It is 4:44 AM on Saturday December 8th, 2018. I’ve had my wheat grass, made tea, meditated, responded to Facebook comments and updated WordPress to 2019
WordPress has changed the format quite a bit with this new release focusing on ‘blocks’ and changing theme to be more in line with mobile. I still prefer 2016 for a desktop layout but since it is an old theme I’ll go with 2019 for the functionality and speed improvements.
I’m now back into my normal routine of waking up early and it is due to exercise. Going to karate really is a workout and my body just wakes up at 3 AM. It is then that I can either lay in bed until I fall asleep again or get up and be productive. Recently it has been a 50/50 split but today I got up. This is my favorite time of day: the world is quiet, I’ve got my morning ambiance of TV fireplace with gentle music on, the Amish fireplace, and I’m sitting in the La-Z-Boy recliner. ,
As for my mental state I’m still stressed most of the time. I don’t remember the last time I could really just relax. There is no one big pressure source but rather many constant low pressure sources all combined. There is work and the pressure to produce, there are kids who need constant attention and there are the never ending activities such as karate, the call to go workout, the bills that need to be paid, and the thousand of other little things that need to be done during the days, weeks and months of life overall.
I always have to be “on,” and so it is very hard to turn off. You know I think a major part of it might be what we are all going through with technology and our mobile devices. There are the constant notifications, e-mails, social media posts, news and basically endless distraction. How many of us can just sit for a few minutes without picking up and looking at our phones?
It is this constant “high state of alert” in my mind that is the issue now that I think about it. Perhaps stress is the wrong word. My work doesn’t stress me out and neither do my kids, nor activities really. As I write and sound this out I’m going to blame my phone, technology and perhaps the caffeine I drink on a daily basis for the inability to truly relax.
For example, I really cannot even relax right now because my mind is telling me I need to go workout before everyone wakes up. There is always something else that needs to be done. I think I’m going to need to concentrate on my meditation more.
So why do I write this? I write this for myself because time passes and our mental states change. Through this blog I’m able to look back and remember how I thought and felt. It is then that I realize my entire mental state has changed from before. It is very hard if not impossible to do this if you did not write down your thoughts as the years passed. In other words, I’m not referring to the differing thoughts one thinks as they age; for example I thought a lot about girls in high school and now I think a lot about work. I’m talking about the entire mental state being different and trying to remember a previous mental state while you’ve only got your current one to work with.
For example, at 41 I get less excited about things and am generally less happy than I was at 18. Yet my environment and circumstances are much better except for losing youth. I guess when you’re young there is so much ‘newness’ and so many opportunities are open to you. As you age you acquire responsibilities, the opportunities start to close and days become more monotonous. I guess this can cause depression in a lot of people around midlife.
Not to worry about me though, I’m not depressed at all. My life is very good and I’m just comparing my mental state at 18 versus the one I have now. It takes more of an effort now to bring mental joy whereas at 18 it just naturally came in abundant quantities.
Well, I’ve rambled enough about that. One thing that causes me stress at this very moment, aside from the nagging voice to go workout is that I’m getting an “updating failed” message on the top of WordPress. I am certain this must be a bug with the new installation but it is kind of annoying. I’m sure this post will still publish just fine.
Let’s switch gears to Christmas. I’ve noticed that for the past couple of years I really haven’t been able to get into the “holiday mood.” The same goes for right now and again, this goes back to how my mindset changes over time. As a kid the holiday mood just naturally came. Now I have to put effort into it. Perhaps part of the problem is that we do not really have much in the way of seasons here in California. I miss the snow and cold; 65 degrees and sunny just doesn’t feel like Christmas.
The good news is that Christmas shopping is pretty much complete. The boys wrote letters to Santa and through a magical program provided by the USPS, Santa wrote back along with a real postmark from the North Pole. The North Pole, Alaska that is. My son Kai read his letter and was astounded that Santa knew he had gotten his ‘Green Stripe” belt in karate. It is so cute how kids so fully believe in Santa.
I’ve been thinking about what I’ll tell him when he gets older and discovers the truth. St. Nick was real but as many historical figures go, time passes, traditions mix and after many decades and centuries the subject no longer resembles what it actually was (see Jesus for one huge example). It takes on a life of its own and continues to morph and change down through the ages. Yet for me, Santa is as real as I want him to be. I still scan the dark skies on Christmas Eve looking for a spark of that red magic, for the shooting star which could be Santa and his sleigh. I follow NORAD and their Santa Tracker. I can still feel the magic of the Winter Solstice turned into something even grander than just the turning point where light and warmth finally begin to triumph over the dark and cold.
Well, it is 5:27 AM and I better get into that gym. I’m just hoping that “Updating Failed” banner is just a bug and this post actually saves.