist? What keeps me from putting things off when I notice them? The other issue is stuff. I am so attached to so many things and I need to just start throwing it all away. I don’t know how to get over this minor version of my dads hording, but I feel if I don’t, I will never get away from this. For now I am going to do what I always do with my problems and struggles, I am going to work on them one step at a time and write as much as I can about them. I will be working on a checklist, while I get things cleaned up, and hopefully find my way out. Maybe someone will read this and give me a new tool that I hadn’t considered.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Cleaning

 

My Junkyard: Part 2

Knowing that I now can only blame myself for the messy life that I live everyday, even though I will still hold it against my dad, I now need to really conflict on the progression of the issue. I think there is more than one kind of messy person. Basically, I believe all messy people can be categorized into two groups. There are the people who are just messy, and the people who are dirty. What sets the two groups apart is not the amount of stuff they have, or even how it is scattered about their homes, but a simple measure of the amount of dirty things that are in their house as a result of being messy. What I mean by this is simple. Food, drink, mold, mildew, ect. These are things that cause a house to be dirty, not just messy. While my house is usually messy, it is usually a matter of too much stuff not put aways and tossed about, but you could pick it up safely, without the concern of running across something that would make you gag or that you would have to identify in a lab to know what it once was.

It’s an important distinction for me, because I have always said “I might be messy, but I’m not dirty.” I still think this statement can hold true, but I think that this is a fine line. A messy person only has to misplace one dish, drop one thing, before they become dirty without trying to be. If the house is messy enough then you can easily do that. After I moved out of my parents house is when I first started a real pattern of messy behavior. I went from having parents to clean up after me, to being on my own and having to cook and clean for only me. I learned all sorts of live lessons about how to tell which was your cleanest dirty shirt when you forgot to do laundry, and how to make “organized” piles of my stuff, so I knew how to find stuff. The only time this mess got cleaned is when my girlfriends stayed over or a friend needed a place to stay for a day or two.

It was in my second apartment when I realized a true cycle, that I have discussed with my doctor and a therapist at one time, in my cleaning. It starts with the perfectly clean house. You have to close your eyes and imagine everything put away, and straightened up. You can smell the lemon oil and carpet cleaner and a breeze through the house. This to me is a real happy place. I love this place, even in my crappy little apartment, it can be wonderful. In this place I make rules, because we are going to keep it this way. Then the first rule is broken by me. I leave a coke can out, or a dish on the table, or something from the car in the middle of the floor. A week goes by and a few more rules are broken, but for some reason, it what was told to me was some sort of disconnect, I have never fixed my first mistake. That can is still sitting on that table, and now with one there, the whole family and myself have decided a couple more wont hurt, besides we will pick them up later. Another week goes by, and a have done a few attempts to clean up but didn’t get far, and then I walk in one day, one or two months out, and realize that it has all gotten worse than it was before I cleaned it last time. The sink is full of dishes, there is barely a path to walk through the living room to get to the bedrooms, I can’t even lay on my bed, the bathroom floor has enough closes overflowing the dirty basket that you can no longer walk in there without walking over them, and I have no idea what happened.

It isn’t that I intentionally didn’t clean, I started out with a clean place, which likely took me taking vacation time, or even enlisting family or hiring friends to get to that point. I knew how to keep it that way, had a plan in place to keep it that way, even made a point to look it over everyday to make sure it wasn’t getting too bad that I couldn’t clean it up. Now suddenly I am living back in a junkyard made up of me and my kids clothes, wrappers, coke bottles, toys, and who knows what else just everywhere, but I don’t know how it happened. I honestly don’t I remember the clean, and now see the dirty, but somehow I missed the in between part where it was being messed up. Then seeing it in this state I know that it is not possible to get it clean. It is now an impossible task and I lock myself up and don’t know how to make it better. I don’t want to ask family or friends for help, they have all seen this before and I don’t want them to think so much less of me for not being able to keep cleaning after myself and my kids. What kind of horrible parent or person am I that I can’t provide a healthy clean environment for my children, but the qualifier always in there that I am messy not dirty.

This realization sends me into a spiral of depression, where I hide my apartment, I don’t invite anyone over, and never open my door all the way. I can’t risk everything I have because one person will think me to be this horrible neglectful father that can’t do simple chores. It becomes my messy secrete, the only thing in my life I don’t talk about, but becomes harder and harder as I go into my late 20’s and early 30’s. With more and more messes in my house, I become more and more comfortable with allowing these messes to build in my car. Where at one point I would occasionally take everything in my car inside, sort out the trash and put things away, I now don’t have room for anything else inside, so more and more stuff has to stay in the car. This only proves to be a solution that can work on a temporary basis, but worse of all, hiding your car is harder than hiding your house.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Cleaning

 

My Junkyard: Part 1

This is both a difficult subject to talk about and one that is just as hard to explain. You could describe it in many ways, as a default in my brain that keeps me from learning from the past doomed to always repeat it, a compulsion, or the opposite of compulsion, as something I just never learned to deal with as a child and therefore can’t do as an adult, or you could just say it’s because I’m lazy and don’t care. I’m really not sure what the correct answer is myself, but I am thinking more and more that it is not only a problem, but one that I need to be able to openly admit to and then be able to openly discuss to help find a solution to.

What is this issue that I might be having, I know how vague I was and in reading my first paragraph back to myself, it appears that I could be talking about a number of horrible habits or addictions, but I am not, in fact it sounding like that makes me feel a whole lot better already. The issue I am having is simply cleaning. Doesn’t sound like much, and everyone has to do it, but I don’t, at least I intend to, but things get out of hand. I am getting ahead of myself though. Lets start from the start.

When I was little I wasn’t a very clean child and I was constantly getting in more and more trouble for not picking up my room or doing my chores and in return, I found more and more creative ways to take a short cut here, or avoid cleaning there. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal, after all, all kids avoid doing their chores. As I have gotten older, I have heard my dad’s same old stories about how bad it really was. Stories about me putting a board across the stuff on my bedroom floor because my dad told me I had to make a path or he was going to get rid of a lot of my stuff. While the correct answer here is to pick toys up, put things away and do some cleaning, my solution was to bypass the more time-consuming work and “make” a completely new path that went over the mess. Now why stories like this one are funny things my dad says about my childhood now, I began to think about my own kids. While they have a lot of stuff in their room, and it does get out of control quite often, when it comes to cleaning their room, they still actually clean their room and don’t try to bypass the harder work for an easier solution that may or may not work.

This is when I realized that I really had a problem, but it had started at a really young age. You might think I am jumping to conclusions, but in thinking a lot about it, piecing stories of my life together, looking into how I conduct myself now, and really watching how I do some of my smallest tasks, I find that I do this not only for cleaning, but a lot of other things as well. I also not only do it today, but in a lot of how I did things as a kid. There is another popular story of my dad’s where in I found a copy of my third grade math book, teachers copy, being discarded as outdated material by the department of a university that my worked for and I know work for. I checked to make sure it was the right edition and took it, after all they were putting it into the trash. I used it to answer questions for a long period of time in that math class. I was only caught because of a mistake that was in the teacher’s book that the teacher of my class had caught several years ago, but wasn’t corrected in my book.

I didn’t think there was anything was wrong with what I was doing, and still remember today wondering why they were calling what I did cheating. The objective of the class was to find the correct answer to the problems I was being given, no one had ever set parameters to what I couldn’t do to get to those answers. I had simply found a way around the hard work, and was still participating in class and getting my work done. I know now why that would be wrong, but I think on it now and also wonder what took so long for me to get caught. I didn’t think what I was doing was wrong, so I wasn’t hiding the book I was using. I pulled it out in class while doing my work, as well as at home. The only thing I can ever contribute to this is that there is something about how someone doing something wrong acts or looks. Maybe if I thought what I was doing was wrong or cheating I would have acted different and been suspicious and would have been caught with the teachers manual a long time before.

So, you might be wondering what any of this has to do with cleaning. Well, nothing, but I think it is all connected. I also am not sure if this is an innate built-in part of my nature or a learned behavior. You could say both or neither, but both of my brothers are also, in their own way and to their own degree, pretty messy people as well. So, there you go, people who grow up messy are messy, right? There is a problem with that, my dad. My dad is not only clean, but he is compulsive. If you can clean too much, he is sometimes at that line. If you really want to get on his nerves, just walk in his house and lay your keys on an empty space on the counter, don’t take your shoes off, or mention a spot on the carpet or table. He might blow up about it, or he might brush it off like it’s nothing or that he knew about it, but then you can almost calculate when he will look at it as he walks past every time after you point it out. Oddly he is a horder too, but he hordes in true compulsive ways. Every thing is in a box in his shed. Every box with a spot, and a label and he can almost walk through and tell you exactly what is in every box. He knows where everything is and everything has a place.

I thought a lot about this and thought that I had found the answer, it’s my dads fault. You will notice a theme where I blame a lot of different people for this issue of mine. My dad compulsively cleaned, and he did it everyday of my life, so I never did the cleaning myself, so when I went out in the world I didn’t have to tools I needed to know how to take care of myself. While this theory works great on paper and sounds so fool-proof, it doesn’t really work. The problem here is that story about me building a path over the stuff on my bedroom floor. See, my dad didn’t clean my room on a daily basis, in fact he only cleaned it when it came down to really needing to be done, and you were almost assured to lose stuff in the process, so you never wanted that to happen, and he always gave warning. Kind of like when the landlord posts that he’s going to inspect your place on Friday and posted the flyer on your door on Monday. You, even with a clean well-kept apartment, will make sure everything is in order. There is no reason for this most of the time, but we always do it. In my dads case there was punishment beyond anything my landlords now can ever do, he would pick out toys and cloths I didn’t need, according to him, anymore to donate, and then pack some of the stuff making a lot of the mess to lock in the garage until I learned to keep my room cleaner. If he was not only setting an example of cleanliness, but putting me in a situation of responsibility to do the same as a child, which had a set of punishment and rewards, it couldn’t be him, and that is disappointing, because I really wanted to blame him.

If it wasn’t him, then what about my mom, surely I can blame this on her. While has had the habit to leave a dish, coke can, or odd piece of trash out on a night stand or table, which my dad would later bitch about when cleaning that room, I don’t see my mom as a very messy person either. She might be more prone to making the mess than my dad, but she does still practice good habits of cleaning after herself and others. She was even usually the one to initiate the room cleanings, usually because some friend was coming over and she didn’t want the possibility that they might accidentally see in my room and embarrass them.

Really the only person that can be blamed for my messy behavior is me. I might not be completely at fault on a concise level, but even if it is just due to a genetic trait, it is me that has it. I think that it stems from a lot of things. I do exactly what my mother does with coke cans where after I drink the drink I leave the can. I just forget its there, and I have this idea like some cleaning, even when living alone, isn’t something I need to do, which could be me always expecting my dad to already having that done, even though my dad doesn’t live with me and I am the only one that can be expected to do that chore. While there may be reason that both parents, as well as others in my life, may have played a part in my development to be the mess person I am now, but their parts were small and not intentional. If anything the tools to learn and be cleaner starting at a much younger age were given to me, and I didn’t learn how to use them.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Cleaning