I began the year with a plan for my blog. I would spend the first month figuring out what needed improving about myself. The ensuing 11 months would be used to put the improvement plan into real action. And of course I would write about all the little victories as they transpired. Fodder for the fire and I would emerge truly the perfect man.
It went okay for awhile. After a couple weeks of daily self critiquing though, the whole plan began to backfire. Find enough wrong and it becomes more of a chore to think any effort to improve is not but wasted energy. The machine is just too tired, too flawed, too old to bother fixing. If everywhere you look, evil little savages have you surrounded, throwing up your hands in surrender is certainly an understandable reaction. So I backed off the intense introspection and stopped leaving so many red flags when I did venture inside.
I knew going in it was probably just going to be an exercise for my mind. Talk the talk but not walk the walk. I have never been one to work off an itemized list. Starting at A and following everything in order to Z. I get distracted too easily. For instance, the yard. Okay mowing it is straight forward. Do it and get it done. But while I mow I will form a mental list of areas that need my attention. Trim that, weed there, rake up here, blah blah blah. Put the mower away, grab my weapons of floral destruction and head back into the jungle. Several hours later maybe one thing on that freshly contrived mental checklist was completed. As I worked on the first thing, I switched gears and improved something not even considered when I was passing by with the mower. Improvements were made, just not the ones I planned.
I realized that trying to get this aging dog to change his ways was probably going to take more energy than it was worth. The end result would most likely leave me dissatisfied. True to form I have switched gears. Found a new and previously unconsidered plan I never considered as I passed by with my mental mower.
The Next New Plan of Attack
In keeping with my recent foray into the darker side of the computer world, I will apply some of the knowledge gained and transfer it into my new plan for the man I will always be looking for, but will most likely continue to just catch a glimpse of.
I have run a system analysis, a viral scan if you will. There is indeed malware and a life's worth of cookies lurking inside my C:drive. As I knew it would, the scan found most of the uninvited invaders to be benign threats when considered as solo acts. But when more than a few get together for a party, the system can lock up in a heart beat.
The first step has been completed. The month long scan that is. Next we....- notice I said we. I have decided and the scan confirmed it, there are at least two of me hanging out in the C:drive. Most of the time we are on the same page, but there are moments when bipartisanship is not happening. So what we will do next is quarantine the worst of the worst. Build a wall around them. Bury them and their slovenly and useless ways as deep as possible. But do not destroy them. I want to be able to utilize them when the moment seems to be in need of undisciplined behaviour. When pantie bunching, anal retentive actions become more than my loose dog persona can handle. I will call them and the file I keep them in - Doc/Mike/LigtenUp/Sys.Tools.
Next I have created a file from which new beginnings and old ways are picked apart, scrubbed, and then dealt with appropriately. It will be called Doc/Mike/CleanDisk/Sys.Tools. This one I hope to use on a regular basis. To that end I have put a limit on it's memory. Once the limit has been reached, and automatic switch kicks over to....Yeah....that's right....Doc/Mike/LigtenUp/Sys.Tools.
Of course there is the guilt trip stuff. What to do with all the guilt built up, white guilt, male guilt, human guilt? Do I need a special file for this or can I just throw it all in the recycle bin? Hmm. I would feel guilty if I threw all of my guilt into the hopper. Yet I know saddling myself with this much guilt slows down the system sometimes to a crawl. What to do, what to do? A-hah! I know, a password protected file that can only be opened by me. That way I get to pick and choose what guilt I upload instead of allowing every cause and group out there to heap it on me at their will. It will be a read only file for anyone outside the inner circle. I will call it C:/DataBase/PWS/MikeGuilt/DCS. The PWS ensures only myself and anyone I show where the password is may access my guilt from now on. I will most likely tell my wife what it is. I can't hide anything from her anyway. And maybe I will get some points for the preemptive notification.
Now that I have established a new operating system, I need to come up with a basic tenet to follow that will be my guiding light as I try to improve the trip I am on. One or two new rules will be enough. Certainly an improvement over the no rule rule I lived the last 56 years under. Anything more than two rules would invite my tendency to be a scofflaw. That happens and the guilt switch is kicked. After uploading much guilt, eventually the lighten up folder is activated and I have been full circle and no better off than before all the useless handwringing.The Two rules would circumnavigate any need to keep a list and check off every little thing or add to the guilt file as I stepped around that which I found impossible to accomplish. So I came up with these.....................
1~> Do one thing everyday that improves the day for me or someone else.
2~> Do one thing everyday that is out of character. Step outside my box everyday.
That's it. The sum total of all my agonizing, my severe and critical perusal of the ugly bits and pieces that live in the same space as all the good and noble things that live there too. If I can improve a moment of time for myself or someone else and also push my comfort zone some, then that is all the improvement I should be worrying about. It doesn't matter anyway. I have decided it is all I will worry about. The rest as they say will work out or it won't.
PS - The wet shaving thing is still on the active list. I am waiting for my new strop. And then watch out. That day will definitely be one that will meet my new two rule life.
~> And this post marks the successful completion of my post every day for a month. Kinda anti climatic if you ask me.