2-14-2020 On Giving Validation

This is a thought chain I just had given not just the past couple of days, but really the past month and beyond. I’m starting to accept my words have an effect on people. Particularly the ones closest to me, but also the ones that don’t appear as close. I think it just occurred to me that a lot of what it has come down to is others’ seeking my validation…which is a bit mind blowing for me right now. There was a time I desperately wanted validation from others.

At some point in my life, I stopped seeking it. I couldn’t depend on people to help with it, so instead I focused on the things I could control to find my own internal validation. Video games were an easy path. When my health (mental and physical) became problematic, I turned to the gym and used the weight scale as a form of validation. When that resource ran dry, I turned to dance. Then I found myself seeking validation from a woman. That went badly. It hurt for a while. But it did lead to one of the most profound friendships I ever had. I miss her still.

Then I turned to MMA. I wanted to use gaining mastery of my body and how I moved as my next barometer. And while I made progress there, the validation I received from my instructors and other students took me a back. I was fully anticipating to always be considered less. That didn’t happen. I think this is part of why I had enjoyed that life so much. Not to fight, not to win. But to be around people that also wanted to see me excel, and I would do the same for them.

Then life changed and I moved out here. I did get into TMA but it was a small place. I was never able to earn validation there I suppose. I mean from one instructor yes, but the others never really set goals. Or listened. It was about doing things their way instead of helping me find a path that worked for me. FFA worked because when I sparred with a variety of students, I could quickly find my technique. I could prove it worked. I’m never going to learn things the way everyone else does. My brain just does not work that way.

Throughout all that, I could see now the issue. I did not really want their validation. Validation from other people tends to be…unreliable at best. It was always better to find it within myself and through my actions.

And so now I find myself in this place where I’m starting to realize now why I’ve given the impression to so many people that I’m disinterested. Because I don’t seek validation from other people. I don’t go to strangers or new acquaintances and go “you’re so awesome!”. I don’t trust it when given to me, why should anyone I don’t know trust it as genuine coming from me if they don’t know me?

I got interrupted there. Anyway. I also don’t ask for that validation either. I don’t text after dates and say things like “I hope you had a good time” or hope to see you again, etc. I just say something to the effect of thank you for a lovely evening. It is scary to do that sort of thing, the reaching out and offering of my interest. Vulnerable even. So if I’m to change that behavior, the only way I could do it and still feel authentic is by being specific whenever I do give out validation. That takes time and focus. I’m not sure how much of those resources I have to give.

Those resources are being prioritized for the ones I care for. That is where I need to put in more of that energy. Because for whatever reason, people need more of that from me. Which is still mind blowing as I’ve never thought anyone would really care what I think about them. Or need that. Or maybe not even from me. Just to have someone break the lie that is depression and focus like a laser about the parts of them that matter.

Try to bring a little more joy to this world…one kind word at a time.

2-10-2020 Why it is important to show that I care.

I started this before the rough patch yesterday. Things are better now. I still think this was a good reminder of why I got into this phase of my life. It is hard for me to put myself out there, even when people say it is welcome. But I know the cost of not giving that part of myself can be too great sometimes. So in spite of my fears and doubts, I need to give out my heart. This has a ripple effect I’m sure. And it may be the only way life can get better as a whole.

1-28-2020 musings

I woke up way before my intended time again and could not fall back to sleep.  So after about an hour I got out of bed and decided to be productive with kitchen upkeep.  As I was doing that and listening to one of my favorite music bits (A World of Color on the Epic Music Channel) I spent some time thinking…as those activities require minimal brain focus.

 

I was trying to figure out why I’m experiencing what I think is FOMO in regards to a new partner’s future plans.  I think it may be manifesting as just doubt in myself and my affability.  Then I thought about the book I need to finish this week, “The Molecule of More” and how for a long time I was very dopenergically (yeah screw you too spellcheck) focused.  As I understood the concept, that basically meant I was more focused on accomplishing goals than appreciating the here and now.  And how those aspects have an inverse relationship to each other.

So then the other thought that came to me just now and prompted me to write is asking myself just how much about my thoughts should I let my new partner know?  I mean I usually tell my wife these things well after I’ve made up my mind.  There are exceptions of course.

I guess maybe deep down I’m afraid of making myself even more vulnerable.  I’m afraid of letting anyone know what my personal goals are.  I think I’m also afraid of knowing how focused on them I can get at the expense of others.  I can’t calibrate on how much of my mind I should allow anyone into.  It’s a little easier to write this on a blog like this because I know no one really cares, and there is a weird comfort in that.  I guess.  I may come back to this post later and write more.


 

That didn’t take long.  My goals lately have been very physical fitness oriented.  I’m objectively stronger than I’ve ever been.  But I’m still not as lean as I want to be.  I feel like I’m no where close to it, at least by my measures.  My Aria 2 is possibly drunk, and I thinks I’m somehow around 17% BF at 194 lbs at 5’10.  I’m pretty damn sure I don’t have that much lean muscle mass.  Then there was the conversation last night that reminded me about my black belt goals…that I have done nothing on for the past couple of years.  Granted, doing the soldierfit stuff and then throwing on the strength focused training as helped immensely in getting my body to the point that it can do things I never could before.  I’ve defied the notion that we must get weaker as we age.  So the time wasn’t technically wasted.  I’ve reforged my body in new ways.

So my thinking as far as getting towards that black belt goal goes is like this.  My trainer will be moving to SC to work on his doctorate(yay him).   That may even happen sooner, but for now that is the expectation.  I am absorbing all of the knowledge and techniques (which reminds me I need to get back to writing down those workouts here) so that when that transition happens, I can continue my strength training solo.  It has been very helpful to have someone help me correct my form to what works for me (he’s working on his doctorate for physical therapy, so I appreciate that he gets that efficient forms vary by body and bone structure…there is no one size fits all).  I need to get some sort of cover for my back patio area, and then build a basic bench and squat rack.  Getting in those heavy squats, dead lifts,  and bench presses have helped a ton.  Heh, ton…

ANYWAY

There are also a bunch of auxiliary exercises I’ve learned that I need to write down for when I’m on my own.  And structure my own programs based on those.  The point is I’ll have these supplemental strength training sessions of my own to do at home.  And Ideally I’ll get them in twice a week as opposed to the one I do with my trainer now.  This will free me up as far as my budget is concerned.  I think the MMA/BJJ gym I was considering before was somewhere between 115-150/month.  If I take out PT, and my wife’s gym membership (that she hasn’t made use in like a year and a half now…) then it can easily fit into my budget with room to spare.  The real question is going to be time management.   I still plan to get in 2 SF sessions during the weekdays, and probably both weekend mornings too (unless I have  a really good reason to sleep in…which has been more possible as of late).  I don’t remember if that MMA gym I’m thinking of had weekend hours or any sort of “open mat” sessions.  I’ll have to check on that.

The point is if I really want to reach my physical fitness goals, I need to move more.  And by fitness, what I really mean is mastery of my body.  An important phrase that has stuck with me for ~15 years now is this:

Your mind is only as strong as your body

I still strongly believe in this.  I’ve made a lot of strides in addressing my mind and heart these past couple of years.  How much further can I go?  Will any of this help the people I care about?

7-17-19 catch up

Life got busy and I found myself lacking the time to even just complete a text dump here. I’m not sure where to start.

Poly stuff has put me in a strange place recently. I met someone 3 weeks ago who was surprisingly forward for what I’m used to dealing with. And now it has hit this strange super casual thing which I’m not comfortable with. It is difficult for me to feel for anyone over the ocassional short text every few days. Even if they’re “sweet” texts, I don’t feel right trying to reply in the same way. It isn’t authentic. I guess it would be difficult to work anyway as she has a much different life style than I do, so our interests and passions don’t align. It is mostly a chemistry thing. I’m aware most guys would love that sort of setup, but not me. I need to feel that mental connection. Whatever other relationship I get into has to bring the best out of me in someway. Or at least something positive. With Amber it at least encouraged my art exploration.

And then we pan over to this new person. We’ll use page as a name. We haven’t met in person yet she puts forwardness on a whole new level. She has some kinks that honestly could get me in trouble if things go wrong. She’s also been very frequent and intense in her communications and seems to expect the same from me. In addition, going back to my earlier thought, I’m not sure interactions with her will bring out the good parts of me. I’m worried it’ll bring out something really bad instead. And not the “hot” kind of bad. I do have a meet up planned this Saturday. My instinct is telling me to be careful. I should heed that.

Financial stuff has been challenging, but I think there is a good plan going. I ended up taking out a consolidation loan. I had decided against it earlier, but after getting fucked by the IRS and state tax, I’m down 9k and all due in a short time. So with this, I can hold them off and get my cc debts down so I stop bleeding out in interest. At the rate things were going, it would be years of making little headway. After a year of this loan (of 3) I should already be cutting ahead in terms of interest saved.

This leads into budget management. I think I already wrote on this earlier. I configured custom budgets in mint for play money for the wife, myself, and a couple fund. This was a fresh month. Wife is already capped on her budget. So this is where the real test begins. Will she stay disciplined or do I have to take cards away?

I’m still worried about her health too. I get work and school have robbed her of all time. The school is meant to be the ticket out of her job and ultimately debt situation. But she is still paying the health price now, and I am not sure if that damage can be recovered from when time opens up.

6-21-19 aggravated

I’m feeling easily aggravated this morning. I think yesterday’s letter that I owe even more tax money to the state from 2016. This comes a day after I just paid the remainder of the fed tax I owed. Another letter that went to the wrong address too, so I got charges another 1k in interest and penalties too, because “fuck you” I guess.

I cooked up some beans last night after going for a ~ 3 mile run. I forgot to pack away the excess and found out this morning when I was setting up my coffee (which I also forgot to program the night before).

Work has been sucking too. I’m getting so much shit dumped on me that I can’t do a whole lot about either because of permission issues, lack of documentation, or just plain lack of training… I can only self teach so much, especially when I don’t even get time to focus on that. I barely have enough time in my personal time to keep up.

The wife is supposed to go on some great cleaning marathon this weekend. I am doubting it will happen. I am jaded as fuck right now.

I’m not sure how to keep it together right now.

6-18-19 feeling lonely today

I’m not sure where the emotion is coming from. But I feel it in the front of my head. And maybe in my gut too. I also felt frustrated at work and don’t feel that I made much headway. My diet choices weren’t great either. They had those left over mini burrito leftovers today. And I had a bag of probiotic mixed nuts today. My weight was already on the high side this morning. And I slept in and missed my workout this morning. I do plan on going tonight. I’ll skip my normal dinner and just do a post protein drink.

Maybe I really should setup a jar to practice practicing gratitude. I was going to get a bunch of sticky notes to drop in a jar but I haven’t gone out to get them. I’m worried about finances and the impact of that on my marriage. What I should do is just take some of those copy sheets and cut them into strips to write on them put in the jar. I don’t really believe doing this will help but I guess I can try?

I think I’m fearing taking control. I fear conflict with loved ones. But the price of avoiding it may literally be too high.

What happened to that fighter I used to be? I guess it was easier when I could just count on people hating me. That expectation made for good armor.

6-13-19 post therapy

Points brought up

  • Let wife know it is ok to reach out to me on wanting to spend time. Talked about cycle of fear of rejection
  • Focus more on time spending together if that is what brings happiness.
  • I’d like to plan to visit more faires, like Michigan…maybe Sterling one?
  • Wife inviting me to spend time with her is how our relationship started
  • I’m more busy than I give credit for

6-13-19 pre-therapy thoughts

It’s that time of the month where I try to recall the emotional journey I’ve been through this month so I can get the most out of my session later today.  Currently I feel…neutral?  I guess I’ll make some quick bullet points on the things that are more top of mind…slightly better organized that way.

  • Marriage
    • I created “X_discretionary” categories in our combined mint for individual play money in an attempt to help my wife better control her finances.  The akimbo card method isn’t working, mostly due to technical issues.
    • I also created a couple_discretionary budget to account for stuff we do together, i.e. faires
    • Her health has gotten worse in terms of fitness.  She prioritizes work more than her health.  On an emotional level, I feel like that is shit.  This is also why I *hate* the billable hour model.  I don’t feel like she will change on that front.  The most I can do right now is wait out until she is done with school this year, and keep the finances under control.  I suppose the question then is what happens after?  The assumption is that she’ll be working on her business next.  Ideally she’d switch to a company that doesn’t constantly expect her to work late hours and not give holiday pay unless she’s working.  I expect she’ll have the same work obsession, probably even worse, when she does take up her own business.  I don’t feel like her health will ever be a priority.  Which makes me sad, and afraid.  Because I know how that story ends.  It feels like some looming inevitable curse where I know I’m going to be emotionally devastated once her health becomes critical because of her lack of time spent addressing her health.  I’m not capable of just cutting things off, emotionally or practically.  I’m just waiting patiently for the bomb of suck to explode right next to me.  I don’t like it.  I guess I don’t have any hope for things to improve.  Maybe I can ask if there will ever be a time she thinks she’ll dedicate to her health? That’ll probably send her on a shame spiral too.  Can’t win.
  • Finances
    • Considering taking out a CC debt consolidation loan since the plan to pay it off manually failed with the tax situation.
    • There is a bit of an irony that I make more and spend way less than my wife when looking at these discretionary funds now.  Well, maybe more of a dark humor than irony.  The majority of the money goes to food.
  • Fitness
    • The early morning workouts have been consistent.  I haven’t done as much rucking as I had planned.  I ran into some difficulties with it.  It might just be as simple as reducing the weight even more.  I had right hip problems last friday (maybe related to the snapping hip issue, almost felt like it was getting pulled apart on large step downs)
    • I should take up that evaluation from SSR, even though I really don’t want to pay more money right now.
    • I should recognize that I am still making some strength “gainz” despite being hard on myself.  My pushup form has improved so that I am doing them correctly (Started shortcutting earlier until it was pointed out, resolved).  I’m still no where close to being able to output the insane volume some trainers seem to want, but 12 isn’t horrible.
  • Poly
    • Not a whole lot of movement here.  I’ve been struggling lately with thoughts of my last ex.  There were good times, and the sex was really good, but then I looked over the texts/messages before I broke it off and saw all the shit thrown at me and remember why I got out.  I can’t go back, even if it feels like it would be “easy”.
    • I had a date maybe 3 weekends ago?  It went well enough, but I could tell the person had a lot of negativity inside of them, and her mother’s health issues were only going to make it worse.  I did appreciate how direct and quick she was to get to the point, but I could tell it would not have been a happy relationship and likely would of impeded my other health goals.
    • I think it was 2 weeks ago I had a date with J.  From what I can see of FB, it looks like she is starting a relationship with someone else.  Which is fine.  While she was attractive, I never quite felt that intense connection with her like I did with the last couple of poly relationships I did get into.  It makes it easier on me really.
    • I’ve been talking on and off with T via hangouts.  I kind of like that she represents another introverted soul but I’m unclear on what she is looking for romantically speaking.  At some point I’ll have to push for at least 1 in person meeting.  Ideally before faire season, where she expressed interest in hanging out.  A whole day thing might be a bit much without at least 1 earlier in person meeting.
    • I was thinking about my first poly relationship, and how I screwed things up there.  It wasn’t perfect, but it felt really nice to have someone that was actually into me.  My own shame issues made it irrecoverable.
  • Social
    • I had planned to start using tuesdays to invest a little more social energy, and at least hop onto a friend’s twitch channel to support.  That didn’t happen.  Doing anything during the week is difficult with my morning schedule, and I haven’t really formed any workout friends.  I wonder if that is a thing I should push for?
  • Career
    • I think this is stable for the most part.  Work is still tough with the many projects I’m juggling, along with the support and security issues (Which can often seem at ends to each other).  I do feel a bit bad that I haven’t been able to make as much progress as I would like.  Getting RDS to work on Azure has been a pain, and I still have a couple ghost support issues.
  • Goals
    • I’m pretty focused on the fitness aspect now.  Maybe because I put so much of my time into it I’m feeling frustrated that I’m not making more progress.  Progress being wanting to get into the 170s…maybe even 160s.  I should spend more weekend time doing something fitness related, aside from SF.  I’ve felt overwhelmed just trying to keep up with house maintenance to even get that time.

I think this is enough for now.

6-4-19 feeling sad

I’m not sure why exactly. My wife’s health seems to be getting worse. She was complaining since at least Friday where I had to guilt her into just going on a mile hike on a nearby wooded trail. Saturday she babysat while I worked on as many chores as I could Saturday, including prepping meals for the week. This was so we could go to the Virginia Reinassance festival on Sunday. We did get to go. She wasn’t able to get her “too big” bodice to fit.

Monday evening she complains that she has a lot of sinus pressure and is getting dizzy spells. I skip my planned hike to keep an eye on her. I’m a bit concerned. I also noticed earlier her medication bottled had been empty for awhile. I’m not sure if dropping off Zoloft and buspar can cause those kinds of issues.

After last week’s financial fuck ups on her side, I clamped down on her ability to buy stuff on iTunes. I’m also regularly checking mint now with both of our accounts.

I know she has challenges right now. Work and school. Then the babysitter gig… which I’m starting to think I might need to put an end to. And this is where I’m starting to feel conflicted on how much control I should take. The ethics vs the practicality and frankly financial survival. She works those extra hours and puts herself in places where bad food options are all she has, and she does nothing else to take care of herself. I feel it will get to a critical point of no recovery if left to her own devices.

The long term plan was for her to finish school this year so that she can work somewhere that won’t constantly have her overworked and even work on holidays…plus shit for days off and sick days. She seems to feel it is more important for her to overwork because of her debts.

I need to setup a clear plan to follow. Maybe a financial advisor. Her overall unhappiness is making it hard for me to be happy around her.

So maybe this is why I’m sad. I feel like I’m going to have to be the jerk to get things on track. It flies in the face of modern sensibilities of ppl being responsible for themselves. Easy to say that when they don’t live my experience.

So reanalyze. Clamp down. Lay down path to better place. Keep cards out of her hands. Be prepared to tell others to fuck off.