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Writer's Block: Time may change me ...

People often focus on the things they'd love to change about their lives. What parts of your life would you choose to keep exactly the same?
This question is so great! Let's see. I don't want to change any of my habits! I smoke, drink, eat rich food, pet my cat, stay on the computer all day, paint, write, and the only exercise I get is basic self-care -- which is as much as I can handle with my disabilities. I have no desire to change my personality either, I like who I am. I have given up Self-Improvement completely and am a much happier man because of that. Thanks for putting it this way!

The only thing I do want to change in my life is to sell my novels for good money and become self supporting on a working man's budget instead of a fixed-income disability budget. But when I do I probably won't change my spending habits much except for adding "budget all novel advances by dividing them into months."

I don't actually drink alcohol very often or very much when I do. It was a big health breakthrough when one holiday dinner this Spring, I managed to drink two glasses of mead without going to sleep. Low body energy imposes a one-drink limit unless I'm really in my good season and the peak of health. But every time I do have a rum toddy or a glass of celebratory wine or mead, I remember that I'm free now.

When I was stuck in a homeless shelter I got constantly questioned about alcohol and substance abuse habits. Because I didn't take the pledge or say alcohol was evil, I got pressured about being an alcoholic in denial because I didn't want to quit drinking for life. It was all-or-nothing thinking. It bothered me that they'd expect that when I only drink maybe four or five times a year, not even monthly. It's a rare treat to be savored especially in good company with good liqueurs, mead or rum drinks that I enjoy most.

I don't need it in the sense an alcoholic does. But I need to know that I could if I wanted to. I need to have that freedom. About once a year on a random good day, I'd fix some tropical delight of a drink just to enjoy it for what it is. Then relax and spend that afternoon socializing online or painting. I don't do that alone any more because my family does that occasionally and shares, so it's more fun with them.

I'm dead serious about not quitting my cigarettes, so I've fought long and hard to keep the habit down to reasonable. I don't want to oversmoke and get sick and have to quit for health reasons. I lost way too many other pleasures in life to health reasons, so I smoke very small short cigarettes about the equivalent of a half pack a day -- the level the health effects are minimum except the positive tradeoff of reduced chance of Alzheimers is there.

I put them out short too. I roll my own so it was easier to sort out why I smoked a pack a day and wanted to smoke only half a pack, by cutting down the total tobacco consumed in a day rather than the number of times I smoke. I had a grandfather who kept to that habit all his life and it kept him from getting smoker's cough or any symptoms from it.

There is a big difference between enjoying something in moderation and going to extreme excess with it. Same thing with rich foods. There's not one rich food I'm willing to give up out of what I eat, but I don't have dessert with every meal either. I do burn more calories than a symmetrical person because of my leg length being 3cm different, so that means I'll eat more like an active athlete just to keep functioning -- but not really beyond that. My weight has always stayed within a range.

I'm at the low end of that range now thanks to good digestion and good nutrition. My son in law and daughter do the cooking and are both creative, excellent chefs with an interest in both saving money and good nutrition. They make whole-grain breads that taste better than the store kind, they will fix all sorts of good things and with their help I do have vegetables with every meal. But we still also eat real butter and red meat.

It's all about living in reality instead of a health column.

A long time ago I stopped eating for emotional reasons. I shifted that over to other non-food treats, books and art supplies and using the art supplies. That really helped with the eating disorder I used to have. It's very common for people to eat to comfort themselves from social pressures and of course the harassment that goes with being heavy. That goes on for anyone who isn't a perfect athlete and maybe some people that are.

By disconnecting from that I got into eating what I craved for body reasons. Sometimes it is a sugar imbalance and what I need is something sweet, but not a lot of it. A fruit or a small piece of candy does it. Other times it's actually vegetables or meat that I crave. So I'll eat what I need and enjoy and skip anything I don't actually enjoy and want and need.

It's very different from the normal pace of life. I think I came up with these habits because I couldn't keep up the normal pace. They've been polished for years though. Oh, and caffeine. I drink a lot of coffee and this helps me in a number of ways, I tend to feel better if I've had some coffee or caffeinated soda, but I prefer coffee to soda now.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
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Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!

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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance
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