I am feeling more positive about the next steps in life. Whilst I can't confirm when I'll be handing my notice in at my current job, I do know that it will be this year. I was adament this job was to be the last office job before I went onto pursue my talents. Office jobs are soul destroying, and this job has been the worst of the four jobs I've had since I was 18. Too stressful, badly managed, understaffed, poorly paid and with no friends.
I wonder if I'd have ever quit the job had I still been with Kristy and tied down with a mortgage for 25 years. Wasn't like I could just quit my job and expect to be making enough to pay the bills within the first month. Then again, why do I assume making a living from what I create will be a slow build?
Truth be told, I can't race into everything I want to do, otherwise I could end up feeling emotionally swamped and burnt out. I think these art & craft fairs and travelling etc. might wear me out, which is why these will be done on the weekends. I can't imagine there are many week day events. I imagine some of the bigger fairs, such as around Christmas will be absolutely manic in terms of foot traffic. Still, doing a 5 day working week should mean that 2 or 3 days a week I'd be in my own company, or wherever it is that I choose to draw or take photographs.
With the recent spell of a more optimistic outlook, I've noticed that self care has been improving as well. I have been eating healthier for the past 5 days. This has been attempted many times in the past, and the last attempt was by far my most successful. Whilst I realise cooking is as creative as art or music, I have always found it a poor return on investment. I eat my meals very quickly. 5 minutes eating Vs. 30-60 mins prep/cooking and maybe 5-15 minutes washing up etc. Seems like a terrible return on investment.
Last time I ate better I made sure everything I ate would involve minimal prep. The main focus was cutting down on as much of the sweets, chocolate and cakes that I seemed to binge on every day. Provided I'm eating regularly, and with filling foods and snacks that were healthier - I didn't crave the bad food as much.
Living with my folks before I moved back, I'd been used to a weekly routine when it came to dinners. I had no issue with a fixed routine for years. In fact, I'm happy to eat the same breakfast and lunch each day. So I took from previous attempts and tweaked it slightly. Breakfast is oats, coconut milk, seeds, a little dried fruit, and a handful of berries. I also found a powdered mix of flax seeds, bio cultures and vitamin D. In the UK the sun between Nov-Mar isn't strong enough to enable the body to produce vitamin D. As such, I thought I'd help myself a little further and include something that gives you 100% of your RDA of vitamin D in 2 spoonfuls.
Lunch is a wholemeal bread sandwich consisting of rocket leaf, cucumber, humus and turkey. I also bought a pepper style shaker/grinder which has crushed garlic, pepper, salt and other seasoning which I put in the sandwich too.
Snacks - olives, Greek yogurt with berries, clementines, naan with humus, bananas, grapes dark chocolate and celery sticks with peanut butter. Breakfast and lunch take a couple of minutes to make. Snacks are easy enough to just go to the fridge and get a bit of what I want throughout the day
Compared to how I used to eat, this is a night & day difference. My therapist said that this was a good step, but also noted that this would come from feeling better in myself. The more I value my self-worth, the more inclined I will be to look after myself.
Asides from this, I'm also on day 4 of no gaming on my PC. I hadn't even intended to stop, but after one day without it, I realised it felt quite positive. I still spend a lot of my free time on the PC, but even that seems more fragmented now. Over Christmas I bought a few games in the Steam sale and the trend continued - I try new games and I find them dull, cliche and uninspired. For many years I've been stuck in a nostalgia loop of playing old games.
Gaming has been my longest running addiction alongside the sugar and comfort eating addictions. Both of which increased when I got older. Going to college and uni whilst studying subjects I had not passion for meant that I'd go home and want to disconnect from reality and game. When I started working my first job in college, I soon started to experiment with drugs as well - as another form of escapism.
Also, games became a lot more complex and in depth. As a kid, mostly what was on offer were platform games etc. As I got older and wanted to escape my reality and responsibilities even more, these large scale and highly detailed games really appealed to me. But you can have too much of a good thing. I'd often end a weekend spent gaming feeling downtrodden and depressed. Like I'd wasted yet another weekend on a fruitless endeavour. In recent years I'm finding myself more and more disgruntled and deflated with gaming.
But all addictions are a means of processing inner turmoil and emotional issues. In feeling better in myself, it seems I naturally wish to distance myself from these self-destructive behaviours.
So I spend my time on the PC reading, chatting with friends, sorting through my music collection. I bought a load more new music and found a new genre. I bought a lot from 2 record labels, and both of them emailed me thanking me for my generosity. One also provided me with a comprehensive list of other artists in the genre.
I'm also reading more. A little bit each day, so that I can gradually work my way through the book collection I accumulated over the years.
Back in the office tomorrow, and then every Tuesday and Thursday from next week onwards. Got 2 dental appointments next week and then the surgical wisdom tooth extraction on the 19th. 2 appointments for fillings in February, and this re-root canal and then prep for a second gold crown will be at some point inbetween Jan and Feb. It'll be expensive and unpleasant, but it needs to be done. Never really looked after my teeth since childhood, and with all my adolescent stress, along with a car crash of a diet - it's no wonder my teeth suffered. Truth be told, I'm surprised I haven't needed more work doing. It was only the bottom row of molars and pre-molars that succumb to decay.
Need a dental implant in summer as well. But at least I'm grasping the nettle and finally just hammering out all the dental work that needs doing. So that hopefully I can have many years of hassle free teeth. I never really improved much on oral hygiene until my 30's. But in the past couple of years it has improved significantly. 2021 especially has been a revalation in terms of oral hygiene. In the past 6 months since I started going to this private practice and meeting a great dentist, I'm at a point now where I'm brushing 3 times a day and flossing and using mouth wash twice a day. Might've taken 35 years, but it's better late than never.
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