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KeysMcGee [Formerly TheFlyingAccountant] Gets His Mind Right


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This one is going to be a heavily pared back challenge this go-round. [Yes, I say this every challenge. This time, I'm serious.]

 

Challenge goals are as follows:

1. No alcohol for the duration of the challenge.

2. Post in here a minimum of once per week.

 

And that's it.

 

Here's the rationale:

1. I want to work on my self-centered tendencies some. Take some time to see what other folks are doing on here and be supportive for others instead of just stressing about whatever's going on inside of my head. This is in-line with my more general push this year to stop fixating on me me me so much. If there's one issue I think I struggle with a lot, then it's spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about myself and generally making stuff about me. 

2. I need a break. It became apparent in my last challenges that I'm doing way too much. I don't know if that's the voice in my head saying "do more do more" or what it is, but I need to force myself to take a break and not try to do all the things right now.

3. Giving up alcohol for an entire year is a big freaking deal and deserves to be front and center for this challenge. Yes, it essentially is just not doing a thing, and sure, conceptually, that's pretty easy, but let's also remember that this is the longest stretch of time I've gone since maybe my early 20's without having consumed alcohol. Let's also bear in mind that for a lot of people (myself included), even though it's conceptually easy, it's practically very difficult. Alcohol consumption is deeply imbedded in our culture. When I walk into my local Publix, one of the first things that I'm greeted with at the FRONT ENTRANCE is often a huge display for beer or wine. Reminders of this stuff are everywhere, and there's a lot of money to be made in the hopes that I'll eventually stop not doing this thing (stop...not doing...the thing...or start doing the thing? Not doing the thing I was doing but now I'm not but eventually will be back to doing it? Hm.)

4. This gives me some time to do some heavy duty planning for future challenges. One of the things that keeps me coming back here to NF is that it gives me some much structure to making myself better. If I'm going to make the most of that structure, then it stands to reason that I take it seriously and take time to plan what I'm doing. I learned from recording my food daily (or attempting to) that, for some things, there has to be an easier way. So I'm also using this hiatus as a way to automate some of my NF challenges. Why am I trying to type out a full description of every meal that I have when I can set it up in an app and just hit one button? So yeah, a lot of this challenge is going to be about digging into the source code of my strategies and approaches to squash bugs and exorcise any ghosts in the machine roaming around.

 

I'm still doing plenty of stuff. I'm just not gonna keep y'all apprised of all of it is all.

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"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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21 hours ago, zeroh13 said:

This is a great challenge!


And I think giving up alcohol for a year is very impressive. And very hard. It’s one of the many, many things that are easier said than done!

 

Oddly enough, it hasn't been as difficult as I expected. It actually seemed harder for me to give up alcohol for a month than for a year. I'm wondering if it's the fact that since it's such a long period of time, my brain has just said "welp, this is the new normal."

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"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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Just a quick update since it's looking like I'm going to fall down the work hole for a little while. I've been thinking (again) of doing an NF rebranding, and I finally decided to pull the trigger on it. 

 

Hm...that sounds more dramatic than it ought to be...

 

Anywho, the username "TheFlyingAccountant" was created in the throes of my huge career change a few years back when I was diving into this new career and was all excited about what it would bring--namely, the opportunity to pursue my lifelong passion of going for a pilot's license. Due to the wife following in my footsteps with her own career dreams (which has caused us to spend a little time on a single income) as well as the fact that these days I wouldn't have time to keep up a private pilot's license even if I could afford it and the fact that I have plenty of passions that I can focus on right here right now today, I'm swapping out my NF identity for a new one that better fits my lifestyle and dreams and ambitions for the time being.

 

I'm still carrying that flying dream, and you better believe that I will get up there among the clouds one day, but that's a long way away. There's much more to me than the person I will be a decade from now. For instance, there's the person that I am right now.

 

[And since these forums are configured to prevent the changing of display names after 150 days, I figure I should be okay should I decide to switch it back in about ten or so years...assuming we're all still around by that time.]

 

[And now that that's done, I need to get a new avatar, need to rename the thread, ay yi yi...]

  • Like 3

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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  • KeysMcGee changed the title to KeysMcGee [Formerly TheFlyingAccountant] Gets His Mind Right

Rebranding officially done. And now...tacos.

 

Still have not consumed any alcohol. Woot!

  • Like 2

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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On 7/26/2021 at 1:10 PM, KeysMcGee said:

This one is going to be a heavily pared back challenge this go-round. [Yes, I say this every challenge. This time, I'm serious.]

I have been here.  It's HARD not to focus on all things at once.  Good luck!

 

On 7/26/2021 at 1:10 PM, KeysMcGee said:

Take some time to see what other folks are doing on here and be supportive for others instead of just stressing about whatever's going on inside of my head. This is in-line with my more general push this year to stop fixating on me me me so much. If there's one issue I think I struggle with a lot, then it's spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about myself and generally making stuff about me. 

I think there is a good balance to be struck here.  As someone who is finally learning to get out of her own head (and that not everything is about me) I hope you find a balance where you are able to look after yourself but not feel selfish!

 

2 hours ago, KeysMcGee said:

. And now...tacos.

 

Still have not consumed any alcohol. Woot!

Tacos with no booze is a true accomplishment :) 

  • Like 2

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” John Steinbeck

“Do I dare disturb the universe?” – T.S. Eliot

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” – Toni Morrison

"All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us" JRR Tolkien

 

Human Bard: CON 2, WIS 5, INT 1, CHA 2

 

Current Challenge: Nova Levels Up (and maybe doesn't abandon a challenge...)

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New user name, who dis? :P 

 

Following along again

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

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Simple challenges are awesome. Also, there's some dude with really similar goals you should meet... he was around here a minute ago...

 

justice league glasses GIF by DC Comics

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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On 7/28/2021 at 10:03 PM, Novaurora said:

I think there is a good balance to be struck here.  As someone who is finally learning to get out of her own head (and that not everything is about me) I hope you find a balance where you are able to look after yourself but not feel selfish!

 

It's a never-ending struggle to stay out of my own way, that's for sure.

 

On 7/28/2021 at 10:35 PM, sarakingdom said:

Simple challenges are awesome. Also, there's some dude with really similar goals you should meet... he was around here a minute ago...

 

justice league glasses GIF by DC Comics

 

Alter ego is...altered?

 

On 7/28/2021 at 10:25 PM, WhiteGhost said:

New user name, who dis? :P 

 

Following along again

 

Welcome back!

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"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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Quick update before diving into the day's work. Have not consumed any booze. And here is my update which falls within a week of the previous update.

 

Boom. Challenge over.

 

In other news...

 

I've been quietly [pun intended] getting back into the piano game again. One of the big walls I hit last time was figuring out how to vary my dynamics, especially playing softly. Last night, rather than my usual routine of plowing through a few Mikrokosmos pieces, I decided to watch some YouTubers to see if I could get any tips on how to be some other volume than the same one I'm always playing at. Here's what I learned:

 

1. I need to turn the volume on my keyboard all the way up. Or almost all the way up. It seems counter-intuitive to me, but I rationalized it like this: Just because the dial is all the way up, that doesn't mean that I actually have to play the thing that loudly. I can vary my touch and still not wake the whole house. But having the volume on the keyboard all the way up gives me much more of a dynamic range to work with.

 

1a. Side note: I almost wrote "Just because the knob is all the way up..." but then realized that there's folks from the UK knocking around out here, and apparently, in the UK, "knob" means something different than it does here in the States.

 

2.  I need to play with my arms instead of my fingers. Practically, that means that the main pivot point for my playing motion is actually at my elbows. I'm not exactly sure why it works, but my guess is that my arms have bigger muscles, so it's easier to control their motion. If I just move my fingers like I'm typing on a keyboard, it seems like it's really hard to vary the speed of that downward finger-pushing motion. It's pretty much just one quick press at the same velocity (the speed / energy at which the key falls is directly proportional to the volume produced). But my arm speed can be much more fine tuned, and can be fine tuned further by adding wrist and finger motion, too. Not to mention, using my arms forces me to push the key all the way to the bottom which solves the "I press the key way too gently and no sound happens" problem.

 

Also, still doing the inverted rows, although not really talking about them much on here. I'm not there yet, but am just about on the cusp of being able to move the bar down another notch. 

  • Like 3

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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18 minutes ago, KeysMcGee said:

1a. Side note: I almost wrote "Just because the knob is all the way up..." but then realized that there's folks from the UK knocking around out here, and apparently, in the UK, "knob" means something different than it does here in the States.

I lived in Ireland for just over a year for graduate school.  There was definitely a doorknob store called "Knobs and knockers" It was fabulous.

 

Glad you're making progress on the piano front!!!

 

 

  • Like 2

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” John Steinbeck

“Do I dare disturb the universe?” – T.S. Eliot

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” – Toni Morrison

"All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us" JRR Tolkien

 

Human Bard: CON 2, WIS 5, INT 1, CHA 2

 

Current Challenge: Nova Levels Up (and maybe doesn't abandon a challenge...)

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24 minutes ago, KeysMcGee said:

1a. Side note: I almost wrote "Just because the knob is all the way up..." but then realized that there's folks from the UK knocking around out here, and apparently, in the UK, "knob" means something different than it does here in the States.

 

That would indeed have been a splendid knob gag.

 

 

  • Like 1

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

That would indeed have been a splendid knob gag.

 

 

 

Holy crap! I recognize that voice! That's Sandi from the Great British Baking Show!

 

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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5 hours ago, KeysMcGee said:

Holy crap! I recognize that voice! That's Sandi from the Great British Baking Show!

 

 

That is who it is. Although she's now Sandi from  QI.

 

Advising Bbc GIF by The QI Elves

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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33 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

 

That is who it is. Although she's now Sandi from  QI.

 

Advising Bbc GIF by The QI Elves

 

QI?

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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4 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

Oh my.

 

 

 

 

And I just found what I'll be watching for the next couple of days. 

 

Legit thought that was pronounced "chi" and not "Q-I" for a minute there.

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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Just firing off a quick update. No alcohol thing still going strong. As of right now, I'm officially in my 8th month this year of not consuming alcohol, which, I think the last time I went 8 months without drinking, I was probably in my early 20's (I didn't really start drinking beers until my first year of teaching at 23 which, yeah, I started drinking when I started teaching high school. Make of that what you will.)

 

In other news, I've hit that same plateau with my piano practice that I hit last time: I can't seem to play piano piano. Erm...I can't play piano softly. Even despite last week's revelation, getting that control just how I want is going to take a lot of dedicated practice. So, I'm going back to some of my method books. I'm also going back over a couple of Mikrokosmos stuff which feels like I'm backtracking. I'd rather look at it as re-applying new stuff that I've learned.

 

And as for the Russian method technique book, I'm going to modify their exercises a little bit to build up my jazz chops. So rather than just going straight up and down whatever scale they give me, I'm going to build in some whole tone and scale outlining stuff over ii-V-I changes to at least keep things interesting.

 

And it's been a few days since my last inverted row, so I probably need to get out there and bang a few of those out as well.

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"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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On 7/26/2021 at 1:10 PM, KeysMcGee said:

1. I want to work on my self-centered tendencies some. Take some time to see what other folks are doing on here and be supportive for others instead of just stressing about whatever's going on inside of my head. This is in-line with my more general push this year to stop fixating on me me me so much. If there's one issue I think I struggle with a lot, then it's spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about myself and generally making stuff about me. 

This is so hard. Sometimes you need to look at your own motives and situation in order to make improvements, but other times you just need to stop being wrapped up in yourself and get out of your own head, and it is so damn hard to tell which is which. Here to support.

 

And eight months without alcohol is an accomplishment worth celebrating. 🎉

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On 8/2/2021 at 3:15 PM, juliebarkley said:

This is so hard. Sometimes you need to look at your own motives and situation in order to make improvements, but other times you just need to stop being wrapped up in yourself and get out of your own head, and it is so damn hard to tell which is which. Here to support.

 

And eight months without alcohol is an accomplishment worth celebrating. 🎉

It's very hard for me, especially considering how in some ways, the objective is to improve one's self. I don't know if this is your experience, but for me, working on myself feels like a sort of weird logic problem where paying attention to my needs puts me in a position where I'm better able to think about others, which means thinking more selfishly in order to eventually think less selfishly. 

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"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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This just in: It turns out that getting an adequate amount of sleep makes me think and feel better. Well, I'll be damned.

 

Still no alcohol.

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"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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11 hours ago, KeysMcGee said:

It's very hard for me, especially considering how in some ways, the objective is to improve one's self. I don't know if this is your experience, but for me, working on myself feels like a sort of weird logic problem where paying attention to my needs puts me in a position where I'm better able to think about others, which means thinking more selfishly in order to eventually think less selfishly. 

Yes, there is indeed that little dance, for sure. My experience is also that, during the pandemic, a bunch of emotional and other stuff that I had been ignoring for a very long time threw themselves in my face. I am not what you would call "in touch with my emotions", and I struggled to cope. Coming to terms with aspects of yourself or fixing things that are problems inherently involves some introspection. It can degenerate into self-pity very easily, especially since, I have been learning, you often have to make yourself a bit more miserable in the short term to improve your situation in the long term. Ignoring was so much easier, but that does not seem to be an option any more. I guess it's all still kind of on the selfish side of things though, since it's about improving my own situation rather than focusing on others.

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12 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

Yes, there is indeed that little dance, for sure. My experience is also that, during the pandemic, a bunch of emotional and other stuff that I had been ignoring for a very long time threw themselves in my face. I am not what you would call "in touch with my emotions", and I struggled to cope. Coming to terms with aspects of yourself or fixing things that are problems inherently involves some introspection. It can degenerate into self-pity very easily, especially since, I have been learning, you often have to make yourself a bit more miserable in the short term to improve your situation in the long term. Ignoring was so much easier, but that does not seem to be an option any more. I guess it's all still kind of on the selfish side of things though, since it's about improving my own situation rather than focusing on others.

 

For what it's worth, I read that and did NOT think "oh man, this person talks about herself way too much." Instead, I thought "Hey, that's something I can relate to!" Yeah, you're over there improving your own situation, and I'm over here improving my own (or trying to...or some days, not trying to, but whatever man), but that's not really selfish...Or maybe it is, but it's not the kind of selfish our parents chided us for. 

 

In my experience, and this is what I've learned putting away the alcohol for a year, is that it hasn't been so much making myself a bit more miserable as much as it has been allowing myself to feel as miserable as I actually was. That was something that used to give me a hard time at first (or during those earlier times when I would try to give up beer for a day or two at a time).

 

And the pandemic certainly revealed a lot for me. I'd like to think I responded better than some since I just saw most of it as an "introvert vacation" more than anything else, and I'm also kind of a cynical person to begin with (probably one of the few times that being slightly cynical has come in handy).

 

So, a question. Looking back on all of it now, would you say that you're still struggling to cope, or have you managed to come to terms with some of your emotional experience since then?

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"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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Insomnia's back.

 

This time, I'm not fucking around. The wife and I are pulling out all the stops to get this issue dealt with. It's impacting my work, it's impacting my health, it's impacting my wife's ability to sleep. All right insomnia. Now I'm pissed. You want a war? You fucking got one.

 

Battle plan is as follows:

1. Reduce caffeine intake. No more than 1 cup of coffee per day, and no coffee after 10 am. 

2. Evening wind down routine. No screens after 9:30 pm. Will add more to that, so stay tuned.

3. Getting on melatonin supplements, at least as a band-aid until a more permanent solution can be figured out.

4. Going back to my regular exercises. Got away from them this past week, so it's time to bring those back.

 

There will be more, but for now, in this no-sleep-addled haze, that's about all I can come up with.

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"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

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7 hours ago, KeysMcGee said:

For what it's worth, I read that and did NOT think "oh man, this person talks about herself way too much." Instead, I thought "Hey, that's something I can relate to!" Yeah, you're over there improving your own situation, and I'm over here improving my own (or trying to...or some days, not trying to, but whatever man), but that's not really selfish...Or maybe it is, but it's not the kind of selfish our parents chided us for. 

 

In my experience, and this is what I've learned putting away the alcohol for a year, is that it hasn't been so much making myself a bit more miserable as much as it has been allowing myself to feel as miserable as I actually was. That was something that used to give me a hard time at first (or during those earlier times when I would try to give up beer for a day or two at a time).

 

And the pandemic certainly revealed a lot for me. I'd like to think I responded better than some since I just saw most of it as an "introvert vacation" more than anything else, and I'm also kind of a cynical person to begin with (probably one of the few times that being slightly cynical has come in handy).

 

So, a question. Looking back on all of it now, would you say that you're still struggling to cope, or have you managed to come to terms with some of your emotional experience since then?

...It had not occurred to me that you might think that. Oh crap.

 

"Allowing myself to feel as miserable as I actually was" is a good way of framing it. I was thinking more along the lines of, in acknowledging that there is a problem and you don't know how to fix it, and then figuring it out and starting to make those first few steps and probably failing a bit, you will at first feel worse. But it is necessary to ever get improvement.

 

Well, um. The first problem, over which I publicly (if vaguely) fell apart in my thread last July, has improved a lot. Better than in a very long time, actually. The second thing that crept up on me more recently is not so much a problem to solve, but a thing to learn to accept. I'm still at the baby step stage there, and it's still not great. But I have hope.

 

I have no advice on the insomnia front that a quick google search wouldn't also provide, but your battle plan looks solid and I am rooting for you.

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